Many doctors reluctant to discuss genetic tests with patients

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Pathway Genomics describes its array of genetic tests as “empowering” to both patients and their doctors, enabling them to engage in an open dialogue about the patient’s health.

That’s a wonderful vision, but a growing body of evidence suggests that many primary care doctors are unwilling or unable to communicate with their patients about their genetic test results. That’s particularly true when the patient ordered the test from a direct-to-consumer genetics company like 23andMe.

The latest report from the Impact of Personal Genomics Study Group found that 18% of patients were “not at all satisfied” with their experience when they shared their results with a physician. More than a quarter of them did not feel that their primary care doctor understood genetics well enough to properly advise them.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of patients reported that they were satisfied with their decision to obtain a genetic-to-consumer genetic test. More than 90% said that at least a few of the results could be used to improve their health.

The Obama administration has called for a new era of “personalized medicine,” which relies on collecting a vast amount of genetic information from American volunteers to bolster the development of genetics-based treatment. But amid all the hype, what’s rarely discussed is the skepticism among health providers who don’t see much value in genetic tests.

Read full, original post: Many Doctors Aren’t Prepared To Advise Patients About Genetics

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