About the Profession

What is a Genetic Counselor?

Genetic counseling is a profession combining medical genetics and counseling that supports individuals and families seeking information about how inherited diseases may impact their health. Genetic counselors work with patients to offer guidance in genetic testing as well as interpretation of results. These providers provide psychosocial support to patients who are navigating the complexities of genomic medicine and decision making.

As professionals whose training in both genetics and psychosocial sciences allows them to understand how patients make decisions, genetic counselors can look at the stresses patients face and explain the genetic test results in layman-friendly terms.

Counselors also can help providers optimize genetic testing, as providers are increasingly recognizing that genetic testing is a key component of precision medicine.