Genetic Counseling

Judith G. Hall, MD
JAMA. 1986;256(15):2091-2092. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380150101028.
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The public and health care providers are becoming increasingly aware of advances in basic and molecular genetics. Patients are being referred for clinical genetics services in increasing numbers; these units are usually based at tertiary care facilities (such as universities or large hospital complexes) because of the complex nature of the services that are provided. It is essential to have the backup of a cytogenetics laboratory, a biochemical laboratory, a DNA laboratory, and an embryopathology laboratory for geneticists to provide care to patients and families effectively. Most units deal with a large variety of diseases, usually seeing several hundred different entities in a single year. They serve as a source of information about unusual disorders and apply new developments from basic research.1,2

Prior to coming to genetics clinic, the concerns that a family and their physician have are identified, and a pedigree is obtained. At the initial consultation visit,


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