- Collect your family health history.
- Gather your medical records, and, if possible, relevant medical records of family members who have a genetic condition.
- Gather the results of any genetic tests you or your family members have had.
- Write a list of your questions and concerns before the meeting.
- Consider asking your spouse, relative, or a friend to join you for the visit, to help support you and remember the information provided.
Your genetic counselor will likely ask you questions about your medical history and your family history. It can be helpful to talk with your relatives about your family history before your appointment. You may also benefit from writing down a list of any questions you may have for your genetic counselor. Preparing for your appointment in advance will help you get the most out of your visit.
Being prepared will help you get the most out of a genetic counseling visit. Before your visit, be sure to do the following:
- Talk to your family members to collect your family health history, asking about medical conditions among your siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, children and grandchildren. Don’t forget to include your own health history.
- Gather your medical records, and, if possible, the medical records of family members who are affected by a genetic condition.
- Bring the results of any genetic tests you have previously had, as well as the results of genetic tests your family members have had.
- Write a list of your questions and concerns before the meeting, and bring a notebook and pen to the meeting to jot down the information the genetic counselor provides.
- Call your insurance company to ask if the genetic counseling visit will be covered. Also ask if genetic testing is covered and if so, under what circumstances.
- Ask your spouse or a relative or friend to join you for the visit, to help support you and remember the information provided.
Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare. Start collecting information several weeks before your appointment.