Genetic Counseling for When Unexpected Genetic Test Results Arise
My greatest fulfillment as a genetic counselor comes from helping people who are confused by or have gotten an unexpected shock from the results of at-home DNA testing. For example, I’ve helped people who found an unexpected half-sibling after sending a test to Ancestry.com. And I've aided others who have been worried about their chances of Alzheimer’s disease after finding out they carry a genetic risk factor.
I’m a genetic counselor who founded a private practice, Watershed DNA, in 2016. My own involvement as a consumer of personal genomics shaped my vision on the use and value of DNA testing from one person to the next. By becoming a part of the genealogy community actively pursuing DNA tests for purposes other than health (ethnicity, genealogy, etc.), I discovered a new role for genetic counselors and a perspective of DNA as an important component to the way people form personal identity as well as having importance for health implications.
In addition to my private practice, I also participate part-time in a medical genetic counseling network, Genome Medical. I find it rewarding to be part of the team at Genome Medical. It helps me remain connected to the medical genetics world and benefit from the sharing of knowledge and experience that comes with being part of a group of genetic counselors.
As a group, genetic counselors have a common set of foundational skills but have branched out to apply those skills in a diversity of roles and niches. I joined the NSGC Gene Pool, NSGC’s Digital Ambassador program, because I wanted to see NSGC continue to grow and wished to offer my perspective from one of the many different paths genetic counselors can take to share our unique skills and passions for contributing to the greater good.
I’ve been an active member and volunteer with the National Society of Genetic Counselors for more than 13 years, and I’ve seen from the inside-out how the NSGC works to support genetic counselors with a central drive to provide the best care possible to patients and clients.
NSGC is the leading voice for genetic counselors, and I’m pleased to be contributing as a member of the NSGC Gene Pool to help spread the message.
Learn more about Brianne and the rest of our Digital Ambassadors here.