The Leading Voice for Genetic Counselors
The National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) promotes the professional interests of genetic counselors and provides a network for professional communications. Access to continuing education opportunities, professional resources, advocacy and the discussion of all issues relevant to human genetics and the genetic counseling profession are an integral part of belonging to the NSGC.
- Mission: The National Society of Genetic Counselors advances the various roles of genetic counselors in health care by fostering education, research, and public policy to ensure the availability of quality genetic services.
- Vision: Integrating genetics and genomics to improve health for all.
View the 2019 - 2021 NSGC Strategic Plan.
Our Statement of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
A guiding principle of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) is to integrate genetics and genomics to improve healthcare. As a society, we can only meet this goal by promoting the active participation and leadership of people with diverse identities, perspectives, and backgrounds. Starting within our organization and extending into the larger healthcare system, we seek to empower our members to advocate for themselves, each other, and the diverse people we strive to serve.
History and Responsibility
We know that a diverse and inclusive organization does not build itself, but must be created through sustained effort by leadership, staff, and each individual member. We acknowledge the history of genetic differences being used and misused to justify stark injustices and reinforce social inequalities. Within the membership and leadership of NSGC, we do not yet have adequate representation or inclusion of minority identities, a disparity that has influenced our policies and services. We are responsible for learning from the past in order to pursue equity in our profession.
Advocates for Underrepresented People
NSGC advocates for the wellbeing of all genetic counselors – present and future - and those who are served by these professionals. We recognize that individuals with underrepresented characteristics and identities face logistical, social, and historical pressures that impact their professional and personal lives. These characteristics include, but are not limited to; age, race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, country of origin, culture, language, religion, spiritual beliefs, legal status, health history, and disability. Furthermore, the various characteristics of an individual interact to inform their experiences and perspectives. We strive for a culture of equity that addresses these pressures so that diverse perspectives are respected and empowered in our organization.
Commitment to an Inclusive Future
As professionals working at the forefront of clinical genetics, we are witnessing an era of rapid advancements. We recognize the duty to use our skills and knowledge for the benefit of all people so that disparities in healthcare are not compounded by the power of genetics. The skills of genetic counselors are exactly those needed to promote a diverse and inclusive organization: empathy, tailored communication, problem solving, advocacy, and the ability to support people of all backgrounds through important moments in their lives. We acknowledge the need to extend the same types of support we are trained to provide to patients and clients to ourselves and our colleagues.
We know that over 98% of human genetic sequence is identical and our shared humanity unites us. Each of us has the need to feel respected, supported, and that we have a place where we can participate in a meaningful way. We also know that each person’s unique perspective gives them power to contribute to the greater good. NSGC commits to valuing those differences.
In 1971 the first class of master's degree genetic counselors graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. Genetic counselors rapidly became an integral member of the genetics team because of the profession's unique knowledge and skills in counseling and human genetics.
Growth and development within the profession and the recognition of a unique identity provided the impetus for the formation of a responsive professional society. To that end, the National Society of Genetic Counselors was incorporated in 1979.
Click here to view a timeline of the genetic counseling profession developed by the NSGC Late Career Special Interest Group (SIG).