The Holistic Genome

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Posts Tagged ‘personalized medicine

Mercerism and the pursuit of knowledge

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Much like the plight of Wilbur Mercer or Sisyphus, I have been faced with a challenging uphill-battle in my pursuit of knowledge and enlightenment.  Much like Wilbur Mercer, I feel like I am being pelted with stones as I struggle uphill only to have the struggle recur over and over again.  More recently, I have had to wait out a powerful financial storm that has temporarily halted my accent of the sacred mountain of knowledge.  As such, I have plotted an alternative course to better prepare me for this task.  

The pursuit is a noble one and its rewards are open to all those who seek it. This journey has truly been character building. However, I have come to realize that it is not without its sacrifices and difficulties. It is true that Personalized Medicine is gaining popularity. Even President Obama administration has a plan that hopes to modernize our use of electronic medical records and personalize medical therapies.

Personalized Medicine really does have a chance of revolutionizing the way that we practice medicine. I honored to be accompanied by others who seek the knowledge and experience to usher in this new paradigm of personalized medicine.

I am hoping that once I climb this sacred mountain that I will find the old wise man who will be able to impart wisdom and knowledge onto me.  Perhaps, I will find myself alone at the top, only to realize that the wise man that I sought is really myself.


Written by Jonathan Holt, DO

March 15, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Family History

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Family Medical History

As you gather with your family to give thanks, perhaps it is a good time to talk about the family tree and discuss your family’s medical history.

Some direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies try to argue that their services are a replacement for a family history.   I strongly disagree. 

However, I am always amazed at the lack of knowledge my patients have regarding their family’s medical history. I have rarely seen a compete and thorough family history documented in a primary care chart. 

Why is this?

Partly, busy primary care physician do not have the time it take to take a thorough family history. It takes on average 9 minutes, but average new appointment time is only 15-20 minutes.  

There is also the concern regarding the security of family member records being stored in a patient’s medical record. 

I have also noticed that this is because it just not discussed or family members are ashamed to discuss it, or the details get lost in translation.  A family history of ‘stomach cancer’ which was only revealed to be ‘ovarian cancer’ suddenly changes my approach in the setting of associated cancers such as Breast Cancer. The specifics on the type of cancer can very helpful.  I have at time resorted to getting death certificate documentation for the actual cause of death, when this is necessary.  A great service is call Vitalchek where your can order these documents electronically. 

There is also a great tool offered by the United State’s Surgeon General’s website that helps families input their family’s medical history and makes it downloadable and accessible.  

So, at this time of reflection, take a moment to share this with your family and have a discussion around the dinner table.  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Written by Jonathan Holt, DO

November 27, 2008 at 12:54 pm