So you’ve decided to see a genetic counselor. Perhaps you or a family member has been diagnosed with a genetic condition, or you’re just curious about your family history. Either way, a certified genetic counselor can help you understand your risks and make informed decisions about your health.
But what exactly will your genetic counselor do? And what questions should you ask? Here are some questions to help you get started.
66 Questions you can ask a genetic counselor:
- What is genetic counseling?
- What is the difference between a genetic counselor and a medical doctor?
- In what ways can genetics affect my health?
- What are my risks for developing certain conditions or diseases?
- How can I find out if I am a carrier for certain conditions or diseases?
- Should I be tested for certain conditions or diseases?
- What are the risks and benefits of genetic testing?
- What are my options if I test positive for a condition or disease?
- Can anything be done to prevent me from passing on a genetic condition or disease to my children?
- What do I need to know about insurance coverage for genetic testing and treatment?
- Are there any support groups available for people with my condition or disease?
- Where can I find more information about my condition or disease?
- How will my family members be affected by my decision to undergo genetic testing?
- How will my decision to have children affect my risks of passing on certain conditions or diseases?
- What are the psychological risks of genetic testing?
- How might learning about my risks change the way I think about myself and my family?
- How will this information affect future generations in my family?
- How do I make sure that only authorized people have access to my test results?
- What should I do if I have more questions after the counseling session is over?
- What are the goals of genetic counseling?
- What is my risk of Inheriting a disorder?
- What are my options for managing my risks?
- What are the risks and benefits of genetic testing?
- How do I prepare for a test?
- How do I interpret my test results?
- How do I find support groups or resources in my community?
- What should I do if I find out I am at risk for a disorder?
- How can I reduce my risk of passing on a disorder to my children?
- What are the ethical considerations of genetic testing?
- What are the psychological implications of learning I am at risk for a disorder?
- Will my test results be kept confidential?
- Who has access to my test results?
- How will this information change how I view myself or my family members?
- What are the implications of sharing this information with extended family members or future generations?
- Is there anything else you think I should know or consider?
- How can I contact you if I have any more questions or need more support?
- What experience do you have with my specific condition?
- How many patients have you seen with my condition?
- What are the chances that my child will inherit this condition from me?
- How can I find out more about this condition?
- Are there any treatments available for this condition?
- What are the risks of this condition?
- What are the chances that my child will be born with this condition?
- Is there anything I can do to lower the risk of my child inheriting this condition from me?
- What are the odds that I will pass this genetic condition on to my children?
- What is a carrier screening test?
- What is a prenatal diagnosis?
- What is the preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)?
- What is amniocentesis?
- What is chorionic villus sampling (CVS)?
- Should I consider having genetic testing?
- How accurate are these tests?
- How much do these tests cost?
- Who will have access to my test results?
- What should I do with my test results?
- What is your success rate for detecting genetic mutations?
- Do you believe that early detection is always better? Why or why not?
- How will my results be used?
- Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to reduce my risk?
- If I test positive for a genetic mutation, will insurance companies be notified? Will this affect my premiums?
- If I have a positive test result, how do I tell my family members? Will they be required to get tested as well?
- How do I find support if I’m struggling to cope with a positive test result?
- Can you refer me to another specialist if necessary? Who should I see if I have questions after my appointment?
- Will my insurance cover the cost of this appointment and/or testing?
- What are your office hours and how do I contact you outside of office hours if needed?
- Do you have any brochures or other materials I can take home with me to read over later?
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a genetic counselor do?
A genetic counselor is a healthcare professional who helps individuals and families understand and adjust to the medical, psychological, and family implications of genetic disorders. They provide information and support before, during, and after testing for a genetic disorder. Genetic counselors also work with doctors to coordinate care for patients with genetic disorders.
Why do I need to see a genetic counselor?
Genetic counselors are important because they can help you understand your genetic risks. They can also help you create a family health history and provide guidance if you have a genetic condition.
Genetic counselors are specially trained healthcare providers who can help people understand their risk for certain hereditary diseases or birth defects. If you are considering genetic counseling, it is important to be prepared with questions so you can get the most out of your session.
These questions are a good starting point for anyone who wants to learn more about their personal risk factors and how they can protect themselves and their family from potential health problems.
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