Did you know that each year, millions of people are undergoing genetic testing to learn more about their risks for certain inherited diseases, whether they’re a carrier for certain conditions or if they have a genetic mutation, like BRCA, which could lead to cancer. These tests aren’t meant to scare consumers, rather to provide them with the tools they need to make informed health decisions.

Genetic counsellors are the experts in helping people understand these test results and guiding patients and their health care providers in incorporating and actioning these results in their medical management. Genetic counselling has many benefits, including being sure the right genetic test is ordered to avoid unnecessary costs or inappropriate tests, helping patients understand complex test results and how to use the information, and providing peace of mind for patients fearful about inheriting a disease.

Genetic counsellors are healthcare professionals with advanced training in medical genetics and psychosocial counselling who partner with patients seeking information about inherited conditions affecting them or their families. Genetic counsellors work with patients and their physicians to understand family history, discuss the risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing, interpret results and implications of genetic testing, and help communicate this information to family members.

They practise in a variety of healthcare settings, including but not limited to prenatal, fertility, paediatrics, metabolic, cardiovascular, neurology and cancer care. They can offer education and support to the multidisciplinary team, while providing management advice for both affected patients and the extended at-risk family members. As genomic technologies are implemented across many disciplines within healthcare, genetic counsellors are playing a key role in enabling non-genetic health professionals learn, understand, and integrate genomic data into their practice.

We would be glad to discuss how the team can help you further. Please feel free to reach out to me on Sonika.phulwani@mediclinic.ae