The Brandeis internship structure provides students with the following benefits:
- Observations and active learning opportunities during the first year to practice skills in a safe environment.
- Exposure to genetic counselors working with patients using a variety of service-delivery models and in emerging roles in one of the most robust genetic counseling communities in the nation.
- Significant experience in patient care, with students typically participating in more than double the number of core cases required by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling.
- Opportunity to counsel patients from a variety of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds due to diversity of internships offered in large academic medical centers, community hospitals and industries throughout Greater Boston.
- Ability to complete summer fieldwork rotations outside Greater Boston, including the option to learn from certified genetic counselors practicing outside the United States.
- Direct experience in emerging areas of genetic counseling, including laboratory, industry, clinical research, advocacy and/or specialty clinics.
- Enhanced curriculum through the laboratory internship and flex internship, which can be tailored to each student’s interests, needs and future career goals.
In addition, all students are provided with the following:
- Close mentoring by the associate director to determine personal curriculum, establish learning objectives and monitor progress
- Stipend for all students in first and second year to defray the cost of travel to observations and fieldwork rotations. Funds are occasionally available for students needing housing during a summer rotation.
- IPads for use in all fieldwork rotations to house visual aids, outlines and documentation.
- Peer supervision group during second year to discuss fieldwork challenges and develop a reflective practice and self-care skills.
The Brandeis genetic counseling program's central location in Waltham, Massachusetts, provides easy access to genetic counselors working in Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; and southern New Hampshire.
For their clinical rotations, students benefit from exposure to a variety of patient populations, referral indications, service-delivery models, counseling styles and work environments. Our location also allows students to rotate with genetic counselors working in laboratories, industry, specialty clinics and research.
The majority of fieldwork sites are within 60 miles. Many are accessible via public transportation, while others require a car. In order for students to take advantage of the variety of fieldwork opportunities, we recommend having access to a car. For students who do not own a car, Zipcar or renting a car are an option.
Commonly Utilized Fieldwork Sites
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
- Boston Children's Hospital.
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
- Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
- Lahey Hospital and Medical Center.
- Rhode Island Hospital.
- South Shore Hospital.
- Tufts Medical Center.
- UMass Memorial Medical Center.
- Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island.
Students will rotate through either one of several laboratories in the New England area or do a virtual rotation with a variety of laboratories across the United States. This enables students to gain exposure to evolving industry roles for genetic counselors and better understand laboratory testing procedures.
Genetic counseling students are offered the option to choose a rotation that is tailored to their professional interests. Possible options include an additional rotation in a fundamental practice area, specialty clinic, advocacy organization, research or industry. For example, Rare New England is an advocacy organization to improve health care experiences for families with rare disease.
Some of the activities for rotations that do not involve direct patient care are described in the chart below.
|Advocacy||Resource development; organization of hearings, testimonies, bills; event planning and outreach; creation of marketing materials; social media promotion.|
|Laboratory||Test accessioning; test interpretation; reporting; documentation of results; communication of information with ordering providers and patients; attendance at team meetings; creation of marketing materials; literature review.|
|Research||Maintenance and development of IRB protocols; recruitment; data analysis; preparation of manuscripts and posters; attendance at team meetings; development of educational materials.|