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FSU_Genetic_Counseling.ppt FSU_Genetic_Counseling.ppt Presentation Transcript

  • GENETIC COUNSELING Careers in Psychology Florida State University 02 April 2009 Kimberly Guthrie, MS
  • SUMMARY
    • What does a genetic counselor do?
    • What are the demographics of a genetic counselor?
    • How does one become a genetic counselor?
    • Where can I find more information about pursuing a career in genetic counseling?
  • WHO ARE GENETIC COUNSELORS?
    • Genetic counselors are health professionals with specialized graduate degrees and experience in the areas of medical genetics and counseling.
    • Most enter the field from a variety of disciplines, including biology, genetics, nursing, psychology, public health and social work. (NSGC 1983)
  • WHAT DO GENETIC COUNSELORS DO?
    • Provide information and support to families who have members with birth defects or genetic disorders and to families who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions.
    • Identify families at risk, investigate the problem present, interpret information about the disorder, analyze inheritance patterns and risks of recurrence and review available options with the family.
  • SPECIALTIES
    • The majority of genetic counselors practice in the following areas of specialty:
      • Prenatal
      • Pediatric
      • Cancer Genetics
  • PRENATAL GC EXAMPLE
    • Ms. Roberts is a 28 year old woman. She is 17 weeks pregnant and this is her first pregnancy. She has a routine blood test at her OB’s office. She is told that it screens for Down syndrome and some other conditions. A week after the test ,she receives a call from the nurse saying she came back “screen positive” for trisomy 18. The nurse tells her the chance her baby has trisomy 18 is 1 in 100. She is referred to a genetic counselor.
  • ROLE OF PRENATAL GC
    • Review results of screening test
    • Obtain pregnancy and family history
    • Explain the cause and features of trisomy 18
    • Discuss further testing options
    • Facilitate decision making
    • Follow-up with further testing results
    • Use counseling skills to help patient cope with test results
  • PEDIATRIC GC EXAMPLE
    • Emily is a 2 year old girl who was born with profound hearing loss. She is the only individual in her family with hearing loss. She was recently evaluated by an ENT to consider cochlear implants. The ENT recommended that she have a Genetics evaluation to understand the cause of her hearing loss.
  • ROLE OF PEDIATRIC GC
    • Work closely with a medical geneticist
    • Review medical records
    • Obtain pregnancy, medical and family history
    • Discuss known causes of hearing loss
    • Discuss testing options
    • Coordinate testing
    • Counsel regarding test results and recurrence risk
    • Provide written information
    • Identify appropriate community resources
  • CANCER GC EXAMPLE
    • Mary is a 48 year old woman who is referred to a genetic counselor because her sister was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 52. Her father and paternal grandmother were also diagnosed with breast cancer at ages 58 and 45 respectively. Mary tells you her sister has a mutation in the BRCA2 gene.
  • ROLE OF CANCER GC
    • Obtain medical records and relative’s test results as appropriate
    • Obtain family and medical history
    • Pedigree analysis
    • Discuss features and genetics of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer
    • Discuss risks and benefits of genetic testing
    • Review cancer risks and options for risk reduction
    • Arrange for testing if desired and follow-up counseling
  • WHERE DO GCS WORK?
    • Majority of genetic counselors
    • work at:
      • University medical centers
      • Private or public hospitals
    • Some genetic counselors:
      • Work in laboratories
      • Coordinate research studies
      • Are employed by the state
      • Work in private industry
  • WHERE ARE GC JOBS LOCATED? NSGC 2008 Professional Status Survey
  • SALARY NSGC 2008 Professional Status Survey
  • GRADUATE PROGRAMS www.abgc.net
  • UNDERGRADUATE COURSEWORK
    • Each program has its own requirements
      • Check multiple program web sites for more information
    • Prerequisite coursework typically includes:
      • One year of general biology
      • One year of general chemistry
      • One semester of biochemistry
      • One semester of genetics
      • One semester of statistics
    In general, successful applicants have a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • ADDITIONAL APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
    • Volunteer experience
      • Crisis counseling hotlines and Planned Parenthood
      • Experience working with individuals with special needs
    • Shadow a genetic counselor
      • NSGC – Find a counselor (www.nsgc.org)
    • GRE
      • GRE scores at and above 70 th percentile range are considered competitive
      • Some programs require GRE specialty exams as well
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Personal statement
  • APPLICATION PROCESS
    • December/January
      • Submit complete application and supporting documentation
    • March/April
      • Interviews
    • May
      • Decision time
  • GRADUATE SCHOOL
    • Graduate coursework
    • Clinical Internships
    • Thesis
  • RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION
    • American Board of Genetic Counseling
      • www.abgc.net
      • Accredits genetic counseling training programs and administers certification for genetic counselors
      • Has links to all training program websites
    • National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC)
      • www.nsgc.org
      • Professional Society
      • Has information on how to find a GC near you
      • Has information about genetic counseling as a career
  • QUESTIONS?
    • Email: [email_address]