Family History Basically Useless, Doctor Claims
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Shreveport Physician Family History Basically Useless, Doctor Claims By Margaret Martin Times Medical Writer Family histories taken by physicians are "often irrelevant and thus useless . . . " a local physician charged in a paper published in the April 3 "Jour-nal of the American Medical Association." Dr. Richard C. Juberg, direc-tor of the Birth Defects Center and associate professor of pe-diatrics at Louisiana State Uni-v e r s i t y Medical School in Shreveport, wrote the paper! "Making the Family History Relevant." In an interview, Juberg said that "basically the family histo-ry as commonly taken is not relevant to the problem in the patient." Juberg is e s p e c i a l l y con-cerned that genetic disorders are many times not taken into consideration in compiling the family history and blames this on the fact that "genetics have developed in the last 15 to 20 years as a legitimate discipline of the medical curriculum," while the system of taking a family history has evolved over many more years. Medical educators, he s a i d, continue to teach students to take the family history "in the same old way." Doctors, Juberg said, reel off "an impressive list of questions to impress the patient . . . " The physician feels "he has done his duty, when he really hasn't done anything." • A common p r o c e d u r e for taking a family history "is the I recital of a list of diseases and i defects by the physicians to each of which the patient is asked to make a positive or negative response." This, he says in the paper, "may demonstrate the physi-cian's ability to memorize and may impress the patient and bystanders, but it actually ac-complishes little. . . ." "Possibly the worst part of this method is that the physi-cian thinks he has actually ob-tained some relevant informa- ; tion when he has only gone thro-ugh a meaningless ritual," the paper said. Juberg also takes his col-leagues totask for sometimes taking no history at all, even in the case of an emergency. Failure to take a family history, he says, "can be disas-trous because it can mean a missed diagnosis." "Even the emergency case is no excuse for such negligence because relatives are often available there for questioning or the patient himself may be] able to furnish information if his condition is stabilised within a reasonable time," the paper says. Juberg recommends a three-step plan for taking the family history w h i c h is: 1 Minimal information, including vital sta-tistics. 2. A relevant summary designed to survey the family for the occurrence of disease and defect. 3. A maximal family history which includes construe- • tion of the family pedigrees — equivalent to a complete genetic history.
|Title||Family History Basically Useless, Doctor Claims|
Juberg, Richard C.
Birth Defects Center (Louisiana State University School of Medicine - Shreveport)
|Identifier||See reference URL on the navigation bar.|
|Source||Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport Medical Library (http://lib.sh.lsuhsc.edu)|
|Coverage-Spatial||Shreveport (Caddo, La.)|
|Rights||Physical rights are retained by Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.|