Genetic services, like genetic counseling and genetic testing, are tools used to diagnose and advise individuals at risk for having genetic conditions. Patient education and shared-decision making plays a significant role in any genetic service.
Genetic specialists are trained to give patients the context needed for informed consent and help with family communication. People with family members who have genetic conditions are often at risk of developing the condition themselves and may be appropriate for genetic services themselves.
Genetic services should be provided by a genetics specialist, who has specialized education in genetics and counseling, such as:
- Medical Geneticist (M.D.), Board Certified or Active Candidate Status from the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics.
- Clinical Geneticist (Ph.D.), Board Certified or Active Candidate Status from the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics.
- Genetic Counselor (MS, CGC), Board Certified or Active Candidate Status from the American Board of Genetic Counseling or Board Certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics; or
- Advance Practice Nurse in Genetics (APNG), Credential from the Genetic Nursing Credentialing Commission
The typical genetics consultation includes risk assessment, patient education, facilitation of testing, results disclosure, and other information tailored to patient needs. The patient usually returns to the referring provider with a summary report and recommendations for implementing a management plan.
Many genetic resources are available for individuals and families in Oregon. For information for individuals impacted by genetic conditions, see Public Resources.