Monday, September 8, 2008

Personalized Medicine Since 1986!

First I would like to apologize for the lack of postings on interesting topics lately. I am glad that others have picked up my slack. Notably Hsien and Bertalan's interesting posts this week. Or for an in depth post on the politics of health care and the reform movement check out VentureBeat
What I want to pay attention to today is the question I inevitably get asked when I speak to other physicians. "Is what you say feasible in a 7 minute consult world?" The answer is inevitably NO. I do not feel in my heart of hearts that we will ever be able to practice personalized medicine in a 7 minute consult world.

What's needed is a Revolution. We need a place where the patient has access to their records and their physicians 24/7. We need a place where the patient is given the skills to understand and manage their disease. My friend's 12 year old son can quite effectively manage his diabetes, how come a 45 year old venture capitalist cannot? Support is the key and learning is the motion required to open the lock. How do we make these things easier? How can we get doctors to teach their patients? What ever happened to true continuity of care? These are big questions that need answers. I don't have them all. But I am working with some great people who will find those answers.....

So the next question is "How can we have the knowledge to practice these things?" I often tell physicians to go back to college or read a book on genetics. If you don't have the time to do that, then you will fail your patients. This often meets an uproar of disbelief......I am pretty good at pissing people off. Just ask Lisa Lee at DNADirect ;)

In all honesty, we need some clinics who offer personalized medicine consultations. These specialists need to guide care in collaboration with PMDs. I am proving this model in NYC! Give us a call and we can arrange to start the relationship.

But there has been someone doing this since 1986!!!! Wha??? The HGP was only 3 years in and they were providing these services. Yes that is correct. Greats such as David Rimoin and Maren Scheuner helped form and develop this practice. It goes by the "trademarked" name
GenRISK Adult Genetics Program. It has been in practice since 1986 offering several tests that you can see on their site. I have been critical of predisposition tests unless clinically indicated. This is an example of how a personalized medicine practice can be run.

The Sherpa Says: Genomic and Personalized Medicine need to be given in a continuity of care. Family history changes, medical history changes. A one time consultation cannot deliver that kind of service. Oh and what about pharmacogenomics?

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