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A Review on Professional non-MD Genetic Counselors for Education and Accreditation in Korea (비의사 전문 유전상담사의 교육 및 자격의 인증을 위한 소고)

  • Kim, Hyon J.;Doh, Seong Tak
    • Korean Journal of Clinical Laboratory Science
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    • v.41 no.3
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    • pp.93-104
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    • 2009
  • This short review was aimed to provide the information for the people who are interested in genetic counselor education and certification system in Korea. A large part of this study is indebted to HJ Kim's articles on the genetic counselor system, the global standards of genetic counseling curriculums, training program accreditation (TPA), and a certification process for genetic counselors (CPGC) in the US and Japan. The US and Japanese educational systems showed a high degree of similarities in curriculum, accreditation, and certification programs. Based upon this review, we hereby propose that the Korean Society for Medical Genetics should take a key role in providing the TPA and CPGC for non-MD genetic counselors. Requirement for the entrance to a Master's degree genetic counseling program should be open to successful four year undergraduate students for all areas, provided the candidates demonstrate the abilities to master the graduate level study in human genetics, statistics, psychology, and other required subjects. Besides accredited program graduates, eligibility for certification should also include the qualified candidates of genetic counseling with no formally approved education, but with a sufficient amount of clinical experience.

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National survey for genetic counseling and demands for professional genetic counselor (유전상담과 전문 유전상담사 수요에 대한 전국적인 조사)

  • Chung, Yoon-Sok;Kim, Sook-Ryung;Choi, Ji-Young;Kim, Hyon-J.
    • Journal of Genetic Medicine
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    • v.4 no.2
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    • pp.167-178
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    • 2007
  • Purpose : The necessity of professional non-MD genetic counselor has been recently emphasized in a medical field. By conducting a national survey on the demands for generic counseling and professional non-MD generic counselor, we can make a long-term master plan to execute the educational program for professional genetic counselors and indeed promote genetic counseling in Korean health care service in a systemic manner. Methods : The survey has been conducted from September 3rd to October 4th of 2007 in a way of e-mail, telephone interview, fax, and direct contacts. It's targets were senior researchers and professors in medical and non-medical institutions, policy makers, research institutions or foundations. The survey questions consist of 16 questionnaires. Results : As a result of survey, 102 of 650 people responded. 80% of respondents indicated that genetic counseling is needed as a health care service and 34% among them considered it as "the most needed". In addition, 77% of the respondents showed that, it is necessary to have a professional non-MD genetic counselor with a master degree or higher in the field of medical genetics and among them 29% thought it as "the most necessary". A 77% of respondents considered that the cost of genetic counseling should be covered by health insurance and among them, 29% answered "strongly agreed". A 56% of respondents chose the answer of "They have a plan to hire the professional non-MD genetic counselor" in their institution, and among them 71% selected "within 5 years" in terms of when to hire. Also, they tend to expect the role of the professional non-MD genetic counselor to be not only "genetic counselor" (60%), but also "researcher" (42%), "educator" (18%) and "clinical laboratory coordinator" (19%). Conclusion : The 102 of 650 people responded to the survey. Based upon the nationwide survey over the needs on genetic counseling in health care service and demands on the professional non-MD genetic counselor, systematic educational program for the genetic counseling, with reimbursement coverage for counseling service by health insurance should be emphasized in development of a master plan.

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Genetic counseling in Korean health care system (유전상담의 제도적인 고찰)

  • Kim, Hyon-J.
    • Journal of Genetic Medicine
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    • v.4 no.1
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    • pp.1-5
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    • 2007
  • Unprecedented amount of genetic information being generated from the result of Human Genome Project (HGP) and advances in genetic research is already forcing changes in the paradigm of health and disease. The ultimate goal of genetic medicine is to use genetic information and technology to develop new ways of treatment or even prevention of the disease on an individual level for 'personalized medicine'. Genetics is play ing an increasingly important role in the diagnosis, monitoring and management of common multifactorial diseases in addition to rare single-gene disorders. While wide range of genetic testing have provided benefits to patients and family, uncertainties surrounding test interpretation, the current lack of available medical options for the diseases, and risks for discrimination and social stigmatization may remain to be resolved. However an increasing number of genetic tests are becoming commercially available, including direct to consumer genetic testing, yet public is often unaw are of their clinical and social implications. The personal nature of information generated by a genetic test, its power to affect major life decisions and family members, and its potential misuse raise important ethical considerations. Therefore appropriate genetic counseling is needed for patient to be informed with the benefits, limitations and risks of genetic tests, prior to informed consent for the tests. Physician also should be familiar with the legal and ethical issues involved in genetic testing to tell patients how w ell a particular genetic risk factor relates with likelihood of disease, and be able to provide appropriate genetic counseling. Genetic counseling become a mandatory requirement as global standard for many genetic testing such as prenatal diagnosis, presymtomatic DNA diagnostic tests and cancer susceptibility gene test for familial cancer syndrome. In oder to meet the challenge of genetic medicine of 21 century in korean health care system, professional education program and certification board for medical genetics specialist including non-MD genetic counselors should be addressed by medical society and regulatory policy of national health insurance reimbursement for genetic counseling to be in place to promote the implementation of clinical genetic service including genetic counseling for proper genetic testing.

