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Alumni

Alumni Activities and Achievements

The IUGCGP is proud to celebrate the professional achievements and activities of its alumni:

- 117 individuals graduated from the IUGCGP through 2015

- 98% of our alumni who have taken the ABGC examination have achieved certification

- Our alumni our employed from coast to coast and abroad, with the greatest number employed in NSGC Region IV

- Our alumni have embraced a vast array of genetic counseling employment opportunities including clinical counseling in the areas of general & pediatric genetics, prenatal diagnosis, cancer risk assessment, cardiovascular genetics, neurogenetics and metabolic genetics, with additional placements in centers specializing in infertility, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, hemophilia and teratogen risk assessment.  A significant number of our alumni have also been employed in non-clinical and industry genetic counseling roles including those in clinical research and research coordination, education, medical writing, variant data curation, consulting, genetic testing representation and sales, and as laboratory liaisons.  

Many of our alumni have participated in teaching and/or clinical supervision of genetic counseling graduate students or genetic counseling program administration. 

- Additional accomplishments among our alumni include clinical research, receiving funding as a primary investigator, numerous publications in peer-reviewed or other publications, poster and platform presentations at the NSGC annual education conference and other professional conferences, and active participation in genetics blogs. 

-  We are proud to congratulate 2012 IUGCGP graduate Katie Spoonamore as the 2015 recipient of the NSGC’s New Leader Award.  In her cardiovascular genetic counseling position at the Krannert Institute of Cardiology in Indianapolis, Katie initiated critical clinical cardiovascular services and cardiovascular genetics education, and was instrumental in the design and implementation of a broad cardiovascular genetics clinical program and translational research.

 

Alumni Reflections

IUGCGP alumni are surveyed within two years of their graduation regarding their experiences in the Program and their feelings of preparation to begin their first genetic counseling job.  The comments of our graduates reflect their pride in being IUGCGP alumni and their high level of satisfaction with their graduate training.  The following are direct quotes from our alumni from the classes of 2011 through 2014: 

- I think one thing that really stood out to me about the IUGCP is how supported each student was by all of our supervisors, physicians, and department faculty. I felt they were truly invested in the success of each one of us and so supportive of the genetic counseling field as a whole.

The faculty, supervisors, and staff within the IUGCP are amazing. Throughout my graduate career, I always felt like they were supporting me educationally, professionally, and emotionally. The structure and depth the IUGCP provides is unlike any other. The IUGCP is recognized within the genetics community as a strong program that prepares (its) graduates for employment. After discussions with other genetic counselors, I realized that my program prepared me well for my career.”

- The huge number of patients I saw in the IUGCP was a huge asset to my success as a genetic counselor.  I entered my first job as a genetic counselor having already worked with over 200 patients.  I felt completely comfortable and confident working independently as a genetic counselor. I counseled nearly double the number of patients as my peers in other genetic counseling training programs. Potential employers in the job application process were really impressed with the wide variety of patients I had counseled.  I also valued the one-on-one attention we each got in the genetic counseling program.  I never felt like I was bothering someone with a question, and had access to a number of medical geneticists and genetic counselors to assist me at any given moment within the department.  The IUGCP made each of us feel like we were valued assets to the program from the very beginning!  The course-load was also beautifully tailored to the career field and I felt entirely prepared for both the board exams and my new job.”

One of the biggest strengths of the IUGCP is the extensive clinical experience it provides. Nothing helps better prepare you or builds your confidence better than experience!

- I loved my experience at IU and talk about it often. Yes, the program definitely is stressful and demanding at times, but in the end I am proud to say I am an IU graduate. When I talk to GC's who graduated from other programs, they seem impressed with the experience I had while in graduate school.

- (The IUGCP) is the first place I tell prospective students to look when considering a genetic counseling program. IU not only teaches you the core genetic information needed to be a genetic counselor, but IU also teaches you the practical lessons needed in an everyday career so you feel very prepared when you graduate. There are many good genetic counseling programs around, but IU will be able to provide its students with not only a good education, but also a core set of values set in place by the wonderful faculty and staff (and that) brings IU to an entirely different level.

-  I felt that the program did a really good job of teaching me how to find the answers/ resources I needed to solve problems or deal with something new. I always knew where to look or who to ask if I didn't know the answer to something… I would highly recommend it. I brag about the program to anyone who will listen.

- The faculty are 100% on your side and are dedicated to listening and helping you out. It is a well-priced, incredibly passionate program that…prepares its students in ways that respect the unique "callings" of each of its students.

- Some of the many strengths include the exposure to patients early on in the training program, the relaxed and supportive atmosphere/workplace, the vast number of patient cases for my log book, (and) the flexibility of the program director to add/work-in additional clinical rotations (offsite), if desired….I felt extremely prepared to go into any specialty because of the many cases I had participated in while in the IUGCP and because of the variety of clinical rotations. These experiences provided me with many experiences that potential employers were very impressed with. Also, due to the many presentations that we were required to give, I feel extremely comfortable giving presentations to any audience.

-  I think I received a better overall clinical genetics training than other peers in the workplace. I greatly enjoyed the course in Embryology. Without it, I could see how students would have a harder time making connections between genetic variation and variation in human development. I greatly enjoyed the close interaction with GC's and

MD's in the program.

- The IUGCP was overall a very good training program - I felt as though I left withknowledge of an overwhelming number of syndromes, and I really felt that I could perform well in any specialty. I also think the program does well in the intangibles - teaching us how to speak with/work with doctors, use the resources we have to make things work, etc…. I truly did feel prepared to be a GC at the end of it - what more could I ask for! I also did enjoy the size of our class and the community that we had.

-  (Strengths included  a)  well-educated and caring program director, excellent medical geneticists, easily accessible resources, autonomy throughout the program, a comprehensive, well-rounded experience… and a great learning experience in developing a research survey and preparing the project for publication.

- (Strengths included) superior clinical training in prenatal, pediatric, and cancer genetics with wide caseload variety and high volume of complete counseling cases, engaged professors, (and) unique and varied clinical training experiences .

- I am so glad IUGCP allow(s) you to truly live in one place during grad school. We still experienced different facilities, without the stress of placements requiring extensive travel or short term living in other locations.

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