Family history and genetics

This hasn’t been my experience at all! We go to a practice owned by a husband and wife team and they are amazing. They respond to messages typically within minutes and spend way, way more time with us than our last practice which was huge and owned by a hospital system. I’ve also never waited to be seen, and they schedule one hour visits for new patients and 30 minutes for routine physicals. I’ve never felt rushed like I did in our old practice and their staff are amazing.


Err… Ditto. My practice with my wife relates to patients concerns like right away. Just called a patient a few mintues ago and not in the office. We take our time and don’t rush. Off topic but in my region lots of docs are leaving the big group and reentering the small doctor office business model. When the big groups say 3 weeks to get an appointment and I can get you in today… It’s a huge advantage not disadvantage…

Back to the thread at hand…


Large practices aren’t necessarily the best in terms of communications. I’ve heard of numerous occasions when communications have fallen through the cracks—places so large that one group of physicians doesn’t communicate with the other. Won’t bore people with details but this happened to my H (all docs in the same big hospital system, which is a Harvard University teaching hospital). I sorta hijacked the thread—back to business.


The question I thought I was answering was about an individual provider’s communications directly with the patient… not how the doctors communicate with each other. Totally different question! OP wanted to know if the practice would care that a genetic counselor did not do a good job explaining medical terms to non-medical people.

Of course there are issues with one group of physicians not communicating well with another. But that’s a different problem than the one the OP is facing…

It’s a problem when one professional says—look at this guy and the doc doesn’t respond to the colleague or the patient. My H did communicate to his doc—no direct communications—have to go through the doctor’s PA. Like I said—I was hijacking the thread.
Back to Op question—yes, communicate your dissatisfaction to the appropriate person.

Sorry - more not related to original topic…
I have to disagree with the statement about small practices just looking for money and not caring about communication.
I feel like it’s almost the opposite. I’ve had the same eye doc for 35 years. His office gives GREAT customer service.
I’m dealing with a big practice for allergies these days - I am lucky if I get a human after being on hold for an hour (literally - there was a day they turned off the switchboard or whatever while I was still on hold).


The wife of friend had a long history of cancers in her family (I think there were 10 siblings). They’d lived near a motorola factory growing up (I think in NM, but somewhere like that, maybe AZ). Her sister came to our town to donate a kidney to her. Some got hit with the cancers, some didn’t, but they think it was likely environmental.

A lot of kids I went to high school with have died of cancers in their 50s-60s. We were in a farming community. Lots of fertilizer.

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The Motorola facility in southeast Scottsdale is a Superfund site. Anecdotally, via FB groups I have heard of many cancers in the families who lived in the area. Growing up we thought it was such a clean, desert environment. But between the heavy pesticide use associated with growing cotton and the semiconductor industry, not so much. My dad lived near the plant and worked there as an executive for a time. Fortunately, just a short part of his career. His wife in that part of his life died of lung cancer in her late 40s. We thought it was the smoking, but who knows. Another fortunate piece is that I lived farther away, and only spent part of my childhood in Scottsdale.

I always wonder if there is a connection between genetics and environment? So if you have a preponderance to cancer, a toxic chemical site will contribute to that.

I kept hearing all this cancer in my husband’s hometown. But now we know that there is a genetic component to his family’s connection.

I talked to my daughter yesterday. She was very insistent that I be genetic tested. I called the genetic counselor and gave her my daughter’s phone. They connected and I think it’s being settled. I tentatively have an appointment in 2 weeks.


My father’s family lived in a part of OK with a lot of oil wells - the type that looks like a seesaw. Maybe they contaminated the drinking water? I’m thinking that might have been the possible environmental factor.

Like I mentioned earlier, I think it’s strange also that 3/9 had no children (4/9 really since one died young in WWII). The grandchild count was quite low for such a big family: 0, 0, 0, 2, 2, 3 (one set of twins), 3, and 4 (my family) for total of 14 for eight living siblings. Might fertility be affected by environmental pollution also? I think it can.

I don’t think we have even begun to know the scope of issues caused by environmental pollution & other modern man made issues. My mom had breast cancer that the doctors believed was caused by x ray therapy … she didn’t sleep a lot as a baby, so her doctor gave her x ray therapy to “fix” her. It fixed her alright. Fortunately, her cancer was caught early, and even though it had spread to a lymph node, it never returned after three rounds of chemo. It seems ridiculous that they would have used x rays for this purpose, but they didn’t yet know the danger. And that is exactly the problem.


One of my previous supervisors was assigned as a representative that would travel around Wildland Fire camps to talk with crews to see if they were having any problems and to also inspect activities that were being performed by camp personnel. On day, the visited a camp where the camp cooks, Native American women, were cooking a huge pot of stew in a large galvanized tub. My boss said he had to make them throw it all away because galvanized steel tubs aren’t safe for food prep. They got angry at him, because that’s the way they’d always cooked large quantities.

I can see my fathers family doing similar things as they were poorly educated and unsophisticated. Who knows what the kids were exposed to over the years.

Not sure if I have mentioned this before, but my older daughter came to us from China with lead poisoning. It could have been caused by any number of things as the chinese would add lead to many common household products to increase their weight, even diaper rash cream!

Lots of other dangerous things used to be commonly done because the dangers were not widely known (and sometimes suppressed or vehemently argued against when they did become known):

  • Smoking.
  • Fueling vehicles and other engines with leaded gasoline.
  • Driving or riding in cars without seat belts.
  • Playing with mercury.
  • Radioactive watch dials.
  • The way people watched nuclear weapon tests:
  • The way they thought that radioactive contamination after nuclear weapon tests can be cleaned:
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Industrial pollution from smelters, factories, etc. could have exposed those living nearby. Also, leaded gasoline was available in China before 2000.

Yes, I am aware of those other sources too. One study showed that 80 percent of children in Shanghai had some level of lead poisoning. My daughters was quite high.

Yep, my sister and I used to play with mercury. My mom always said don’t touch it or play with it but we did. We thought it was very cool. Mom did use mercurochrome or on our cuts. I just checked a non-mercury version is still available. Wow. We used a version that I’m sure had mercury.

What happened to Mercurochrome? - The Straight Dope

Mercurochrome and other drugs containing mercury came up for scrutiny as part of a general review of over-the-counter antiseptics that began in 1978, and for good reason — mercury in large enough doses is a poison that harms the brain, the kidneys, and developing fetuses.

Whoa, we used Mecurochrome all the time growing up! And a number of my friends as kids would ride their bikes for fun behind the pesticide truck spewing clouds of chemicals!

Just a quick reqponse to an upthread comment if I may:

I’ve met a lot of people (in various careers, medical and otherwise) who are book smart enough to graduate highly ranked - but a willingness to listen, exhibit empathy, explain simply, and show respect for others (paricularly those who aren’t as knowledgeable) – not necessarily correlated with class rank.

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