Role of the geneticist / genetic counselor
A geneticist is a specialist in medical genetics and counseling who helps to provide a better understanding of a genetic disease and its implications.
Most often, interpretation of the results of genetic testing is complicated even for trained health- care professionals. Specific training is required to assess the results of genetic testing to counsel the affected individuals and their families appropriately.
If you have been recommended for genetic testing or, if you have been diagnosed with a genetic disorder, your doctor should refer you to a genetic counselor who is a medical geneticist. With specialized backgrounds in medical genetics and counseling, they work alongside medical personnel and engage in the following -
- Confirm the diagnosis of the genetic disorder
- Provide information regarding the disorder and help to provide an understanding of the disease, its present and future implications.
- Provide information regarding the degree of risk involved
- Provide information about passing on the disease to the next generation
- Answer querries that the individual or the family members may have related to the disease.
- Offer psycho-social support to the affected individuals and close family
- Offer information on the medical management of the disease
A genetics expert can provide details regarding the benefits, the limitations and the risks involved in taking a genetic test.