Evolving Roles of Genetic Counselors in the Clinical Laboratory

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2020 Oct 1;10(10):a036574. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a036574.


Genetic counselors (GCs) possess several core competencies that provide direct benefit in the clinical laboratory setting. Communication with clients about complex information such as test methodology or results and the skills of facilitation and translation of complex information were recognized as important skills early in the establishment of GCs in laboratories. The clinical expertise of GCs serves as the background and experience from which they facilitate complex laboratory cases. Early roles for GCs in the laboratory also included result reporting, case management, and test development. The scope of roles has broadened to include management, business development, education, telemedicine, research, and variant interpretation. With increasing value being placed on genetic counseling skills both in and outside of a clinical laboratory, the roles and positions of GCs will likely continue to expand.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Genetic Counseling / methods*
  • Humans
  • Laboratories / organization & administration*
  • Professional Role
  • Professional-Patient Relations