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Objective evidence helps foster patient relationship

As the founder and owner of New Vision Psychiatry & Wellness, I specialize in the treatment and management of mood, anxiety and ADHD disorders, with a special interest in the treatment of OCD, depression and anxiety. I earned my doctorate and am an assistant professor at the University of Texas-Arlington.

Many of the patients we see in my clinic have already been treated elsewhere for their depression. Some of the patients have already tried one (or two or ten) different depression medications. So, they are already treatment resistant at that point.

The patients who have gone through this trial-and-error process and the failing of medications are often frustrated and fearful. They may have experienced horrible side effects, so they come to me and aren’t confident that I will be able to do anything different than their previous doctors.

Objective Evidence & the GeneSight Psychotropic Test

Patient Story: photo of Zhan Yang

I first learned about the GeneSight Psychotropic test from one of my professors in college. In her lesson about pharmacogenomics, she shared the results of her own GeneSight test. It was very interesting, and I was impressed that she was sharing something so personal and that it was rooted in scientific data.

When I started my practice, I knew that I wanted to use the GeneSight test with my patients. Prior to becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner, I was a mechanical engineer in Singapore and Sweden, so scientific data is very important to me. I want things to be black-and-white and I want objective evidence.

The GeneSight test provides some of that objective evidence. Using the report, I can learn about the patient’s genetic makeup. When I explain the report to my patient, they can see that there might be a genetic reason why the medication they had previously tried didn’t work. As a result, this tool helps me to improve the rapport with my patient and gives us both some confidence that the next medication they are prescribed may work better than their previous medications.

Helping Patients Who Have Tried Many Medications

I now order the GeneSight test about 2-3 times a week, depending on how many of my new patients have previously tried medications.

I have a number of success stories from ordering the GeneSight test for my patients. For example, I have a teenage patient who suffered from really bad depression and anxiety. Her previous medication didn’t alleviate her symptoms and she suffered numerous adverse effects. She became so sick that she had to stay home from school and her mom began to homeschool her. Both she and her parents were so exasperated and scared.

Due to her previous experience with medication and their trepidation with trying anything new, I ordered the GeneSight test. When the test came back, I studied the results. Based on what she had tried previously and other factors, I was able to select a new medication that we could try. I’m happy to say that the medication has helped her – she is feeling better and, in fact, she is back to school.

I would tell other clinicians considering the GeneSight test this is a helpful tool in the decision-making process. For me, the GeneSight test has really helped me in my practice because it has helped provide genetic information I didn’t have before and it helps me improve my patient rapport.

This story is one clinician’s personal experience. Other experiences may vary.

As with all genetic tests, the GeneSight test results have limitations and do not constitute medical advice. The test results are designed to be just one part of a larger, complete patient assessment, which would include proper diagnosis and consideration of medical history, other medications being taken, family history, and other factors.

If you are a healthcare provider and interested in learning more about the GeneSight test, please contact us at 855.891.9415. If you are a patient, please talk with your doctor to see if the GeneSight test may be helpful.