Genetic Counselor
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
 Cincinnati, OH

DEPARTMENT: Human Genetics




PURPOSE OF POSITION: To provide clinical care, contribute towards clinical research, and/or support clinical laboratory services by using basic genetic counseling skills and competencies. To recognize the need for professional growth and to take appropriate steps toward meeting educational needs.


  • Clinical Role

The genetic counselor should be able to perform case preparation and follow-up which may include obtaining medical records, performing a literature review, making referrals, and other tasks. When working with patients they should be able to: collect and evaluate patient medical history, obtain family history and construct a pedigree using appropriate nomenclature, perform comprehensive genetic risk assessment, explain natural history of diagnosis, explain relevant genetic factors, explain available testing options including risks, benefits, and limitations and facilitate testing. Counselors in the clinical setting will be able to: interpret genetic test results and communicate results to patients, families and healthcare professionals; provide psychosocial assessment and counseling; formulate and implement family-centered case management plan; provide patient resources and literature. It will be important that the counselor appropriately document all patient encounters. Counselors will need to be able provide clinic coordination including triaging referrals, managing clinic flow, and coordinating with multiple specialists. S/He will also be able to recognize the need and consult with clinical geneticists and/or other appropriate physician or healthcare provider as part of patient care.

  • Laboratory Role

The genetic counselor working in the clinical laboratory setting will need to be familiar with tests and the associated disorders provided from the laboratory. His/Her primary roles will include: to act as a liaison for clients of the Laboratories, provide information and technical support on appropriate test use, limits/accuracy, interpretation of results, reporting and/or follow-up of abnormal results. It will be important that the counselor is involved in reporting results, including generating and reviewing reports, calling out/explaining abnormal, preliminary, or stat results, suggestions for appropriate follow-up consultations or testing. The counselor will need to assist clients with logistics of test requests, send out testing to other laboratories, or research testing, as needed. The genetic counselor will provide clinical laboratory support to office staff . Other roles of the counselor should include maintaining clinical databases as needed, participate in developing and presenting/publishing educational materials related to laboratory testing, assisting with the creation and maintenance of Laboratory and product-specific websites, assisting a project manager with new test development activities, and participating in the marketing and business planning for the laboratory.

  • Educational Role

The genetic counselor will have the opportunity to interact and supervise genetic counseling students and other medical trainees. It is expected that the counselor will assist with the design and implementation educational presentations for trainees, healthcare providers, and other members of the community. Opportunities for more in depth teaching, course development, research mentoring, and peer and community education exist, and counselor can take advantage of those if they have interest in expanding their role in education and as their schedule permits.

  • Research Role

The genetic counselor can participate in clinical or laboratory research including (but not limited too) case reports, registry work, clinical trials, recruiting of participants, writing or managing and IRB, and participating in research committees.

  • Continuing Education

The genetic counselor should prepare adequately for board certification exam through job duties and review of appropriate resources. S/He should also pursue continued learning through attending appropriate local lectures, conferences, grand rounds, and/or regional/national meetings. It is expected that the counselor will actively participate in divisional or organizational meetings which may include journal clubs, case conferences, or other meetings.

Skills & Competencies

  • Organization

Strong organizational and project management skills to handle projects independently.

  • Communication - Advanced

Excellent verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills.

  • Genetic Counseling

Thorough knowledge of theories and principles of human genetics, as well as broad knowledge of genetic disease. Proficient in the Core Skills of genetic counselors as outlined by the National Society of Genetic Counselors including Deep and broad knowledge of genetics, Ability to tailor, translate and communicate complex information in a simple, relevant way for a broad range of audiences, Ability to dissect and analyze a complex problem, Research skills, and In-depth knowledge of healthcare delivery. Support of Cincinnati Children's mission statement.


  • Master Genetic Counseling OR equivalent
  • Certification by the American Board of Medical Genetics OR Certification by the American Board of Genetic Counseling OR eligible for certification