Genetic counselors (GCs) are healthcare professionals with specialized education in genetics and counseling. GCs support patients who may need to make decisions about their genetic health. Today there are more than 4,000 certified GCs in the United States.
I’m one of them. I’ve been a genetic counselor since 2010. When I first imagined myself as a GC, I saw myself working face-to-face with patients in a hospital or clinic. Instead there’s been an explosion in the variety of opportunities available to genetic counselors, and I’ve been able to work in settings ranging from in-hospital to virtual telemedicine to my current role at Color, a personal health service that provides affordable and accessible genetic testing.
Clearly at some point the secret got out that genetic counselors are some of the most awesome people on the planet. Okay, maybe I’m biased, but over the years I’ve come to see that GCs really are some of the most compassionate and patient-oriented healthcare providers around. Every year I go to the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) conference and am astounded by the innovative things my colleagues are doing, and I expect this year’s event in Columbus, Ohio to be no different: I’ll walk away feeling excited and inspired by my colleagues, and more satisfied than ever with my chosen profession.
At Color I’m part of a team that helps patients get access to potentially life-saving information. We’re dedicated to making sure everyone has access not only to affordable genetic testing, but also to experts who can help them understand their results and plan their next steps with their healthcare provider.
That collaboration is at the heart of genetic counseling. Our profession has the potential to save people’s lives, reduce healthcare costs and advance our scientific understanding of genetics and medicine. My colleagues and I want to acknowledge and thank every genetic counselor for their important work.
And we’re growing our genetic counseling team at Color. Let us know if you’re interested!