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negotiating genetic counseling and cantonese

i suppose i can’t sleep tonight because i have a lot on my mind. my research project, summer rotation, our mid-winter break. i’d like to be productive during that short break, hopefully be able to incorporate something interesting and beneficial to my current course of study.

i’ve been doing a bit of digging into where genetic counseling and cantonese intersect, and i’ve been finding myself looking back at the bay area. internet searches lead me to a few cantonese-speaking genetic counselors working for the kaiser permanente group in san francisco. it sounds like they do counsel in cantonese. i’d really like to be able to sit in on some of their session, get an understanding of how these genetic concepts are communicated. it is difficult to compromise in myself these ideas because i have such a simple, day-to-day usage of cantonese and with so many caveats to even that type of everyday speech, i can only imagine medical and scientific language can only be that much more complicated. then again, this information needs to be translated so that the average person can understand it as well…

a second interesting route in which observing or speaking with these cantonese-speaking genetic counselors may help is in my research project. the primary literature i’m using is from australia, but having a first-hand account by questioning some of these counselors may be able to elucidate some of the cultural issues that they experience on a day-to-day basis. these are truly the caveats that i’d like to touch on more closely, and having an open-ended interview with them may be beneficial to my overall research. perhaps i’ll inquire a bit more regarding the possibility and utility of such a route.

lastly, this upcoming week is a very important one for me, which i’m already losing sleep over apparently. it’ll be my first outreach clinic up north with the pediatric genetics group. i’m a bit timid and slightly doubting my ability to properly take a developmental history for a child, since i have not had the chance to practice this at all during my training, but i’ve had plenty of experience going through the motions in other genetics setting; i just need to get over my timidness and gain the confidence i know i have.

case-prepping for a clinic such as this with 2-3 patients per time-slot is always difficult because one is always unsure what to concentrate on. in particular, i’m really unsure which patients i’ll exactly be seeing. the clear-cut counseling cases, of course, but it’s been so long since i was last in a pediatrics genetics setting (and then, only briefly), perhaps my hesitation is justified. i shall try my best.

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