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Medical Genetic Services

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Department of Medical Genetic Services offers children and adults comprehensive evaluation, counseling and care for inherited disorders.

These services may help clarify risks to individuals and families, provide a diagnosis for unexplained symptoms, and identify a new need for specialized care.

Information is also provided for testing, clinical trials and support organizations.

Frequently asked questions

DNA ​Banking

Q: What is DNA Banking?

A: DNA banking is a way to store a DNA sample, to possibly be used in the future.

Q: What is involved?

A: A blood sample is taken and a consent form is signed, with brief counseling. DNA is stored for a number of years for you or your designee, for a nominal cost. After giving the sample, you or your designee have access to the sample for a number of years.

Q: What are the benefits?

A: Genetics is evolving, and new testing for the sample may be available in the future, possibly providing important information for the family.

Q: What testing is done on the DNA?

A: None, unless the person or their designee requests it. The DNA is only stored.

Q: Who should consider it?

A: Any family with a strong history of conditions, i.e. cancer, heart disease or diabetes, or an individual with a rare or unusual condition of unknown cause, possibly genetic.

Q: Where is DNA Banking available?

A: DNA Banking is currently available at Marshfield Medical Research Foundation.

Genetic Evalu​​ation

A genetic evaluation may:

  • Help clarify risks
  • Provide a diagnosis for unexplained symptoms
  • Provide information for family members
  • Identify a new need for specialized care
  • Be a resource for new testing, clinical trials, and support organizations


  • Gather information through family tree, physical examination, records
  • Assess any genetic risks to individuals and family members
  • Educate about issues and diagnoses, and provide recommendations
  • Offer pertinent testing
  • Provide support, counseling
  • Refer as needed to other specialists or to other services, such as support groups, clinical trials

The age groups typically seen and types of consults we offer are:

Pre-conceptual for couples considering a pregnancy. Examples include a family history of Down syndrome or a known history of a genetic condition

Prenatal services for concerned expectant couples due to advanced maternal age, abnormal triple screen results or abnormal ultrasound findings

Pediatric/Adult of any age concerning multiple unexplained distinctive features or strong family history of cancer

Specialized clinics for individuals with cleft lip and/or palate, cystic fibrosis and Huntington disease.

Common questions​​​ about a genetic evaluation​

Q-Will my insurance cover it?

A-Each insurance plan is unique. More are covering evaluations, typically after a physician has made the referral. In some cases, we can help with this.

Q-Will you test me for all sorts of conditions?

A-After a careful explanation of any testing, you decide whether to have it done. Testing is never forced on anyone.

Q-Will you tell me things I do not want to know?

A-In terms of genetic risks, we try our best to focus the discussion on issues people are comfortable pursuing.


 Genetic Services Content

 Health Library



Uses of Genetic Testing,P02160Uses of Genetic Testing
Biochemical Genetic Testing,P02114Biochemical Genetic Testing
When to Seek Genetic Counseling,P02118When to Seek Genetic Counseling
Before Undergoing Genetic Testing for Cancer,p07125Before Undergoing Genetic Testing for Cancer
Types of Genetic Diseases,P02505Types of Genetic Diseases
Genetic Services for Children: When, Where, How,P02144Genetic Services for Children: When, Where, How