Genetic Counseling

Frequently Asked Questions About Genetic Counseling

What are genetic professionals and what do they do?

Genetics professionals are health care professionals with specialized degrees and experience in medical genetics and counseling. Genetics professionals include geneticists, genetic counselors and genetics nurses.

What is genetic counseling and evaluation?

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Genetic professionals work as members of health care teams providing information and support to individuals or families who have genetic disorders or may be at risk for inherited conditions. Genetic professionals:

  • Assess the risk of a genetic disorder by researching a family's history and evaluating medical records.

  • Weigh the medical, social and ethical decisions surrounding genetic testing.

  • Provide support and information to help a person make a decision about testing.

  • Interpret the results of genetic tests and medical data.

  • Provide counseling or refer individuals and families to support services.

  • Serve as patient advocates.

  • Explain possible treatments or preventive measures.

  • Discuss reproductive options.

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