Genetic Counseling (cont.)

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.

Additional Resources

How do I find a genetic professional?

Your health care provider may refer you to a genetic professional. Universities and medical centers also often have affiliated genetic professionals, or can provide referrals to a genetic professional or genetics clinic.

As more has been learned about genetics, genetic professionals have grown more specialized. For example, they may specialize in a particular disease (such as cancer genetics), an age group (such as adolescents) or a type of counseling (such as prenatal).

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Genetic Counseling - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with receiving genetic counseling.
Genetic Counseling - Geneticist or Other Specialist Question: What influenced your decision to see a geneticist or other specialist? Please share your story.