What is Genetic Counseling?
Genetic counseling is the process of helping people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. This process integrates the following:
- Interpretation of family and medical histories to assess the chance of disease occurrence or recurrence.
- Education about inheritance, testing, management, prevention, resources and research.
- Counseling to promote informed choices and adaptation to the risk or condition.
Genetic Counseling Training
Genetic Counselors have a Masters Degree in Genetic Counseling and are board certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (www.abgc.net). Coursework typically includes clinical genetics, population genetics, cytogenetics, and molecular genetics coupled with psychosocial theory, ethics and counseling techniques. Clinical placement in ABGC-approved medical genetics centers is an integral part of the degree requirements.
The genetic counseling profession is rapidly expanding and diversifying. Heightened public awareness, coupled with scientific advances in adult disorders and reproductive technologies, have increased the demand for genetic counselors in clinical, teaching, administrative, commercial, private practice and consulting environments. This trend is expected to continue well into the 21st century ...and beyond. Visit the National Society of Genetic Counselors website (www.nsgc.org) for more career information.