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.”