England – Matthew Hoghton

matt-prfI love being a GP as I have the opportunity to be involved a range of conditions particularly  with people with learning disabilities after they were deinstitutionalized back into the community in 1990s in the UK.

Over the past 25 years I am noticing the impact of genetics and epigenetics and the role they play in the day to day care of my patients and their families.

The UK RCGP curriculum statement now estimates that at least one in ten of the patients seen in primary care has a disorder with a genetic component.

As Gps we can use our skills to help identify patients with, or at risk of, a genetic condition, clinically help manage genetic conditions and communicate genetic information in an understandable manner.

We often have to help patients to manage risks particularly when the guidelines fall short

At the same time one of our key roles remains identifying patients and families who would benefit from being referred to appropriate specialist genetic services and to potential research studies

I used to think of primary care covered everything “Cradle to Grave” but now I realise I need to think the  wider remit of “Sperm to Worm” to include the incredible broadband range of services our patients, their families and carers need now and into the future.