ISONG Asian / Far East Region
Regional Ambassador - Japan
Michiko Mizoguchi, PN, Ph.D
The progress has been made in genome research and cytogenetic studies, such as the identification of responsible gene mutations, the discovery of onset mechanisms and the development of remedies. In this manner, genetic tests/ diagnoses have become one of the most important medical practices for physicians of all specialties. Meanwhile, special attention needs to be taken in handling genetic information.
The Japanese Association of Medical Sciences (JAMS) states that genetic counseling should be performed at an appropriate time when necessary. Also they mentioned genetic counseling is not only to provide information, but also to take psychological and social support into account so that the patient/client can autonomously make a decision. Therefore, it is desirable that the attending doctor with clinical experience of the disease cooperates with experts in genetic counseling, and they collaborate and practice as a multidisciplinary team.
In 2002, the system of Clinical Geneticists began. In 2005, the system of Certified Genetic Counselors (Non-physician) was established. There are 1301 Clinical Geneticists and 205 Certified Genetic Counselors qualified by the Japan Society of Human Genetics and Japanese Society for Genetic Counseling (2017). Almost 70% of genetic counselors are working at medical institutions. Nationwide meetings of Department of medical genetics have held since 2003 and 114 medical institutions which have a Department of medical genetics are registered. However, genetic counseling is not a treatment covered by public health insurance.
The Japanese Association of Medical Sciences (JAMS), Guidelines for genetic tests and diagnoses in medical practice (2011)
URL: http://jams.med.or.jp/guideline/genetics-diagnosis_e.pdf [Cited 1 Jun 2017]
Japanese Society for Genetic Counseling website
URL: http://www.jsgc.jp/index.html [Cited 1 Jun 2017]