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Genetic Counselor

Summary

Provide professional genetic counseling services in specialized areas such as prenatal diagnosis, biochemical genetics, molecular genetics and medical genetics.

Examples of Work

Job functions are specific duties that would be included in the essential functions of the job description. These functions are not all-inclusive nor do they cover the full extent of the duties performed.

  • Interpret laboratory results and communicate findings to patients or physicians.
  • Discuss testing options and the associated risks, benefits and limitations with patients and families to assist them in making informed decisions.
  • Analyze genetic information to identify patients or families at risk for specific disorders or syndromes.
  • Provide counseling to patient and family members by providing information, education, or reassurance.
  • Write detailed consultation reports to provide information on complex genetic concepts to patients or referring physicians.
  • Determine or coordinate treatment plans by requesting laboratory services, reviewing genetics or counseling literature, and considering histories or diagnostic data.
  • Interview patients or review medical records to obtain comprehensive patient or family medical histories, and document findings.
  • Assess patients’ psychological or emotional needs such as those relating to stress, fear of test results, financial issues, and marital conflicts to make referral recommendations or assist patients in managing test outcomes.
  • Provide patients with information about the inheritance of conditions such as breast, ovarian, prostate and colon cancer; cardiovascular disease; Alzheimer’s disease; and diabetes.

Education and Experience

A Master’s Degree in genetics counseling or a related field from a program accredited by a national certification board for medical genetics personnel, and one year of professional genetic counseling experience, or equivalent.

Licensure and Certification

None

Supervision

None

To see common career pathways for each position at the University of Florida please visit the Career Paths section of the UFHR website.