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​Genetic Counseling

updated: September 6, 2022

Definition

Genetic counseling refers to guidance relating to genetic disorders that a specialized healthcare professional (genetic counselor) provides to an individual or family. A genetic counselor might provide information about how a genetic condition could affect an individual or family and/or interpret genetic tests designed to help estimate the risk of a disease. The genetic counselor conveys information to address the concerns of the individual or family, helps them make an informed decision about their medical situation and provides psychological counseling to help them adapt to their condition or risk.



Narration

Genetic Counseling. In an era of more frequent DNA testing, many families will meet a genetic counselor as the first person in their healthcare journey in genetics. As defined by the National Society for Genetic Counselors, genetic counseling is the process of helping people understand and adopt through the medical, psychological, and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. This process integrates the following interpretation of the family and medical histories to assess the chance of disease occurrence and recurrence. Education about inheritance testing, management, prevention, resources, and research promote informed choices and adaptation to the risk or condition.

Charles Venditti
Charles P. Venditti, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief and Senior Investigator

Metabolic Medicine Branch