What to Expect During Your Appointment

The goal of your medical genetics appointment is to answer any questions you or your doctor have about your condition and treatment options. Our discussions are candid and confidential. They center on both your questions, as well as any questions about other children or people in your family who could be impacted by the condition in the future.

Before your appointment

Your medical team will review your medical records from appointments at Dartmouth-Hitchcock before you meet with them. If you have been seen by doctors at other hospitals, be sure to gather necessary medical information to bring with you. Information may include test results or developmental evaluations, for example.

We also encourage you to have a discussion with your family about their medical history or their knowledge of family members with developmental disabilities, birth defects or genetic conditions.

If you have any questions before the appointment, you can call to speak with one of the genetic counselors.

Your first appointment

Because diagnosing a genetic condition can be complicated, you should plan to be at your appointment for at least 90 minutes (or longer when testing is recommended).

Your genetic counselor will review your pregnancy, medical and birth history with you at your first appointment. He or she will also complete a family tree to complete the medical history. Your conversation may include discussions about developmental delays, autism, birth defects, or other known medical conditions in your family. You may also meet with a medical geneticist who will ask additional questions and perform a physical exam, if one is needed. 

Based on the information we have gathered, our team may be able to tell you the reason for the condition or symptoms. Most of the time, additional laboratory tests or evaluations are needed aid in diagnosis.

The team will discuss additional testing options, possible treatment, or additional follow-up recommendations during your appointment. If you decide to have laboratory testing, we may have to check with your insurance company so another visit may be needed for additional testing.