The family physician is the ideal person to do genetic counseling but too many physicians lack the necessary knowledge of basic genetics, according to a Canadian geneticist whose special interest is in pediatrics.
Patients who require counseling on how to avoid bearing defective children should receive the information along with the support of a doctor-patient relationship, said Margaret M. Thompson, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics and zoology, University of Toronto. Counseling by a geneticist is second choice in most cases if the family physician is capable of handling the job. Dr. Thompson spoke at the sixth annual Short Course in Medical Genetics in Bar Harbor, Me, conducted by Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and the Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor.
The course, sponsored by the National Foundation, was attended by 87 invited participants from medical and other professional schools.
A geneticist for the past 16 years, Dr. Thompson pointed out that most