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A Piece of My Mind
April 10, 2013

Preparing for the 21st-Century Patient

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Senior Editor.

Author Affiliation: Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC ( ap458@georgetown.edu).

JAMA. 2013;309(14):1471-1472. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.116971

Over dinner recently, my good friend Khashif (not his real name) introduced a topic I hadn't quite expected. He told me about his genetic profile. Mostly out of curiosity, and without any prompting from his physician or an immediate medical concern, my young, ostensibly healthy friend had sent $200 and some of his saliva to a direct-to-consumer (DTC) commercial laboratory. A few weeks later, they gave him their assessment of his risk for various diseases and drug responses, along with a gene-based analysis of his likely ancestral origins and a few selected physical traits.

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