2 Years Out ((By Jade C.))

Jade C. here.  Checking-in after checking-out after graduation.  Olivia and I began this blog with the intention of being student-focused.  This became problematic after we were no longer students – Have we become the Van Wilders of a graduate student blog? For shame.

Jade and Olivia

Luckily, there is value-added in providing perspective After Graduation.

So what happened After Graduation? – I have been employed by a pediatric specialty clinic in Florida for the past 2 years.  Here are some thoughts…

Boards. – I opted to take boards 1 year after graduation.  Naturally, there are pros and cons to this.  The pros include indulging in a study-mental-vacation after (seemingly) a lifetime in school.  Further, you have time to hone and ingrain some textbook skills in the real world.  But, with regard to cons, the struggle is real.  Learning proficiency at a new job and studying after work is not fun.  It’s awful.  It’s downright awful.  I thought.  Plus, you really drag out the pain of getting to the end of the road (if the end of the road has a sign that reads MS CGC).  Thus, my advice – bite the bullet and take boards sooner rather than later, while the student mentality is still hot.

Difficulties. – I encountered a number of unanticipated difficulties right out of the gates.  For one, I wanted to physically fight the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) every. single. day.  We were enemies.  Why wouldn’t it route my messages?  Where did my documentation go?  Why do I have so many open telephone encounters? At this point, I am more collaborative with the EMR, though I use it as my grandparents use the internet (very cautiously and at surface-level).  And, a second difficulty – insurance authorization.  Specifically, insurance authorization in the state of Florida without a state laboratory.  It’s been a tough path to hoe – telling patients that a test exists, and we would recommend it, but there is no way to pay for it. So……

Excellencies. – Well, let’s be honest – earning a paycheck and weekends off is nice.  But, on a higher level,  it has been rewarding to see myself grow.  I can mentally compare earlier counseling skills with later counseling skills, and understand the growth.  I also start to recognize patterns in medicine: differential diagnoses, recommended tests, and the right questions to ask have become more apparent.  Ordering the right tests has become easier (bar insurance authorizations).  And, providing care over time has been powerfully rewarding (the babies are now walking and talking!).

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4 thoughts on “2 Years Out ((By Jade C.))

  1. Lucy M. says:

    Thanks so much for your help and encouragement and real-talk via your blog. I am someone who has recently figured out that as a biology student I don’t have to fit in the static molds of being an M.D. or Pharm. D or O.D. (not that there is anything wrong with those choices). Its just that I always felt like I was missing something until i discovered G.C. and it was then I REALLY figured out what i wanted to do when i “grew up”. Finding your blog has been heaven because its giving me tips and reassuring me that like you two, I will also enjoy being a CGC. I can’t wait for the day when I start! 😊

    • Jade C says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Lucy! We understand: there’s so much out there for college science majors (but sometimes it seems like MD is the only thing talked about). Best of luck on this exciting career path – there’s lots on the horizon!

  2. Hi Jade — I’ve been really enjoying browsing through this blog over the past semester or so, and I’ve recently just finished submitting all my applications to genetic counseling programs! Now, the long wait til interview notifications… Anyway, I had a question about delaying the boards after graduation, like you said you did. What kind of work were you able to find before passing the boards? Was it possible to work in the genetic counseling setting right away?

    • Jade C says:

      Hi Jenni – Congrats on completing applications! (Now you can relax for a bit). You asked a great question. Actually, delaying boards can be quite normal (I bet almost 50/50 split if we were to take a poll). This is the case because certification has no effect on employment for an entry-level genetic counseling position in the short term. In fact, on job postings, you’ll often read “Looking for board certified or board eligible (BE) candidates.” Most people are BE genetic counselors when they accept their first job; they become certified genetic counselors after passing boards. Hope that helps!

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