A genetic consultation is a health service that provides information and support to people who have, or may be at risk for, genetic disorders. During a consultation, a genetics professional meets with an individual or family to discuss genetic risks or to diagnose, confirm, or rule out a genetic condition.
Genetics professionals include medical geneticists (doctors who specialize in genetics) and genetic counselors (certified healthcare workers with experience in medical genetics and counseling). Other healthcare professionals such as nurses, psychologists, and social workers trained in genetics can also provide genetic consultations.
Consultations usually take place in a doctor’s office, hospital, genetics center, or other type of medical center. These meetings are most often in-person visits with individuals or families, but they are occasionally conducted in a group or over the telephone.
For more information about genetic consultations:
MedlinePlus offers a list of links to information about genetic counseling.
Additional background information is provided by the National Genome Research Institute in its Frequently Asked Questions About Genetic Counseling.
An overview of genetic counseling is available from the Wellcome Trust.
The Centre for Genetics Education also offers an introduction to genetic counseling.
GeneTests from the University of Washington provides additional information about genetic consultations.
Next: Why might someone have a genetic consultation?