A genetic consultation is a health service that provides information and support to people who have, or may be at risk for, genetic conditions. 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. Additionally, genetic consultations may be carried out using telemedicine (also known as telehealth), in which the meeting is done from a distance using computers, cameras, videoconferencing tools, or the telephone.