Genetic Counseling Clinical Training
Clinical training in the Genetic Counseling program is individualized to the specific needs of every student. The clinical experience is divided into the clinical practica during the first academic year and the clinical rotations during the second year. The overall philosophy of the clinical experience is that the students will first observe and then progress to more participatory roles to ultimately being able to manage cases independently. Students in their final clinical rotation will be competent to manage a case from start to finish with limited supervision, drawing upon the basic competencies learned through the program. The students are instructed in the importance of self-reflection and are taught to continuously evaluate themselves and their abilities with regard to providing comprehensive care to all patients. Liability insurance and affiliation agreements are in place for all clinical sites.
Students typically complete 2 practica and four clinical internships as part of the program. The first-year practica are based at any of 24 different sites throughout the Philadelphia area. In the second year, a total of 58 clinical internship sites are available. These sites include 20 prenatal, seven pediatric, 14 cancer, and numerous specialty clinics in the areas of reproductive genetics, neurogenetics, metabolic genetics, cardiovascular genetics and others. The clinical internships are supervised by board-certified genetic counselors and/or board-certified clinical geneticists.
The location of these internship sites extends from Trenton, N.J., to Newark, Del., and from Camden, N.J., to Harrisburg, Pa. This broad geographical range accommodates the commuting needs of students who live outside of Philadelphia. Within the city, many of the sites are accessible by public transportation, so owning a car is not a necessity.
The Genetic Counseling program is fortunate to have a wealth of clinical settings, and students are able to see a very diverse patient population not only in terms of medical referral indications, but also in terms of cultural diversity and socioeconomic status.
Philadelphia is home to an impressive network of hospitals, universities, research centers, laboratories, advocacy centers, and health-related nonprofit organizations. As the Arcadia University Genetic Counseling master’s program is the only one in the area, our students have exclusive access to these incredible resources. With so many different options available, our faculty can help students tailor their clinical experiences to match their specific interests. None of the 170 Arcadia Genetic Counseling graduates to date have followed identical clinical paths, a fact that makes our program quite unique.
Recent alumni surveys rank the clinical experience very highly. “I think the most important aspect to my training was the clinical training,” said one, “and this was done wonderfully through Arcadia.” Graduates consistently praise the diversity of the clinical sites, and reveal that the number and variety of patients they were able to see prepared them well for their jobs: “The clinical rotations allowed me to see more cases than any other new-grad coming into this GC office.” Fully 100% of the alumni would recommend this program to a prospective Genetic Counselor.