Starting a New Program
Who are genetic counselors ?
Genetic counselors are Master’s-trained health care professionals who combine their knowledge of basic science, medical genetics, epidemiological principles, and counseling theory with their skills in genetic risk assessment, education, interpersonal communication and counseling to provide services to clients and their families for a diverse set of genetic or genomic indications.
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:
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.
(National Society of Genetic Counselors’ Definition Task Force, 2006.)
Why should I become a genetic counselor?
Genetic counselors possess the expertise and skills necessary to be key players in the integration of genomics into health care and in personalized medicine. As a result, opportunities for genetic counselors continue to grow. In addition, genetic counselor job satisfaction is high, especially with regard to counseling patients, learning opportunities, scientific content, and the opportunity for personal growth.
If you want to work on the cutting edge of genomic medicine in a rewarding and expanding health care profession, then genetic counseling is the profession for you.
See the resources page for links to other important genetic counseling organizations.
What is the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors (AGCPD)? The AGCPD consists of full members whose institutions have a formal genetic counseling training program that currently trains graduate students to become board certified genetic counselors via the Master’s degree, as well as associate members that are actively planning a new genetic counseling training Program. The AGCPD promotes collaborative interactions between the genetic counseling training programs and supports high standards of practice. The AGCPD also advocates on behalf of the interests of training programs.