Genetic Counseling Case Management Practicum

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Year

This second-year practicum trains graduate students in genetic counseling case management and psychosocial counseling. Behind two-way mirrors, students elicit the emotional and psychosocial needs of a client, couple, or family seeking genetic counseling for any of a variety of hereditary disorders. The practicum provides students the chance to work with the client(s) in an atmosphere where taking risks and trying different approaches is encouraged. Students further practice the choice of vocabulary to explain complex genetic phenomena to clients who may have no formal training in the sciences. In January of the second year, each student prepares an oral presentation on a randomly selected, clinical, genetic counseling case. The oral presentation is made before a panel of clinical geneticists, genetic counselors, and faculty of the Human Genetics program. During the presentation, the student is expected to detail the genetic, medical, and psychological issues surrounding the case, to describe in full her or his case management, and to elicit the psychosocial needs of the client(s). The objective of the exercise is to assess the student’s ability in case management and integration from initial referral to follow-up, including research, psychosocial assessment, counseling issues, and support services. It serves to identify the areas in which the student needs to focus during the last academic semester and clinical rotations.