Since the beginning of September, the Genetic Counselling Unit of the National Center of Genetics welcomes Pauline Dacremont-Rodriguez, a Master 2 student in Genetic Counselling at the University of Aix-Marseille, into its team. This Master’s programme is one of the only ones in Europe allowing her to work as a genetic counsellor.
It is not so common for a new profession to appear in the field of medicine. Indeed, the development of needs in medical genetics has very quickly saturated consultations. Particularly in the field of oncogenetics or prenatal diagnosis, where requests are becoming more and more numerous, where techniques are evolving and where issues such as decisions must be patiently explained.
This is where the role of the genetic counsellor has proved to be indispensable, because it is up to him or her to fully assume, with renewed attention to each person, the transition from science to human beings, from the technical developments to everyday life.
The genetic counsellor receives patients or their families concerned by a genetic condition, whether they are affected by it or are likely to be affected or to transmit it. He or she provides appropriate information to enable them to make informed decisions and accompany them on their journey of care. Its activity is carried out under the responsibility of a genetic doctor and on medical prescription.
Knowledge, availability, patience and pedagogy are the qualities required to practise this profession. He is an attentive collaborator within teams where everyone brings their own skills.
This profession has established itself in most medical genetics departments in European and Anglo-Saxon countries. The NCG also has a genetic counsellor within its clinical genetics unit since 2018, making it the only possible training ground here in Luxembourg for students studying genetic counselling.
Pauline thus participates actively in the service’s genetic consultations and multidisciplinary meetings with the various geneticists and counsellors. She will also do her Master’s thesis work on the oncogenetic activity within the unit.