National Society of Genetic Counselors
    About Genetic Counselors

    How Do Genetic Counselors Benefit the Healthcare Team?

    Genetic counselors can help incorporate the latest genetic science into a practice by providing comprehensive genetic services to patients.

    Working as part of the healthcare team, genetic counselors can:

    • Enhance the team's healthcare approach
    • Help use healthcare providers' time more efficiently
    • Decrease liability and overall costs
    • Increase patient satisfaction and understanding
    • Improve quality of care and/or overall outcomes

      How do genetic counselors assist healthcare providers and their practice?

      Genetic counselors can assist with answers to questions such as:

      • What is the recommended testing strategy?
      • Who can address the patient's concerns about the cost of testing, insurance coverage, and genetic discrimination?
      • What is the preferred sample type?
      • What is the test sensitivity?
      • What are the implications of receiving a result of unknown clinical significance?

      In addition, genetic counselors can consult with providers to deliver the following services:

      • Collection and assessment of detailed medical and family history information
      • Provision of genetics-related education
      • Discussion of the benefits and limitations of genetic testing
      • Up-to-date information regarding legal protections against genetic discrimination
      • Coordination of sample collection for genetic testing
      • Genetic test results interpretation
      • Discussion of risk-reduction and/or management options for your patients

      By providing these services, genetic counselors can help use healthcare providers' time more efficiently, decrease liability and decrease overall costs, while increasing patient satisfaction and improving outcomes.

      How do genetic counselors benefit patients?

      Genetic counselors are knowledgeable and up-to-date on the constantly changing field of genetics. They are trained to tailor, translate and communicate complex genetic information into practical, understandable decision-making information that healthcare providers and their patients can use in health management decision-making. 

      Genetic counselors see patients for a variety of indications and at every stage of life. Learn more about some common referral indications.

      Visit NSGC's Patient Resource Website for more information on how genetic counselors can work hand-in-hand with patients and their healthcare team to help them understand complex genetic information and make informed decisions.