Thanks to Bertalan over at Science Roll for pointing out a new blog/website called Genetics Counselor. This website has some interesting YouTube videos on it today. I tried to access the "blog" but was forbidden. I have to caution you all......Do not trust health care info unless the website is at least HONcode certified. I have no clue who writes for this site, their credentials, or their aims. That being said, the issues brought up in the video are REAL. I am most opposed to DTC because of these precise problems, including the lack of human contact while "phone" counseling. Another issue is the difference between counselors and geneticists.
The genetic counselor is different than the Geneticist is several ways.
- Geneticists have Medical Doctorate, Genetic counselors have an MS usually in a genetic field.
- Geneticists have taken pharmacology, microbiology, human anatomy, histology, pathology and several other medical school courses that counselors have not.
- Genetic counselors counsel patients but can order tests and give health care guidance ONLY under the care of a physician. (sometimes reasonably so, sometimes not)
- Counselors have a log book of 50 cases seen. To sit as a Geneticist you have 150 cases, 2 years of residency (at minimum) and 2 years of Genetics Fellowship (At minimum)
- Neither field is BETTER. We are just DIFFERENT from each other.
The Gene Sherpa Says: There are great counselors out there and there are also some bad ones please ask to also speak with the geneticist or physician if you feel uncomfortable with the counselor. Personally, I have the best Genomic Counselor in the world working with me. She is brilliant, talented and looking to move Personalized Medicine to the public.