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Development of medical genetics training program and certification process for medical geneticist as a specialist in Korea (의학유전학 전문인력 교육프로그램의 개발과 인증에 관한 연구)

  • Yoo, Han-Wook;Hwang, Do-yeong;Ryu, Hyun-Mee;Lee, Hong-Jin;Kim, Hyon-J.
    • Journal of Genetic Medicine
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    • v.4 no.2
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    • pp.142-159
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    • 2007
  • Purpose : This study was undertaken to provide prerequisites for accreditation of medical genetics training program and certification process for medical genetics professionals as clinical specialist and set up guidelines on curriculum of medical genetics training program in Korea. Methods : Six ad hoc committees for clinical geneticist, clinical cytogeneticist, clinical molecular geneticist, clinical biochemical geneticist, medical genetics technologists and genetic counselors were organized for reviewing current status in Korea as well as foreign countries. Each committee is composed of 6-8 members. They summarized their opinions according to the structured questionnaire inquiring the ways of accrediting training program, qualification of program director, trainee requirements, contents of curriculum, duration of training program, certification process, estimation of numbers of each specialist needed in next 5 years in Korea. Results : Both prerequisites for the accreditation of medical geneticist training institutions and qualification of program director are suggested. Candidacy of trainees requires MD with board of medical specialty, or PhD degree with professional experiences in related field except clinical genetics program which only accepts MD with board of medical specialty, and Non-MD genetic counselor and medical technologists with degrees of BS or MS. General duration of fellowship will be 2-3 years depending on the categories they are enrolled into. Contents of curriculum for each speciality training are described. For the certification of each category, the candidacy should submit a log book detailing the cases they experienced during the fellowship, prove that they successfully completed course work and clinical experiences in the accredited program, and pass the written examination. Conclusion : As medical genetics becomes more important in daily routine clinical practice, the accreditation of medical genetics training program and certification of personnel are urgently needed. In this regard, the study will be providing guidelines and prerequisites for accreditation of medical genetics training program and certification process for medical genetics professionals as clinical specialist.

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A Study of Guidelines for Genetic Counseling in Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) (착상전 유전진단을 위한 유전상담 현황과 지침개발을 위한 기초 연구)

  • Kim, Min-Jee;Lee, Hyoung-Song;Kang, Inn-Soo;Jeong, Seon-Yong;Kim, Hyon-J.
    • Journal of Genetic Medicine
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    • v.7 no.2
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    • pp.125-132
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    • 2010
  • Purpose: Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), also known as embryo screening, is a pre-pregnancy technique used to identify genetic defects in embryos created through in vitro fertilization. PGD is considered a means of prenatal diagnosis of genetic abnormalities. PGD is used when one or both genetic parents has a known genetic abnormality; testing is performed on an embryo to determine if it also carries the genetic abnormality. The main advantage of PGD is the avoidance of selective pregnancy termination as it imparts a high likelihood that the baby will be free of the disease under consideration. The application of PGD to genetic practices, reproductive medicine, and genetic counseling is becoming the key component of fertility practice because of the need to develop a custom PGD design for each couple. Materials and Methods: In this study, a survey on the contents of genetic counseling in PGD was carried out via direct contact or e-mail with the patients and specialists who had experienced PGD during the three months from February to April 2010. Results: A total of 91 persons including 60 patients, 49 of whom had a chromosomal disorder and 11 of whom had a single gene disorder, and 31 PGD specialists responded to the survey. Analysis of the survey results revealed that all respondents were well aware of the importance of genetic counseling in all steps of PGD including planning, operation, and follow-up. The patient group responded that the possibility of unexpected results (51.7%), genetic risk assessment and recurrence risk (46.7%), the reproduction options (46.7%), the procedure and limitation of PGD (43.3%) and the information of PGD technology (35.0%) should be included as a genetic counseling information. In detail, 51.7% of patients wanted to be counseled for the possibility of unexpected results and the recurrence risk, while 46.7% wanted to know their reproduction options (46.7%). Approximately 96.7% of specialists replied that a non-M.D. genetic counselor is necessary for effective and systematic genetic counseling in PGD because it is difficult for physicians to offer satisfying information to patients due to lack of counseling time and specific knowledge of the disorders. Conclusions: The information from the survey provides important insight into the overall present situation of genetic counseling for PGD in Korea. The survey results demonstrated that there is a general awareness that genetic counseling is essential for PGD, suggesting that appropriate genetic counseling may play a important role in the success of PGD. The establishment of genetic counseling guidelines for PGD may contribute to better planning and management strategies for PGD.