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King Edward Memorial Hospital

Genetic Services of Western Australia

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Patients and their Families

What is genetic counselling?

Genetic counselling is the provision of information and support regarding genetic disorders, birth defects, health concerns or test results relating to the individual or their family. This may involve the diagnosis of a genetic condition and supportive counselling to assist decision-making and the adjustment process that occurs when a condition is new to a family or individual. Genetic counselling may occur via telephone or by appointment at a genetic clinic.

Genetic counselling is provided by a team of health professionals including genetic counsellors and clinical geneticists:

  • Genetic counsellors are usually graduate health professionals with specialist training in genetics and counselling. They undergo a training process certified by the Human Genetics Society of Australasia (HGSA).
  • Clinical geneticists are medical practitioners with a genetics specialty, also certified by the Human Genetics Society of Australasia (HGSA) and the College of Physicians of Australia, to provide clinical genetics services.

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