Human Genetics Fieldwork
Through on-site training provided by genetic counselors certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling, students learn to integrate medical genetic knowledge with patient care. Conferences with supervisors focus on the fieldwork to assure continuous acquisition of genetic counseling skills. The 1,000-hour (19 credits) fieldwork requirement begins in the first semester, continues through much of the summer between the first and second academic years, and, for most candidates, concludes at the completion of the fourth academic semester. The program director may require additional fieldwork in the second summer for a candidate whose genetic counseling and clinical performance has not yet warranted receipt of the MS degree.
19 credits of fieldwork (1,000 hours) for which tuition is not charged:
- First-year disability awareness rotation – 1 credit (50 hours)
- First-year fieldwork – 3 credits (150 hours) (2 rotations of 75 hours each)
- Summer clinical rotation – 6 credits (320 hours)
- Second-year clinical rotations – 9 credits (480 hours)
In the first year, students are placed in 19 weeks of clinical work and 10 weeks in group homes for individuals living with disabilities through the Richmond Community Services. Students interested in research or laboratory skills are placed at sites with established research/laboratory scientists at New York medical schools. During the summer internship, students complete at least 40 days of training at an ABGC-certified clinical genetic service that is either formally affiliated with Sarah Lawrence’s training program or at sites outside the New York metropolis. In the second year, students spend their fieldwork time in supervised clinical rotations at three different genetic counseling clinics. The sites, all approved by the American Board of Genetic Counseling, give students a variety of clinical experiences and environments, including large urban departments, small satellite clinics, and pediatric, prenatal, and specialty clinics serving diverse populations.
A continuous goal for the Sarah Lawrence College Marks Graduate Program in Human Genetics is to promote and pilot clinical genetics research. Any student in the program has an opportunity to take part in clinical research studies in the New York metropolitan area as part of their clinical fieldwork. Students have participated in research on topics such as obesity, prenatal screening in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy, Huntington’s disease, cardiovascular conditions and Alzheimer’s disease.