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Judith L Miller, MS, LGC April 2010.  Explosion of scientific knowledge ◦ The “Age of Biology” ◦ Sophisticated and complex medical diagnostics and treatments.

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Presentation on theme: "Judith L Miller, MS, LGC April 2010.  Explosion of scientific knowledge ◦ The “Age of Biology” ◦ Sophisticated and complex medical diagnostics and treatments."— Presentation transcript:

1 Judith L Miller, MS, LGC April 2010

2  Explosion of scientific knowledge ◦ The “Age of Biology” ◦ Sophisticated and complex medical diagnostics and treatments  Result: increased need for expertly trained health care personnel  Trends today in medical care ◦ Increasing costs ◦ Treatment of patients in ambulatory facilities ◦ Need for most efficacious and least costly care

3  Health professionals other than physicians ◦ 200 different careers ◦ 80 different professions  Expertly trained in specialized area ◦ Can provide excellent care (advice, help) ◦ Cost less than care provided by an MD

4  Two broad categories: ◦ Technicians and Assistants  Typically only up to 2 years education  Supervision required ◦ **Therapists and Technologists  Require graduate education

5  Job descriptions are quite specialized  Practitioners are highly trained and considered experts in their field  Work in the AHP: ◦ Typically, involves direct or indirect patient care ◦ After time (after the person gains and demonstrates expertise) non-traditional jobs are often possible.

6  Exercise Science (athletic trainer, kinesiologist)  Cytotechnology  Dietetics  Nuclear Medicine Technology  Speech-Language pathology  Genetic Counselor  Radiologic technologist  Surgical technologist  Physical Therapy

7 “Helping individuals and families understand how genetics affects their health and lives.”

8  Health professionals with ◦ Specialized graduate degrees ◦ Knowledge of medical genetics ◦ Counseling skills ◦ Expertise in genetic testing

9  Medical or Clinical Geneticist ◦ MD, Primary care residency plus fellowship or residency in Genetics ◦ Medical Genetics – a Medical Specialty ◦ Diagnose and Treat  PhD Geneticist ◦ Research  Genetic Counselor ◦ MS degree ◦ Work with patients, consult, order and interpret genetic tests

10  Provide information and support to families who have members with birth defects or genetic disorders, and to families who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions  Investigate the disorder or condition, interpret test results and information about the disorder, analyze inheritance patterns and risks of recurrence, and review available options with the family

11 Serve as patient advocates Serve as educators and as a resource for other health care professionals for the general public

12  Prenatal/Preconception ◦ Work with pregnant women, couples planning a pregnancy, couples at risk for having a baby with a genetic condition  Pediatric ◦ Help parents, families, children, teenagers who have, or are at risk for, genetic conditions such as sickle cell disease, deafness, mental retardation, birth defects

13  Adult ◦ Counsel people with medical and genetic conditions, or a family history of a condition such as cancer, Huntington disease, Alzheimer disease  Cancer Genetics

14  Clinics, hospitals, doctor’s practices  Academic centers  Independent practice

15  Public Health ◦ Raise awareness of genetics ◦ Improve access to services ◦ Outreach services ◦ Determine public policy  Education ◦ Teach in genetic counseling programs, selected programs in colleges and universities  Research ◦ Serve as liaison between research lab and patients ◦ Explore unanswered questions in genetic counseling

16  Consulting ◦ Private Practice  Have increased autonomy and flexibility ◦ Internet Companies (Direct to Consumer counseling and testing)  Develop online products related to genetics ◦ Pharmaceuticals  Act as corporate resource for genetics expertise ◦ Industry/Laboratory  Act as a liaison between diagnostic labs, referring physicians, and patients With Permission: pr2003/2003Feb16MyDesk.j pg With Permission:

17  Helping others  Privilege to work closely with individuals and families on sensitive personal matters  Continuing education required  Being an expert in your field  Reduce Health Disparities ◦ Special need to provide genetic counseling services to African-American, Hispanic and other under served communities With Permission: healthdisparities/files/introh ands.jpg

18  Become a genetic counselor in two years after finishing college  The average salary for a genetic counselor in IL with 0.5 to 2.5 years experience was reported as $52,225 in 2009  Job Satisfaction  Combination of genetics and working with people  Intellectual challenges of the field  Rewards associated with helping people  Opportunities for personal growth S

19  Can be emotionally draining  Rapid advances in field means constant work to keep current  In some cases little chance to advance professionally  Jobs vary widely ◦ Physicians run the health care world*** ◦ Autonomy vs little autonomy

20  Master’s Degree in Genetic Counseling ◦ Currently about 30 programs in US  Graduate programs are intense ◦ Course work ◦ Clinical rotations ◦ Thesis  Pass certification exam, maintain certification and skills  Be open to relocation

21  Learn about the field: ◦ Read about  Human genome research and ethical dilemmas  Treatments and tests for genetic conditions ◦ Obtain / Investigate  Information from the National Society of Genetic Counselors  Genetic counseling internships  Gain experience working with people ◦ Volunteer—rape crisis, pregnancy counseling, Special Olympics ◦ Be a teaching and/or research assistant ◦ Take on leadership roles  Obtain recommendations With permission: dept/studentserv/ima ges/counseling.jpg

22  Develop these skills: ◦ Interpersonal communication skills ◦ Computer literacy ◦ Writing skills ◦ Ability to express yourself clearly (to give presentations) ◦ Interviewing skills  Course work ◦ Molecular biology, chemistry, statistics, research ◦ Consider psychology, physiology, ethics, human development, anatomy

23  Many more allied health professionals will be needed in the future  Job prospects good!

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