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What is a genetic counselor?

A genetic counselor is a healthcare professional who is trained in medical genetics and counseling. Typically, genetic counselors have master’s degrees and are certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics or the American Board of Genetic Counseling. Genetic counselors work as members of a healthcare team, providing information and support to women and/or couples who may be at risk for having a child with a variety of conditions.


How can a genetic counselor help me?

Genetic counselors can help people with questions regarding genetic concerns affecting their families. Genetic counselors can help identify potential risks in a current or future pregnancy, give you information about genetic conditions and inheritance patterns, discuss genetic testing options, help you understand genetic test results, and provide support throughout the process.


You may wish to meet with a genetic counselor if you:

  • Have a personal or family history of a genetic condition, birth defect, intellectual disability, miscarriages, or stillbirth.
  • Are planning a future pregnancy or are pregnant and would like to know what testing options are available.
  • Have had an abnormal prenatal test or ultrasound.
  • Have a known genetic mutation in your family.
  • Are concerned after having taken a particular medication or had a specific exposure during pregnancy to a disease or substance that could affect your child.
  • Are of an ethnic background that places you at increased risk for having a child with a genetic condition.


What happens during a genetic counseling visit?

Genetic counseling is provided in-person and will most often involve:

  • Reviewing family, medical, and pregnancy history.
  • Identifying possible genetic risks and discussing inheritance patterns.
  • Discussing risks, concerns, and testing options.
  • Providing genetic-related information and reliable resources.
  • Providing supportive counseling for your needs, beliefs, and decision making


How can I get the most out of a genetic counseling appointment?

A little preparation before your appointment can help you get the most out of your genetic counseling visit:

  • Ask your relatives about medical conditions in the family.
  • Gather any medical records related to your concerns.
  • Bring a list of written questions to your appointment.


You may not be able to get all the details, but the more information you have, the more your genetic counselor can help.



95 Crystal Run Road
Middletown, New York 10941
P: 845.703.6999

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