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The Past, Present, and Future of Genetic Counseling

Paul Hudson
Paul Hudson
Paul Hudson

On episode 120, Dan Skinner talks with Paul Hudson, President of the Ohio Association of Genetic Counselors. In their conversation, Paul shares his experience as a genetic counselor who did extensive work prenatal counseling, which leads Dan to ask how the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022 has affected genetic counseling in Ohio.

Dan and Paul talk about the lack of diversity in the genetic counseling field, which Paul hopes to address head on during his OAGC presidency. Paul shares several initiatives from the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC), as well as his own association and his goals, around diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion.

The Affordable Care Act did a lot to safeguard against discrimination in health care. When it comes to genetic information, Paul points to progress, but also shortcomings of the the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which became law in 2008. GINA prevents discrimination on the basis of predisposition to a genetic disorder from employers of a certain size and health insurance — but it does not protect against discrimination in life insurance.

Recalling a conversation we used to hear in the media, Dan asks whether the “gay gene” is still something people ask about; in responding, Paul provides more context including the Klinefelter, or XXY, syndrome.

According to the 2022 Professional Status Survey, Ohio has the fifth largest number of genetic counselors in the country, with over 115 certified genetic counselors. Learn more about the Ohio Association of Genetic Counselors at their website.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW: Read Patti Carlyle of Community Solutions’ excellent article about ChatGPT. It’s well worth your time.


  • Paul gives a shout out to the Fetal Care Center at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
  • In talking about the history of genetic counseling, Dan mentions Henrietta Lacks, whose cancer cells are the source of the HeLa cell line
  • The Ohio Association of Garden Clubs is the other OAGC in Ohio. The Association of Genetic Counseling is not threatened at all by them! (And Dan definitely didn’t mean to make a pun when he evoked “seedy” websites…but you’ve gotta admit that it’s not too bad as puns go.)

Hosted and produced by Dan Skinner. Copywriting and production support by Angela Lin. Prognosis Ohio is a member of the WCBE Podcast Experience and the Health Podcast Network. Prognosis Ohio is a production of Prognosis Ohio, LLC.

Dr. Dan Skinner is Associate Professor of Health Policy in the Department of Social Medicine at Ohio University, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, on the Dublin, Ohio campus. He earned his Ph.D. in political science from the City University of New York. Skinner teaches and researches about, as well as advocates for increased access to health care, especially for underserved populations, as well as various aspects of social determinants that affect the health of communities, in Ohio and beyond.