What Brings You Here? ((By Jade))

I didn’t hear about genetic counseling until my senior year of college.  I had heard about medical school, and physician assistant school, and nursing, and occupational/physical/speech therapy.  I had heard about pharmacy and dental school.  I even wanted to be an audiologist at one point.

I loved science and I still do, but sometimes I didn’t know which science direction to take.  Let’s face it, I was Alice in Wonderland for most of my undergraduate career:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where-” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

And then I took two years off.  And that was fantastic, but I still wanted to return to that one “other” health science career I had heard about.  My short and simple reason for latching onto GC is that it’s my happy-medium science.  I’m not in a lab, I’m not doing research, and I’m not in the blood & guts.  I am explaining inheritance, metabolic pathways, and risk figures.  I am at the forefront of exciting new research.  And I am interacting with people.

And since GC is still a relatively “hidden” career choice, I interviewed my classmates to find out how they got here.  Here’s the verdict:

“I wanted to be a GC because of my younger sister.  I remember attending my mom’s AMA appointment, and that experience really stuck with me.”

“I learned about GC in a medical genetics class in undergrad.  I thought it was a great middle-point between clinical work and research.  You’re in that middle area between being attached to a beeper or buried in paper.”

“I liked people, and I wanted to build relationships.”

“Well, I majored in zoology because I wanted to protect the wild animals in Africa.  But then I realized that GC might be more practical.”

“I always liked genetics, and I wanted to work with people, rather than be stuck in a lab.”

“I wanted to enter an emerging field in science, where a lot is about to happen and I can continue to learn.”


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