Pediatrics – Genetics
Boston Medical Center's Pediatric Specialty Group offers genetic consultations on Thursdays. Clinical Genetics is a medical specialty that provides diagnostic and management services for individuals who have inherited disorders or birth defects. Children with birth defects, unusual physical features, developmental days, abnormal growth or unusual behaviors are often referred for a genetics evaluation to determine if a genetic condition could explain their features. It is important to remember that many children referred to pediatric genetics do not end up having a genetic condition.
To schedule an appointment, please call: 617.414.4841. Appointments are on the 5th floor of the Yawkey Ambulatory Care Center at 850 Harrison Avenue.
Lauren Lichten, MS CGC
Licensed Genetic Counselor
Lauren received a B.A. in molecular biology from Colgate University and subsequently attended the Genetic Counseling Program at Brandeis University. Prior to joining the team at BUMC, Lauren worked as a clinical genetic counselor in maternal fetal medicine and general genetics.
Please allow 1.5 hours for your first visit.
The initial part of the visit will involve speaking with Dr. Woerner and Ms. Lichten. They will ask questions about your pregnancy, your child's birth history, medical history (specific conditions or history of surgery) and developmental milestones/performance in school. They will also ask questions about your child's family history. It is useful to bring any history information that you have been able to collect from family members as well as records from any genetic tests or medical procedures performed on your child outside Boston Medical Center. Sometimes people are worried that they may not be able to answer all of the questions at the genetics visit. We do not expect you to have the answer to every question and whatever information you have is typically helpful.
After the history is collected, Dr. Woerner will perform a physical examination. Some genetic conditions can involve very subtle characteristics and a thorough physical examination can sometimes provide clues to a diagnosis. Sometimes it is useful to do a genetic test (usually a blood test) to determine if a specific diagnosis explains your child's features. Dr. Woerner and Ms. Lichten will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of any further examinations or genetic tests at your appointment. Genetic testing is very expensive and it is sometimes necessary to get insurance preauthorization before performing a genetic test.
If a genetic diagnosis is made, Dr. Woerner will see your child on a regular basis to help manage your child's medical care. If a genetic diagnosis is not made, it is still often helpful to have follow-up visits with Dr. Woerner. The field of genetics is growing rapidly and new advances in diagnosis and available tests occur on a regular basis. Follow-up visits typically last less than an hour.