Certain healthcare providers can help you make decisions about genetic testing based on your health and what you want to learn.
What is a Geneticist
A geneticist is a doctor who studies genes and heredity. Geneticists are interested in:
- How genes work
- Where specific genes are located in your DNA sequence
- How genes contribute to disease
- How diseases run in families
- How we can test for genes that might be harmful and cause disease because they are not functioning the way that they should
Geneticists play an important role in the diagnosis and management of a genetic disorder. They also give information to patients and family members about genetic conditions.
Kinds of Geneticists
In general, geneticists focus on research or seeing patients. Some geneticists do both.
- Meet with and examine patients
- Order appropriate genetic tests
- Diagnose and help manage genetic conditions
- Figure out a family’s risk for genetic conditions
A clinical geneticist can refer you to other medical specialties, if needed. The American Board of Medical Genetics (ABMG) certifies doctors in genetics.
On the other hand, research geneticists focus on research. They perform experiments to learn more about our genes. Then, they think about their results and what they can teach us about genes and disease. Research geneticists also may study the use of genetic technologies.
A research geneticist studies:
- Causes of disease
- How to prevent and treat genetic disease