Author Archives: Hannah

Happy Genetic Counselor Awareness Day!


Today, November 9th, is genetic counselor awareness day! Take a minute to learn about what a genetic counselor does. Check out this blog and for more information about genetic counseling.

Check out the video from the National Society of Genetic Counselors:



“A Day in the Life of a Genetic Counselor” Webinar on 11/19/17

Are you interested in a career in genetic counseling? Are you preparing to apply to genetic counseling programs? Curious to learn what different roles a genetic counselor may have day-to-day?

Check out our webinar sponsored by the Student/New Member Special Interest Group of National Society of Genetic Counselors to learn more about this fast-growing profession! This hour-long webinar will feature two practicing genetic counselors and one genetic counseling student sharing their journey to genetic counseling and current day-to-day roles.

When? Sunday, November 19th, 2017 at 6pm CST

Register here:


NSGC Conference ((By Hannah))

Now that I have finally unpacked, caught up on sleep and have school almost under control, I thought I would share some of my favorite parts of this year’s NSGC conference that was in Pittsburgh last month. For those of you new to the genetic counseling word, NSGC is the National Society of Genetic Counselors. This group promotes the professional interest of genetic counselors and provides a network for professional communications. Each year they hold a conference to educate genetic counselors on new technology and research being done in the field.

It was my first time attending and no amount of advice can prepare you for 1,500 genetic counselors all in one place for four days talking about genetics. My memory of the conference may also be slightly clouded by the pet show going on in the conference center at the same time, but I will attempt to recap what stuck out to me the most at the conference. (Confession: My classmates and I may have spent most of our breaks watching dog jumping competitions.) While I would love nothing more than to fill this page with the pictures and videos I took of dogs, I will focus on two videos that were shown at the conference that I really enjoyed. Anyone interested in genetic counseling should take a look!

The first video is Twitch, a documentary about an 18 year old that undergoes genetic testing for Huntington’s disease.  The film follows Kristin Powers and her decision to get testing for a severe neurodegenerative disorder that took her mother’s life. It is an extremely emotional documentary following a young woman and her family. Kristin was at the conference for a question and answer session following the viewing. It was tremendously helpful as a student and soon to be (!) genetic counselor to hear about what goes in to someone making a decision about genetic testing. We offer testing so often that I think it is easy to forget about how life changing a test result can be.

Check out the trailer!  

Twitch Documentary


The second video that I want to highlight is a video created by NSGC to help educate patients and providers. The video walks through what a genetic counselor does, when someone should see a genetic counselor and what to expect during your appointment. It is a great video for any prospective students out there that are looking to learn more about what it means to be a genetic counselor!

Check it out on YouTube!  


If you didn’t get your fill of genetics today from those two videos, I have one more of my favorites from the conference…a podcast! Check out RadioLabs podcast, Antibodies part 1, which features Carl Zimmer. He gave a talk at the conference about CRISPR. Rather than me attempt to explain this amazing (and complicated) technology, take a listen to the podcast. Enjoy!

Give the Podcast a listen!     RadioLab: Antibodies Part 1

Good luck with interviews! ((By Hannah))

At this time last year, I was an eager candidate checking my email daily for any new interview invitations and updates on my visits. I was organizing my trips while simultaneously attempting to keep up with my school work and find willing individuals to substitute the classes I was teaching. It was stressful and terrifying and wonderful all at the same time.

When I began my program, my expectation for these two years was simply to get a degree in genetic counseling. Now being a quarter of the way to my goal, I realize that being a part of this program is so much more than just grabbing a degree and moving on. We are immersed in the world of genetics and pushed every day to try something new. In just one semester I have observed and participated in a wide range of sessions across multiple clinics. I have learned more in the classroom about genetic disorders and counseling that I knew possible. I have attended conferences and lectures by some of the leading individuals in the field of genetics. I have gotten to know a new city and I have met some wonderful people along the way.

With the realization that interview time is a few weeks away, I am especially excited for the next wave of students to join our program. I encourage all of the current applicants that are planning their interview visits to take advantage of the current students as a resource. Reach out to us with your questions and help us to get to know you. We are happy to do whatever we can to take some of the stress and anxiety off of your big day just as the previous students did for us.

I wish you all good luck during this exciting time!!

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