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Genetic Counseling - Predicting The Future


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A genetic counselor is a health professional who has a specialized graduate degree and experience in counseling and medical genetics.

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Genetic Counseling - Predicting The Future

  1. 1. Genetic Counseling
  2. 2. A genetic counselor is a health professional who has a specialized graduate degree and experience in counseling and medical genetics. These counselors may have a background in social work, psychology, genetics, public health, nursing or biology.
  3. 3. What Does A Genetic Counselor Do? A genetic counselor works in a team of health care specialists to provide support and information to individuals who suffer from genetic disorders or birth defects.
  4. 4. He or she may also work with a family whose members are at risk for an inherited genetic condition.
  5. 5. Most counselors will identify if a family is at risk and may perform a variety of other functions with the family.
  6. 6. Functions include investigation of the problem experienced by the family, providing and interpreting information about the genetic disorder, studying inheritance patterns to evaluate the risks of a disorder reoccurring, and discussing available treatment options.
  7. 7. What About Counseling? A genetic counselor will work as a therapist with families, providing counseling to individuals or families or referring them to external support sites in the community or state.
  8. 8. Some genetic counselors also conduct research in the fields of genetics and genetic counseling.
  9. 9. What Do I Do To Become a Genetic Counselor? To become a genetic counselor, it is necessary to complete an undergraduate degree in psychology and then go on to get a graduate-level education. A master’s degree is the typical requirement at the graduate level.
  10. 10. A graduate program in genetic counseling usually includes topics such as psychosocial theory, ethics, genetics and counseling.
  11. 11. Upon completion of a graduate program, graduates must obtain certification, which requires a number of hours of documented clinical experience, as well as an examination through the American Board of Genetic Counseling.
  12. 12. The National Society of Genetic Counselors provides a listing of training programs available in the United States in genetic counseling.
  13. 13. Where Can I Work as a Genetic Counselor? This profession is projected to increase in popularity in the coming years due to growing advances in the field of genetics. Once trained, graduates may work in a variety of fields including clinical and commercial settings, education and public policy settings, diagnostic laboratory settings and research settings. In each of these settings, a genetic counselor would work as part of a health care team.
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