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What to expect during your Genetics Clinic visit

After you arrive to clinic, you will check in at the front desk.  Most new patient genetic appointments are 45 to 60 minutes long.  Several relatives may attend an appointment together, if they wish.

  • For General Genetics clinic, you will be greeted by a nurse who will take the patient’s weight, height, pulse, and blood pressure.   For Cancer Genetics Clinics, you will be greeted by the Genetic Counselor.
  • Once in an examination or interview room, a genetic counselor will meet with to ask you questions about the patient’s medical and family history.  It is helpful to find out medical details about relatives prior to you visit, such medical illnesses, cause and age of death.  If the patient has been seen by doctors at other hospitals, please bring important medical information from those appointments, such as test results and developmental evaluations.
  • Next, the genetics doctor will come in to perform a physical exam if needed.  The problem that has brought you to the clinic will be discussed in detail.  The genetics doctor will discuss with you his or her findings based on all the information, make recommendations, and answer any questions you have.
  • The goal of the appointment is to answer any questions you or your doctor have.  We aim to identify the cause of the patient's symptoms or problem and help design treatment. If a diagnosis is found, we can often give you information about the condition and any medical treatment options. We can also share if other children or other people in your family will be likely to have the same condition in the future.
  • If genetic testing is recommended, depending on the test and the insurance plan, the patient may then go to the laboratory to have blood drawn.  For tests that need to be preauthorized by insurance, the patient will need to return on a different day for blood draw.  There are several locations to have blood taken, and your genetic counselor will discuss available options with you.   Sometimes, other laboratory tests (blood or urine) or other special evaluations may be needed to help determine a diagnosis.