Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 783–796 | Cite as

Are Australasian Genetic Counselors Interested in Private Practice at the Primary Care Level of Health Service?

  • Vrunda Sane
  • Linda Humphreys
  • Madelyn PetersonEmail author
Original Research


This study explored the perceived interest in development of private genetic counseling services in collaboration with primary care physicians in the Australasian setting by online survey of members of the Australasian Society of Genetic Counselors. Four hypothetical private practice models of professional collaboration between genetic counselors and primary care physicians or clinical geneticists were proposed to gauge interest and enthusiasm of ASGC members for this type of professional development. Perceived barriers and facilitators were also evaluated. 78 completed responses were included for analysis. The majority of participants (84.6 %) showed a positive degree of interest and enthusiasm towards potential for clinical work in private practice. All proposed practice models yielded a positive degree of interest from participants. Model 4 (the only model of collaboration with a clinical geneticist rather than primary care physician) was the clearly preferred option (mean = 4.26/5), followed by Model 2 (collaboration with a single primary care practice) (mean = 4.09/5), Model 3 (collaboration with multiple primary care clinics, multidisciplinary clinic or specialty clinic) (mean = 3.77/5) and finally, Model 1 (mean = 3.61/5), which was the most independent model of practice. When participants ranked the options in the order of preference, Model 4 remained the most popular first preference (44.6 %), followed by model 2 (21.6 %), model 3 (18.9 %) and model 1 was again least popular (10.8 %). There was no significant statistical correlation between demographic characteristics (age bracket, years of work experience, current level of work autonomy) and participants’ preference for private practice models. Support from clinical genetics colleagues and the professional society was highly rated as a facilitator and, conversely, lack of such support as a significant barrier.


Professional practice Private practice Professional development Genomic medicine Primary care Family history Risk assessment 



The authors wish to acknowledge Dr Alison McEwen, HGSA Certified Genetic Counsellor Wellington NZ and current ASGC Chair, for advice provided re New Zealand genetic services and health systems.

Disclosure of conflict statement

Vrunda Sane, Linda Humphreys and Madelyn Peterson declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vrunda Sane
    • 1
  • Linda Humphreys
    • 2
  • Madelyn Peterson
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Natural SciencesGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.School of MedicineGriffith UniversityGold CoastAustralia

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