Genetic counseling globally: Where are we now?

Anna was a co-author on this commentary piece for the American Journal of Medical Genetics
25th March 2018

Abstract

The genetic counseling profession is continuing to develop globally, with countries in various stages of development. In some, the profession has been in existence for decades and is increasingly recognized as an important provider of allied health, while in others it is just beginning. In this article, we describe the current global landscape of the genetic counseling specialty field's professional development. Using examples of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and various countries in Asia, we highlight the following: (a) status of genetic counseling training programs, (b) availability of credentialing through government and professional bodies (certification, registration, and licensure), and potential for international reciprocity, (c) scope of clinical practice, and (d) health‐care system disparities and cultural differences impacting on practice. The successful global implementation of precision medicine will require both an increased awareness of the importance of the profession of “genetic counselor” and flexibility in how genetic counselors are incorporated into each country's health‐care market. In turn, this will require more collaboration within and across nations, along with continuing engagement of existing genetic counseling professional societies.

Citation:

Ormond KE, Laurino MY, Barlow‐Stewart K... Middleton A (2018) Genetic counseling globally: Where are we now? American Journal of Medical Genetics (Special Issue: Genetic Counseling in the Era of Precision Medicine), vol. 178, issue 1, pp 98-107, March