Genetic Counseling Program

Untitled Document

Improving Patient Care Through the Use of Genetic Testing Forms that Adhere to Professional Recommendations.  By Alice Kraemer Tanner

The use of genetic testing by non-genetic specialists and primary care physicians in the U.S. will increase as more tests become commercially available and as patient demand for these tests increases faster than can be handled by the limited number of genetics providers. Genetic testing and the reporting of test results can be very complex, and often more is needed than simply the result in order to make appropriate health decisions. Clear communication of all relevant information between the physician requesting the testing and the laboratory reporting the results is essential for accurate physician understanding and patient management. To facilitate this communication and understanding, I conducted a thorough literature review to illustrate the need for more standardized genetic testing forms. I then summarized professional guidelines describing recommendations for the information that should be included in test requisition forms and results reports, using cystic fibrosis and hereditary breast and ovarian cancer testing as models.  From this information, I created example request forms and result report forms that followed these guidelines. The information contained in the forms plays two roles. The first is to aid physicians in requesting genetic tests by explaining what patient information is needed and why. The second is to aid the physician in interpreting results reports by explaining what the results mean for the individual patient. My hope is that this literature review, synthesis of professional society guidelines, and proposal of example test forms will be helpful to other groups that are dealing with this issue, as well.

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  • "I chose to attend UNCG because of its shared learning environment and the access to some of the leading institutions in the country. "

  • "UNCG is a great fit for me. The program directors have extensive experience in the world of genetic counseling and provide you with opportunities to work with some of the best medical centers in the country. Our location allows us to have expert guest lecturers, many of whom you also get to work alongside or observe in your clinical rotations in your second year. We also have some really wonderful and unique opportunities as a part of this program: we observe in syndrome specific support groups and clinics, tour genetic laboratories, and are matched with a family with a genetic disease to learn what it is like to live with a genetic condition. Finally, our directors are genuinely invested in each of us, and care about our success and getting to know each of us personally."

  • "The director and assistant director do their best to ensure that our program provides a collaborative learning experience.  Both are active members of the Genetic Counseling community and strive to introduce you to all aspects of this field.  We also have renowned clinical sites and the beautiful state of North Carolina at our disposal.”