- Who prescribes your blood pressure meds? Your Internists/Family Practitioner
- Who refers you to specialists? Your Internists/Family Practitioner
- Who encourages you to quit smoking? Your Internists/Family Practitioner
- Who argues with insurance to get paid? Your Internists/Family Practitioner
- Who doesn't have the time to see you let alone continue their medical education? Your Internists/Family Practitioner
- Getting the residents to attend conferences on topics the perceive are of no use to them. (why is this? The reason: their instructors can't speak genetics let alone teach it)
- Finding physicians who speak genetics and can teach genetics. (There are 83 Geneticists who have certification in Internal Medicine)
- Getting Residents to understand Genetics (Most don't know introns aren't junk)
The solutions? Are tough. I think we need to teach the teachers, we also need to teach the medical students. Physicians have not changed our level of genetics understanding in the last 30 years. That's why they all think Huntington's is the prototypical genetic disease. When I tell them that MI is the new prototypical genetic disease they laugh. How can we fix these attitudes?
Even psychiatrists agree that genetics is important but they realize the lack of knowledge they have.
Whether it is your OB/Gyn missing indications for referrals 9 out of 10 times or 1 in 3 Internists who misinterprets a genetic test for APC. My oncology friends still don't understand mitochondrial inheritance.
Could the lay person do better? Maybe...But could they write a prescription for the Cox-2 Inhibitor they now should be taking? Who will send them to the surgeon? Who will admit you to the hospital? Who will read and review all the articles needed for your care? Who will?
The solution lies in your hands. The solution is to encourage your doctor to learn genetics. Ask him about DNA and your health, ask her about your drugs and your genes. Force the issue, read as much as you can. When your doctor refuses, leave her care. Find a doctor who will learn. But please, please, please don't leave it up to yourself.
The Gene Sherpa says: The solution is up to you. It is up to your doctor. It is up to all of us, together learning and teaching each other. To get the best health care possible. Delivered by a licensed health professional, not by Domino's..........Wake up people or Wal-Mart is where you will get your genomic revolution!!!