Goals for Module 1
Module 1 is designed to give you an in-depth look at genetic counseling. Perfect for those who are investigating the field as a possible career and for those who already know this is the path they wish to pursue.
When you complete Module 1, you should have a clear understanding if GC is right for you. If it isn't, that's great, too! It's far better to know now than halfway through school.
Total video time: Over 4 hours
Module 1 Course Content
An Overview of the Field of Genetic Counseling
Orient yourself to the field. We discuss in general terms what genetic counselors do, who we are as a group, where we work, and how much we earn.
How to Become a Genetic Counselor
We walk through the steps from finding out genetic counseling is a profession to getting your prerequisites then on to acceptance into a program, coursework, and finding a job.
Managing your Personal Code of Ethics
Counselors must be able to support any patient in their medical decisions. Some people may not feel comfortable doing that, so in this video, we discuss termination of pregnancy, IVF with PGT, working with the LGBTQIA+ community, and CRISPR/Gene Therapy to help you begin to evaluate if your personal ethics system is compatible with being a genetic counselor.
Diversity in the Field
We dive into the problem of the lack of diversity within genetic counseling. We look at data from counselors of racial minorities, different gender identities/sexual orientations, and with disabilities to explore their satisfaction within the profession of GC and with their work.
Health Insurance in the United States
Medical insurance is a massive headache. You'll fight with it most of your career. Here we talk about how the US health insurance system works, how patients get their coverage, and how counselors typically engage with insurance providers during the genetic testing process.
We take a detailed look at various specialties within genetic counseling to provide you with information about your potential day-to-day as a counselor. We review prenatal, cancer, pediatrics, adult genetics, reproductive genetics, administration, research, and lab counseling.
Vocabulary of a Genetic Counselor
We discuss common terms and concepts central to the practice of genetic counseling.
Draw Your Family History
A fun little exercise in learning to draw a basic pedigree.
Goals for Module 2
Module 2 is all about getting you ready to be the most appealing applicant possible. Let's get you accepted! The whole process of application can be very intimidating, so we break it down piece by piece.
We'll make sure that your application documents are competitive, that you know how to nail those interviews, and how to make sure you're applying to schools where you can thrive!
If you know genetic counseling is your future and you're ready to get serious about making that plan a reality, Module 2 is where we hit the ground running.
Total video time: 2.75 hours
Module 2 Course Content
Things to Consider when Applying (How to Select Schools)
You have 50+ programs to choose from in North America and while we just want to get you a seat, there will be some programs that will be a better fit for you. In this video, we breakdown different criteria you may want to consider about a school (and yourself) when deciding where to apply.
The Match Explained
We'll talk about the Match system used to put applicants into program seats, why this system is used, and what to do if you don't match.
CV Like a Boss
Your CV and Letters of Recommendation are extremely important supporting documents for your application. In this video, we discuss how to organize your CV to the greatest effect and how to make sure that your Letters truly are recommending you as an excellent applicant.
Writing a Compelling Statement of Purpose
A compelling essay is crucial in catching the eye of the program and getting you an interview invitation, but it can be so hard to know where to start! In this video, we will brainstorm your character traits, experiences, and values so that you can select an angle of attack for this essay. Plan on spending a good amount of time in this brainstorming process!
Make the Most of Your Interviews
Spots in a program are won and lost on interview days. We'll make sure you know what to expect so that you can be on point and really advocate for yourself to admissions.
International Student Affairs
International students planning to attend a North American program have additional considerations...your VISA, your future job, and of course culture shock. We'll talk about what you need to know as you plan for your advanced degree. Even applicants who are American can benefit from this video so they know how to support international classmates.
The crisis counseling and shadowing experiences are prerequisites for all programs, but what are you supposed to get out of it? We'll talk about how to find these experiences, what you should be learning in the process, and how to leverage this experience to the best effect during the application process.
Goals for Counselor Interviews
Any one genetic counselor's career path can look extremely different than another's. It's one thing to hear a certain specialty described or read a short synopsis, but totally another to speak to a counselor actually practicing.
In these interviews, we sit down with counselors of many different specialties and talk about their work, their experiences as a counselor, and their accomplishments. The goal of these interviews is to flesh out what you can do in the course of your career and help you figure out where you might be comfortable in the field.
Additionally, many applicants struggle to find shadowing experience or counselors to interview, so watching interviews like these can help you meet that prerequisite.
A special thank you to the many counselors who participated in these interviews!
Total video time: ~11 hours
We discuss Bob's illustrious career in prenatal and cancer genetic counseling as well as his experience of being one of the first male counselors in a female-dominated profession.
We talk to my friend Lauren about prenatal counseling, providing that counseling while managing her own fertility and pregnancy journey, and finding a balance between her career and motherhood.
Susan and I discuss her role in Utilization Management within a hospital's lab system and how she decided that a non-direct care role was best for her.
Janice is the director of Bay Path University GC program, a completely remote degree. We talk about how she came to be a director, what makes an applicant special, and the differences with a totally remote program.
We discuss Matt's role as a laboratory genetic counselor, his experiences volunteering with NSGC, and his entrepreneurial endeavors using his counseling degree.
We talk about Janelle's career path through multiple clinics and labs, eventually landing her in her current position of assistant program director. Janelle is one of the very few underrepresented race counselors in program administration.
Cassidi is the manager of a team of genetic counselors for a large healthcare system. We talk about her role in supporting that team, patient outreach, and using her degree to improve counseling access.
We discuss Shayna's role as a pediatric genetic counselor and her specialty of Neurofibromatosis.
Liann and I meet just a short while after her graduation. We discuss her experience applying and going through school as a queer counselor of color and her capstone project to develop a patient education video on Sickle Cell Anemia.
Nathan and I have an ADHD chat about how this condition has affected our work experience, the various skills he's developed during the course of his career, and his role in finding cancer's weakness.
We talk about Ana's experience in cancer genetics and her take, as Latina, on the issues of race and diversity within the field of genetic counseling.