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MSc in Genetic Counselling Program

The following pages provide in-depth information about the MSc in Genetic Counselling Program, including administration, the curriculum, rotations, as well as specific application instructions. The MSc in Genetic Counselling Program is a two-year, clinical program, which provides the academic foundation and clinical training required for the contemporary practice of genetic counselling. Genetic counsellors are health professionals who provide information and support to families who have members with birth defects or genetic disorders and to families who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions. Genetic counsellors investigate the problem present in the family, analyze inheritance patterns and risks of recurrence and review available options with the family. Some counsellors also work in administrative and academic capacities, and many engage in research activities.

General

Upon completion of the MSc in Genetic Counselling Program, the students will demonstrate competence in or satisfactory knowledge of:

  • principles of human genetics, including cytogenetics, biochemical, molecular and population genetics;
  • methods of interviewing and counselling and the dynamics of human behaviour in relation to genetic disease;
  • social, legal and ethical issues in genetics.

Specific

Upon completion of the MSc in Genetic Counselling Program, the student will be able to perform a variety of duties, in the listed areas, as a member of a genetic counselling team:

Direct patient contact

  • Elicit individual and family histories and information regarding psychological and socioeconomic status of the family.
  • Review with the family (in conjunction with the clinical geneticist) the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan.
  • Effectively transmit pertinent information about genetic risks and mechanisms.
  • Assist the family in assimilating the genetic information and adjusting to its implications.
  • Assist in implementing the treatment plan, including referrals to medicine, nursing, social work and psychological services.
  • Provide follow-up support to the patient and family.
  • Summarize findings for physicians or other referral sources.

Education

  • Participate in the education of parent and community groups, physicians, other medical personnel, agency staff and students regarding human/medical genetics.

Administration

  • Facilitate provision of service, including "intake" of individuals or families and organization of clinical and population-based screening programs.

Research

  • Assist in the development and implementation of ongoing clinical investigations in genetics.