Access to Genetic Counselors in the Southern United States.

Published online

Journal Article

The expansion of genetic and genomic testing across medical specialties and the changing workforce demographics of certified genetic counselors (CGCs) have led to concerns of a workforce shortage. We assessed the number of genetic counselors working in the Southern United States-a rural and medically underserved region-using various online and professional resources. We identified 683 practicing genetic counselors across the Southern U.S. and 160 specializing in prenatal genetics. CGCs were concentrated in urban areas; counties with a CGC had a significantly higher proportion of minority residents and median household income than counties without a CGC. There is an average of 2.97 prenatal CGCs per 5000 high-risk births in the South. Alternative delivery models are needed to increase access to counseling services in the Southern U.S., particularly for low income households and those of high risk pregnancies. Increased provider education and patient educational materials can help facilitate informed decision-making in prenatal settings as genetic technologies gain a stronger foothold and bring value to medical practice.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Villegas, C; Haga, SB

Published Date

  • July 1, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 3

PubMed ID

  • 31266141

Pubmed Central ID

  • 31266141

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2075-4426

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3390/jpm9030033


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Switzerland