Genetics and Genomic Medicine | Clinical Care
What to Expect During a Genetics Clinic Visit
How do I schedule an appointment?
Your visit to one of our Genetics Clinics begins with scheduling the appointment. When you call to schedule an appointment, you will talk to one of our secretaries. They will obtain information about the individual who will be evaluated in our clinic, including the individual’s name, date of birth, address, phone number, reason for referral or evaluation, and health insurance information. Please contact our office at 314-454-6093 to schedule an appointment. Click here for contact information.
What should I do to prepare for the visit?
After you schedule an appointment, you will receive a packet of information in the mail, including directions to St. Louis Children’s Hospital, a new patient questionnaire, a family tree form, and a medical release form. It is very helpful for us to have this information to review at the time of the appointment. Please fill out the forms as best you can and bring them with you to the appointment. Medical records from referring physicians and other specialists and the results of any studies are especially useful. Please have these records sent to our office or bring them with you when you come for the visit. You should also bring your health insurance card to the visit. Many people find it helpful to bring a family member or close friend to the appointment for support and to help remember all the information that may be provided.
Where is the clinic located?
We see clinic patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. If your appointment is at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, you may park in the Parking Garage across the street from Children’s Hospital. Bring your parking ticket with you, and it will be validated at the completion of the clinic visit. Take the cross walk from the second floor of the Parking Garage into the Children’s Hospital. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.
What will occur during the clinic visit?
At the beginning of most visits, the patient’s weight, height, and head circumference will be measured. You will then meet with a genetic counselor, a genetics fellow, or a resident physician. This individual will review your medical history and family tree and may perform a physical examination. If you or your child has recently been diagnosed with a genetic condition, a genetic counselor will talk to you about what the condition is and how it is inherited.
The genetic counselor or physician-in-training will discuss the history and examination with the attending geneticist. You will then meet the attending geneticist, the physician who is listed on the patient letter that you received from our Genetics Office. The attending physician will briefly review the medical and family history, ask additional questions, and may perform a physical examination. The attending physician will then provide his or her assessment of the patient, answer your questions and concerns, and discuss the recommendations for additional evaluations or treatment that may be indicated.
For example, based on the medical and family history and the physical examination findings, further testing may be indicated. The most common tests are done on blood and urine and can usually be done the same day. Sometimes the doctor may recommend X-rays, ultrasounds or other imaging studies, or a referral to another specialist. If you desire, our office staff will schedule the studies or appointments and will try to coordinate them with other visits to the hospital. We will contact you with the results of any tests or studies once they are completed.
How long will the clinic visit last?
For new patients, the clinic visit will last approximately 1½ hours. During the visit it is very important that you feel free to ask any questions that you may have. We recommend that you write your questions down prior to the visit so that you do not forget to ask them.
Where can I go for more information?
St. Louis Children’s Hospital Medical Genetics Health Information Home Page
Alliance of Genetic Support Groups