it’s been nearly a year since last year’s post – and 23andme has even FURTHER reduced their DNA day clearance. boy have times changed. which also means it’s about due time i admit that i am no longer in school. wahoo! let’s see how this all worked out to where i am now:
1st (of many) job application (academic center prenatal gc position) submitted mid-december 2009
1st phone interview (private practice prenatal gc position) mid-february 2010
1st in-person interview (state public health department) late-february 2010
graduation late-april 2010
move back home with the parents early-may 2010
attend norcal genetics exchange to “network” late-may 2010
submit volunteering interest and application to big GC group in SF (non-academic hospital, that sees all types of genetics indications) late-may 2010
first i-really-want-this-job interview (big cancer genetics group) early-june 2010
guess-it-wasn’t-that-great-of-a-fit decision mid-june 2010
start all over with the app process on a new bunch of jobs early july 2010
finally get my volunteer paperwork, TB tests, security clearance, background check, orifice probings (just kidding on the last one…) submitted and beging volunteering early-august 2010
strung along with a bunch of interviews for maternity leave positions, state public health coordination jobs, etc.
start phone interview process with current position (industry/lab position) mid-august 2010
continue phone interviews through august, september 2010
formal in-person interview early-october 2010
hired! quickly move out of state.
NSGC AEC 2010 in Dallas
1st day of job day after NSGC AEC 2010
and here i am, months later, all employed and stuff, being all independent and autonomous. 🙂 take that, job application process – 6 months of unemployment living at home ain’t got nothin’ on me.
given that i get a few hits every week or so from individuals searching for “male genetic counselors” or something or other, i thought it’d be an appropriate time to speak a bit more about how i’ve gone about getting where i am in my understanding of men in the genetic counseling field. i’ve had a few posts in the past that have addressed some of the important issues, but how did i go about absolving the myth that male genetic counselors are inept at the counseling side of GC? with experience of course!
those experiences started with my first year in my program. UofM allows its students to elect a summer rotation of their choice. my first thought that I ended up sticking with was finding a location, a clinical rotation, where I’d be able to work with a male genetic counselor and get some experience seeing how he would work. given that ann arbor didn’t have any genetic counselor men locally, i started with speaking to my directors and seeing who they knew, or who had been an alum of the program (UofM hasn’t had a guy since the early 90s…).
another step I took was to look at who was credentialed, holding the CGC desgination. these people were more likely to be practicing, vs. working in a non-clinical job (so i thought). i browsed through all the pages of ABGC diplomates, and then google’d any male-gendered names i saw to see where they worked, if it was clinical, if it was in a location in the country i wanted to travel to, etc. yes, i browsed through all 2500+ names looking and discerning for male-gendered first names. quite a task 😛
i ended up deciding on two locations that had a cancer focus, since i also had a particular interest in pursuing a fun, interesting, and involved cancer GC rotation. sent a few emails, got back a very welcome response and a second, polite decline (that was primarily due to the medical institution not being very appropriate to students), and i was set!
as the counselor who was my student liason first impressed on me (in our very first email exchange), it’s important to know that you can learn a whole lot from the counselors who are women that work there as well… and that basically sums it all up. it’s nice to work with another genetic counselor who’s a man, but when it comes down to learning the skills of GC, whoever it is that’s a good counselor will teach you tons and tons. some of my best counseling and career advice have come from those individuals at that rotation, so I absolutely lucked out (and made some great friends & professional relationships in the process!)
anyway, that’s been my experience. going to NSGC AEC is also an awesome way to scope out who’s a guy (it’s way easy, believe me, although i’m sure you don’t need to be convinced). there might even be guys that will address the topic too! (prominent example being Jeff Kopesky’s graduate research study and presentation at this year’s AEC on undergrad guys/girls in upper-level biology courses and their interest/knowledge of the genetic counseling field!)
not to mention, a lot of the training programs have at least a token guy (if not more!) maybe that’s a good place to start too. obviously, the bigger the program, or the bigger the city, the more likely there is to be a genetic counselor dude around, but, alas. hopefully this is can help someone out there.
i doubt anyone genuinely follows this blog regularly, but i will be back soon! research, classes, clinic, responsibilities, social responsibilities, etc. have gotten in the way of being able to get my thoughts together and come up with posts, but soon, soon, once i’ve successfully navigated the IRB maze and am now over halfway through my last formal clinical rotation, i shall return!
my research is taking the unfortunate turn away from an asian-american focus and looking more broadly at racially/ethnically diverse populations. okay, maybe that’s not unfortunate, but not what i’d initially envisioned at least. most importantly, i’m trying to decipher what the cultural and personal values are that influence the racial/ethnic disparities that we see in prenatal screening and testing uptake. but in designing this study, it really looks more at more broadly, what these values are, and how they influence a woman’s perceived severity of prenatal screening outcomes (the conditions that are screened for). rarely have the women themselves been asked “hey, what do you want screened on prenatal screening if it were your decision, how good/bad of an outcome would you consider those things, and would you consider screening or terminating over it?”. that’s the general gist. asking the client/patient themselves, what do they see as valuable Read more…