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- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
(continued from previous post)
4. The trained professionals who are most in a position to help you understand the complexities and nuances of genetic testing, and the massive advances in technology and very useful information just around the corner, are Board-certified Clinical Geneticists and Board-certified Genetic Counselors. They often work as a team. Unfortunately, they/we are, in my experience, the proverbial stepchildren of medical insurance/reimbursement system. These highly trained professionals cannot bill the system sufficiently (in the case of Genetic Counselors, not at all) to even break even. They must be subsidized as a loss-leader to whatever system thy operate in. That's why there are so few of us in existence, and why you never see us in independent private practice, the model that remains the "ideal" of American medical hegemony. Ironically, as our society enters yet another period of expanded need for professional genetics information in our daily lives, the number of new Clinical Geneticists graduating is dropping, and the number who drop out of practice to do something that can be gainfully remunerated is increasing, particularly, but not exclusively, outside of the medical school setting.
5. There are too few of us in the Medical Genetics community to get the system changed for the better, and many of us are restricted in our advocacy roles by our professional affiliations and receipt of limited government funds subsidizing our patient work. The patients and others who stand to benefit from advances in genetic technology and knowledge are the ones who will have to advocate for change. At present, that population, as evidenced by the comments here and even those on physicians' groups blog comments, doesn't even know enough to begin, let alone understand how to define itself. I don't know what the solution is, but I do know that Americans need to decide if they want to move forward accurately informed about Genetics, or just perpetuate myths and ignorance. If the former, they need to advocate for the professionals who can make it happen.
6. Thanks to OPB and Dave Miller for getting the discussion going!
posted 2 years, 9 months ago
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