Genetic Rounds: A Doctor's Encounters in the Field that Revolutionalized Medicine

By: Robert Marion, MD

October 26, 2009

Robert Marion (The Intern Blues) examines his patients' genetic secrets-information they sometimes don't reveal even to close relatives-in order to help them make family planning decisions . His ability to solve medical mysteries can be a blessing: after a mother is accused of child abuse, Marion is able to use genetic analysis to diagnose brittle bone disease in the baby and to help return the infant to her mother. But his diagnostic skills become a curse when he tells his former college roommate that his toddler isn't just a slow starter but likely has Bardet-Biedl syndrome: the enraged friend never speaks to Marion again. In a headline-making case, he tries to explain why a pair of twins joined at the head lack speech. Although his short pieces lack the depth and finesse of essays by other physician-writers like Oliver Sachs, and Marion's case studies would frighten even the steeliest of would-be parents, Marion, director of clinical genetics at Montefiore Medical Center and Blythedale Children's Hospital in New York State, is a sympathetic advocate for his patients who lucidly interprets complex medical conditions for lay readers.

About Robert Marion
Robert Marion is a Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women's Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Ruth L. Gottesman Professor of Developmental Pediatrics at Einstein, is the Director of the Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center and the University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the Rose F. Kennedy Center. He is Chief of the Divisions of Genetics and of Development Medicine at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore and Director of the Center for Congenital Disorders. In addition, he is Director of Genetics at Blythedale Children's Hospital in Valhalla, New York and an adjunct member of the faculty of the Joan Marks Program in Human Genetics at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY.

Learn more about Dr Marion here.