National Society of Genetic Counselors
The National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC), founded and incorporated in 1979, is the largest association of genetic counselors in the world. Its membership includes genetic counselors and other health care professionals working in the field of medical genetics from the United States, Canada, and around the world.
The NSGC's stated Vision is to be the leading voice, authority and advocate for the genetic counseling profession. Its stated Mission is to advance the various roles of genetic counselors in health care by fostering education, research, and public policy to ensure the availability of quality genetic services.
A similar association, the Canadian Association of Genetic Counselors, exists for those genetic counselors who are currently practicing in Canada. Counselors may belong to one or both of the CAGC and NSGC.
The 2010 NSGC Board of Directors consists of the President, President-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer, Secretary/Treasurer-Elect, Immediate Past President, Executive Director, and 7 Directors At Large.
Other leadership roles within the NSGC include the Chair and Vice-Chair positions for the following committees:
- Public Policy
- Access and Service Delivery
Other groups within the NSGC include the Ethics Advisory Group, the Jane Engelberg Memorial Fellowship (JEMF) Advisory Group, and the Audrey Heimler Special Projects Award Committee.
Due to the rapid evolution of the field of medical genetics, with respect to both knowledge and available technology, a commitment to lifelong learning has always been essential to, and valued by, genetic counselors. A primary goal of the NSGC has therefore been to support continuing education for genetic counselors through the provision of Continuing Education Units (CEUs). According to the NSGC CEU Guidelines, one CEU is earned for ten contact hours of participation in organized continuing education/training experience under responsible, qualified direction and instruction. Genetic counselors can earn CEUs in a number of ways, including attending and participating in the NSGC Annual Education Conference or completing reading assignments from the Journal of Genetic Counseling.
The NSGC produces two publications. The Journal of Genetic Counseling, a peer-reviewed journal published bimonthly, is the official journal of the NSGC. The Journal of Genetic Counseling welcomes original research, essays, review articles, and letters from practitioners, researchers, instructors, and students. Perspectives in Genetic Counseling, a quarterly newsletter, welcomes submissions from genetic counselors and students. Perspectives aims to highlight current NSGC news, including actions of the Board of Directors, new legislation relevant to medical genetics, activities of counselors and NSGC committees, and current resources for counselors.
The NSGC Annual Education Conference is held each fall in a U.S. city. In 2009, the meeting was held in Atlanta, GA. The 2010 meeting will be held in Dallas, Texas.
The NSGC also holds Regional Meetings. In 2009, these were held in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Illinois.
NSGC meetings are designed to provide an opportunity for genetic counselors and related medical professionals to learn about advances in genetics, network with other genetics professionals, and obtain CEU credits.
- Fine BA, Greendale K (1998) Professional Development. In: Baker DL, Schuette JS, Uhlmann WR (eds), A Guide to Genetic Counseling. New York: Wiley-Liss, pp. 331-340.
- Rollnick BR (1984) The National Society of Genetic Counselors: An historical perspective. Birth Defects Orig Artic Ser 29(6):3-7.