Monday, June 2, 2014

Getting Advice About Genetic Testing

I recently received a call at work from an individual asking for advice about genetic testing.  While I welcome questions and comments on my blog posts, I don't think this was an appropriate course of action.  I don't think it is a huge problem (this is the first time this happened in the 3+ years since I wrote my most commonly viewed blog post), and I think this individual raised some interesting questions.  However, I think it may be important provide a brief description of myself and the role of my blog:

 I am an analyst that often studies (de-identified) patient samples for biomedical research, and it is probably safe to say I have an above-average knowledge about genetics.  However, I am not a medical professional, and I never provide consulting about genetic testing at any point during my job.  In fact, a large portion of my research involves projects that do not look for mutations in a subject's DNA sequence.  In other words, everything I write on my blog about genetic testing is my own personal perspective, independent of any professional responsibilities.

Of course, that leaves the obvious question:

Where can I find someone to discuss genetic testing options?

I would recommend contacting a genetic counselor if you wish to talk to somebody one-on-one about genetic testing options and what action can be taken as a result of those tests.  The National Society of Genetic Counselors has a tool to find a genetic counselor near you:

http://nsgc.org/p/cm/ld/fid=164

Again, I should emphasize that I am not a genetic counselor myself: if you are genetic counselor or medical geneticist with a better recommendation, I would encourage you to post a comment to this blog post.

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