About Genetic Counseling

About Genetic Counseling

Who Are Genetic Counselors? 

Genetic counselors have advanced training in medical genetics and counseling to guide and support patients seeking more information about how inherited diseases and conditions might affect them or their families, and to interpret genetic test results based on your personal and family history.

You may be referred to a genetic counselor by a doctor (such as an obstetrician, oncologist or medical geneticist) to discuss your family history and genetic risks, or before or after having genetic testing. While genetic counselors are not medical doctors, they are part of your healthcare team and work with you and your doctor to help you understand:

  • Your genetic risks based on your family history
  • Your genetic risks for certain diseases or cancer
  • Whether genetic testing might be right for you
  • What the results of genetic tests may mean for you and your family

With expertise in counseling, genetic counselors can also provide emotional support as you make decisions and empower you with information for your overall healthcare.

Additional Resources

For more information about becoming a genetic counselor, including why you might see a genetic counselor, preparing for an appointment and more, we encourage you to visit About Genetic Counselors, an informational site that is designed for patients and maintained by the National Society of Genetic Counselors.