What is Genetic Counseling?
Genetic counselors are medical professionals who work as part of the healthcare team to help patients and families interpret, understand, and make decision about their genetic health. Genetic counselors work in a variety of settings, including traditional healthcare organizations, academia, and emerging positions in commercial laboratories and companies. Furthermore, they work in a variety of clinical specialties, such as adult genetics, pediatrics, oncology, obstetrics, cardiology, public health, and pharmacogenomics.
Genetic counseling is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States. Employment of genetic counselors is expected to grow 29% from 2014 – 2024. As integral parts of the healthcare team, genetic counselors work with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to help patients and their families understand inherited genetic conditions. They are trained to expertly communicate complicated genetic health information, and they serve as key liaisons for the community to make genetic and genomic medicine more accessible to patients.
Additional resources about the genetic counseling field:
- National Society of Genetic Counselors – About Genetic Counselors
- National Human Genome Research Institute – FAQ About Genetic Counseling
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Genetic Counseling
- Genetic Alliance – Making Sense of Your Genes (PDF)
- March of Dimes – Genetic Counseling
- Diagnostics World News - Help Wanted: Genetic Guidance