Most people's appointments will have been made by a doctor who felt that particular questions needed answering which required the expertise of a clinical genetics team. Clinical genetics teams include clinical geneticists (medical doctors who specialise in genetics) and genetic or genomic counsellors (sometimes also called genetic associates) also with special expertise in genetics. You may be contacted before the clinic appointment for more information about the reason you have been referred; this may include being asked to give a family history.
Most genetic appointments are 45 to 60 minutes long, so you should not feel rushed. Several relatives may attend an appointment together, if they wish.
The details of your appointment will vary depending on the exact reason for which you are being seen, but it will often include: ·
The problem that has brought you to the clinic will be discussed in detail. ·
A family tree will be drawn, (if not drawn up beforehand) and medical details of relatives may be asked about (such as the cause and age of their death). It is useful to have found out these details before you come to the clinic, or bring a relative who will know. ·
A medical examination may be carried out on one or several family members. ·
The doctor/counsellor will explain their findings to you, and discuss all the options. ·
You will be encouraged to ask questions, and to make your own decisions. The doctor will help you with this, but will not tell you what to decide. ·
In some situations, tests (such as blood tests) may be offered. Some tests are available on the day, but often you will be asked to take some time to make a decision, and come back another day. ·
At the end of the appointment a plan may be made for further information gathering (by you or the doctor), special tests, or another appointment. ·
Afterwards you will be sent a letter with details of what was discussed in the appointment. If anything in this is unclear, you should contact the clinic again