Genetics and Metabolism Team
The Genetics and Metabolism team is comprised of Medical Geneticists, Genetic Counsellors, Genetic Assistants and clerical staff. Each member plays an important and unique role, working together to ensure excellent patient care.
Medical Geneticists are medical doctors who have completed a five year training program in Medical Genetics through the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or have had equivalent training. Medical Genetics is that branch of medicine concerned with the effect of genetic variation on human development and health and also with the study, diagnosis, management, and prevention of genetic and related disorders in individuals, families and communities. The practice of Medical Genetics is based on an in-depth knowledge of basic genetic principles, knowledge of genetic disease as it affects all body systems and individuals of all ages, and a clear understanding of the principles of genetic counselling.
Genetic Counsellors assist individuals and families in understanding the natural history of birth defects and genetic conditions. They assess the risk of recurrence or occurrence of a condition and discuss inheritance patterns. They determine available testing options, are trained to interpret test results, discuss prevention, medical management and options for prenatal diagnosis. Genetic Counsellors also provide supportive counselling with sensitivity to ethnic, cultural and religious diversity and address potential ethical issues. Their aim is to help patients and families adapt to the psychosocial and familial issues that may arise as a result of a condition and/or family history of a condition.
Genetic Counsellors are Masters trained medical professionals certified by the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors and/or the American Board of Genetic Counseling.
Genetic Assistants are integral members of the Genetics and Metabolism team. They work alongside the medical geneticist and genetic counsellor in a team setting to facilitate patient care. Genetic Assistants ensure open and swift communication to patients, families and other health care professionals and are the liaison between the public and the Genetics and Metabolism program. They facilitate requests for testing, manage patient results and ensure appropriate consultations to other health care professionals on the behalf of the patient.
Genetic Assistants have a Bachelor of Science degree and may have other related degrees including Masters of Science, Education and Counseling.