Types of Genetic Counselors

Clinical Genetic Counselors

Clinical genetic counselors see patients either in-person or through telegenetic services. There are many different types of clinical genetic counselors. A typical genetic counseling appointment with a clinical genetic counselor includes:

  • Obtaining the patient’s medical/family history
  • Risk assessment to determine if genetic testing is appropriate for the patient
  • Education about genetic testing and the implications of the possible results
  • Counseling to address patient’s concerns, fears, and questions
  • Identifying additional resources for the patient, if needed

If genetic testing is indicated for the patient, genetic counselors can provide both pre-test and post-test genetic counseling to help select the most appropriate genetic test as well as to explain the medical and psychosocial implications of their genetic testing results.

The video below was created by the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSCG) and introduces genetic counselors as well as provides an overview of a typical genetic counseling appointment:

Industry Genetic Counselors

Industry genetic counselors work in a variety of non-clinical settings including commercial genetic testing laboratories, insurance companies, government, research, public health, and graduate training programs. Industry genetic counselors use their graduate training and expertise to work as liaisons between healthcare providers and the laboratory, advocating for both the healthcare provider and their patients.