Meeting the Critical Need for Diversity in Genetic Counseling
Studies show that nationwide, research and healthcare delivery is significantly hindered by the under-representation of clinicians from the following groups: Black, Hispanic/Latina(o), Indigenous Americans, Asians, those with low-income backgrounds, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities. The field of genetic counseling is not proportionately representative of the North American population.
The AID-GC project is based on the belief that increasing diversity in the genetic counseling workforce will improve support for patients from underrepresented backgrounds and expand our knowledge base in genetics and genomics with different viewpoints and approaches to significant problems. Currently, underrepresentation of genetic counselors from diverse backgrounds can inhibit critical dialogue between genetic counselors and patients, whose health outcomes are often improved through interaction with medical professionals they can relate to more personally. Research and clinical care in genetics and genomics have a particular need for culturally sensitive clinicians who understand the deeply rooted cultural and social differences and beliefs that underlie attitudes toward genetic testing, treatment, and research.
The Warren Alpert Foundation
The Alliance to Increase Diversity in Genetic Counseling (AID-GC) is made possible with funding from the Warren Alpert Foundation, a non-profit organization which supports innovative individuals and organizations dedicated to understanding and curing disease through groundbreaking research, scholarship, and service. The focus of the Foundation is to improve the health of the public through grants and programmatic activities progressing towards attaining or perfecting medical treatments or cures through basic research, translational and outcomes research as well as through health education. The Foundation is extraordinarily forward-thinking in making this generous funding available to address a critical need to diversify the genetic counseling workforce as the implementation of genomic medicine continues to rapidly expand.
The University of Pennsylvania
Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and Penn Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $8.9 billion enterprise. The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The school is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health.
The Master of Science in Genetic Counseling Program at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania Master of Science in Genetic Counseling program provides a comprehensive educational environment for future genetic counselors that balances the importance of patient-focused care, scientific knowledge, research, and innovative technology. Housed within a dynamic, world-renowned medical center with an outstanding faculty and access to clinical opportunities at some of the nation's premier healthcare facilities, we prepare students to be successful genetic counseling professionals in the rapidly evolving field of genetics.