So You Want to be a Genetic Counselor...
If you’re interested in becoming a genetic counselor, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are some ways to get more information about the profession, graduate programs and life as a GC:
Info on Programs and Admission Requirements
Genetic Counselors in the US obtain a master’s degree from an accredited program. Graduating from an accredited program qualifies you to take the national board exam to become certified, which is usually a requirement for state licensure and employment. For information on what it takes to get in, start here.
You can find a list of accredited graduate programs in the US and Canada here.
The National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) also has a collection of helpful information for prospective students here.
Find a GC to Talk to
Many genetic counselors are happy to talk to prospective students to answer questions by email or phone. Some clinics allow students to come shadow for a day, which can really help you get a feel for what the job entails. You can search for genetic counselors who are open to student contact here.
Podcasts about Genetics & Genetic Counseling
A lot of great content about genetics and genetic counseling is being put out in Podcast form. Here are some to check out:
Patient Stories by Grey Genetics
Blog for Prospective GCs and GC Students
Check out the blogs Maps and Genes and A Caffeinated Genetic Counselor for posts from students on their way to becoming GCs.
Blog posts on Life as a GC
I’ve spent a good amount of time writing about various aspects of genetic counseling. Here are a few of my most relevant posts for students:
What's the Difference between a Clinical Geneticist and a Genetic Counselor?
Genetic Counselor Awareness Day Interviews
A Day in the Life of a Lab Genetic Counselor
Connect on Social Media
Social media can be a great way to connect with the community and find out what’s happening right now. Follow hashtags like #geneticcounselor and #GCchat on twitter and instagram. Following GC programs’ social media accounts is another way to learn about prospective student groups, events, and get a glimpse into life as a GC student. Even if you're located far away from a clinic or program, you can still get involved and connected over the web.