Genetic Counselors Career Video
Description: Assess individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects. Provide information to other healthcare providers or to individuals and families concerned with the risk of inherited conditions. Advise individuals and families to support informed decisionmaking and coping methods for those at risk. May help conduct research related to genetic conditions or genetic counseling.
Genetic counselors have an ability to see into the future… the future of our health, that is. Genetic counselors analyze genetic information to assess a patient’s risk for a variety of conditions, offering helpful information and advice to patients and other healthcare professionals. Genetic counselors often divide their time between their lab and an office where they meet with patients. They write detailed reports and treatment plans that simplify genetic concepts and explain the pros and cons of different testing options. These professionals have frequent contact with their patients, from the initial interview for medical history, to providing resources, treatment options, and reassurance. They work in a variety of settings, including university medical centers, hospitals, physicians’ offices, and diagnostic labs. Entering this field requires a master’s degree and a professional certification in genetic counseling. Some states require a license. Staying up to date with current scientific literature is a must. At the end of the day, genetic counselors must be compassionate in delivering sensitive findings, think critically about the risks of conditions and treatments for their patients, and clearly explain the health choices – which are ultimately up to the patient to make.