Genetics Organizations

NSGC Resources

Additional Resources

  • We encourage students to try to obtain shadowing experiences with genetic counselors, although we recognize that institutional constraints, access to genetic counselors, and the current pandemic may make that very difficult. Because we do believe it’s valuable for prospective students to observe at least simulated counseling sessions, we recommend viewing the “Master Genetic Counselor” series, created by the National Society of Genetic Counselors. This series contains three videos showing simulated patient encounters and helps give prospective students exposure to clinical genetic counseling practice.
  • Prospective students should also try to complete informational interviews with genetic counselors. Ideally, interviewing a few genetic counselors with different roles will give candidates keen insight into the breadth of careers available. To find genetic counselors who are willing to do these interviews, go to the Search for a Genetic Counselor page and make sure to click the “Student Contact Welcome” box at the bottom.
  • The Global Genetics and Genomics Community (G3C) has an online genomics training opportunity that was developed for non-genetics providers, but may be a useful tool for you to “see” some simulated cases. Each case has a set of short videos followed by a choice of questions to ask the simulated patient.  There are links to learning materials that you can access along the way and when the case is complete, you can also watch a video of a clinical expert providing their assessment.
  • You might want to read and reflect upon some books that illustrate lived experience of individuals and families affected by genetic conditions. Some titles that frequently appear on genetic counseling programs’ summer reading lists for incoming students include:
    • Am I My Genes?  – Robert Klitzman, Oxford University Press, 2012
    • Choosing Naia: A Family’s Journey – Mitchell Zuckoff, Beacon Press, 2003
    • Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic – Martha Beck, Crown, 1998
    • The Power of Two: A Twin Triumph over Cystic Fibrosis – Isabel Stenzel Byrnes & Anabel Stenzel, University of Missouri, 2007
    • Pretty Is What Changes: Impossible Choices, The Breast Cancer Gene, and How I Defied My Destiny – Jessica Queller, Spiegel & Grau, 2008
    • The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down – Ann Fadiman, Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1998
    • The Woman Who Walked into the Sea: Huntington’s and the Making of a Genetic Disease – Alice Wexler, Yale University Press, 2008

Want to contact us directly?

Contact our Program Coordinator Elizabeth Yoder by calling us at 314-273-8552 or emailing us at geneticcounseling@wustl.edu.

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