Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 71–81

Consideration of Genetic Counseling as a Career: Implications for Diversifying the Genetic Counseling Field

Original Research

Abstract

Under-representation of racial/ethnic minority counselors has been an ongoing issue in the genetic counseling field. A better understanding of genetic counseling awareness and career consideration may help to increase the number of applicants to genetic counseling training programs from racial/ethnic minorities. This study sampled high school and college students (n = 233) to examine their awareness and perceptions of genetic counseling. Ethnicity, gender, parental level of education, and interest in biology were significant predictors of a subject’s genetic counseling awareness; previous awareness of genetic counseling, interest in psychology, and level of education were significant predictors of whether a subject would consider genetic counseling as a career. The findings suggest that knowledge of genetic counseling is lower among racial/ethnic minorities, but that racial/ethnic minorities are just as likely to consider genetic counseling as a career. Awareness of genetic counseling prior to university education may increase racial/ethnic minority representation among potential applicants to genetic counseling training programs.

Keywords

genetic counseling recruitment ethnicity training gender 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Arbona, C. (1989). Hispanic employment and the Holland typology of work. Career Dev Quarterly, 37, 257–268.Google Scholar
  2. Arbona, C. (1995). Theory and research on racial and ethnic minorities: Hispanic Americans. In F. T. L. Leong (Ed.), Career Development and Vocational Behavior of Racial and Ethnic Minorities (pp. 37–66). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  3. Bowman, S. L. (1995). Career intervention strategies and assessment issues for African Americans. In F. T. L. Leong (Ed.), Career Development and Vocational Behavior of Racial and Ethnic Minorities (pp. 137–164). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  4. Brown, M. T. (1995). The career development of African Americans: Theoretical and empirical issues. In F. T. L. Leong (Ed.), Career Development and Vocational Behavior of Racial and Ethnic Minorities (pp. 7–36). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  5. Buerhaus, P. I., & Auerbach, D. (1999). Slow growth in the United States of the number of minorities in the RN workforce. Image—J Nurs Scholarsh, 31(2), 179–183.Google Scholar
  6. Carroll, C. D. (1989). College Persistence and Degree Attainment for 1980 High School Graduates: Hazards for Transfers, Stopouts, and Part-timers. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.Google Scholar
  7. CORN (1994). Minimum Data Set Report: 1994. A Report on Genetic Services. Atlanta, GA: Council of Regional Networks for Genetic Services.Google Scholar
  8. Fouad, N. A. (1995). Career behavior of Hispanics: Assessment and career intervention. In F. T. L. Leong (Ed.), Career Development and Vocational Behavior of Racial and Ethnic Minorities (pp. 165–279). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  9. Guzman, L. P. (1991). Incorporating cultural diversity into psychology training programs. In H. F. Myers, P. Wohlford, L. P. Guzman, R. J. Echemendia (Eds.), Ethnic Minority Perspectives on Clinical Training and Services in Psychology (pp. 67–70). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  10. Hardin, E. E., Leong, F. T. L., & Osipow, S. H. (2001). Cultural relativity in the conceptualization of career maturity. J Vocational Behav, 58, 36–52.Google Scholar
  11. Jones, J. H. (1993). Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  12. Keith, S. N., Bell, R. M., Swanson, A. G., & Williams, A. P. (1985). Effects of affirmative action in medical school: A study of the class of 1975. N Engl J Med, 313, 1519–1525.Google Scholar
  13. Komaromy, M., Grumbach, K., Drake, M., Vranizan, K., Lurie, N., Keane, D. et al. (1996). The role of black and Hispanic physicians in providing health care for underserved populations. N Engl J Med, 334, 1305–1310.Google Scholar
  14. Leung, S. A. (1995). Career development and counseling: A multicultural perspective. In J. G. Ponterotto, J. M. Casas, L. A. Suzuki, C. M. Alexander (Eds.), Handbook of Multicultural Counseling (1st ed., pp. 549–566). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  15. Mittman, I. S., & Secundy, M. G. (1998). A national dialogue on genetics and minority issues. Community Genet, 1, 190–200.Google Scholar
  16. Mittman, I. S., Smith, S., & Dougherty, C. (1995). Encouraging diversity among genetic counselors. Perspect Genet Counsel, 17(3), S1–S7.Google Scholar
  17. Morgan, F. B. (2001). Degrees and Other Awards conferred by Title IV Participating, Degree-granting Institutions: 1997–98. Washington, DC: National Center for Educational Statistics. Available at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp? pubid = 2001177.Google Scholar
  18. Moy, E., & Bartman, B. A. (1995). Physician race and care of minority and medically indigent patients. JAMA, 273(19), 1515-1520.Google Scholar
  19. National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. (2002). Available at: http://www.nsgc.org.Google Scholar
  20. Negy, C., & Woods, D. J. (1992). A note on the relationship between acculturation and socioeconomic status. His J Behav Sci, 14(2), 248–251.Google Scholar
  21. Olney, R. S. (2001). Newborn screening for sickle cell disease: Public health impact and evaluation. In M. J. Khoury, W. Burke, & E. J. Thomson (Eds.), Genetics and Public Health in the 21st Century (pp. 431–446). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Parrott, S., Clark, C., & Shannon, K. M. (2002). Professional status survey 2002. Available at: http://www.nsgc.org.Google Scholar
  23. Peng, S. S., & Wright, D. (1994). Explanation of academic achievement of Asian American students. J Educ Res, 87, 346-352.Google Scholar
  24. Punales-Morejon, D., & Rapp, R. (1993). Ethnocultural diversity and genetic counseling training: The challenge for a twenty-first century. J Genet Counsel, 2(3), 155–158.Google Scholar
  25. Qian, Z., & Blair, S. L. (1999). Racial/ethnic differences in educational aspirations of high school seniors. Sociological Perspect, 42(94), 605–626.Google Scholar
  26. Roach, J. O. (2001). Discriminating positively: Preferential acceptance of minorities may be good for society. West J Med, 175(4), 273.Google Scholar
  27. Robson, C. (1993). Real World Research: A Resource for Social Scientists and Practitioner-Researchers. New York: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  28. Saha, S., Komaromy, M., Koepsell, T. D., & Bindman, A. B. (1999). Patient–physician racial concordance and the perceived quality and use of health care. Arch Intern Med, 159, 997–1004.Google Scholar
  29. Smith, S. C., Steinberg-Warren, N., & Misra, L. (1993). Minority recruitment into the genetic counseling profession. J Genet Counsel, 2, 171–182.Google Scholar
  30. Tang, M., Fouad, N. A., & Smith, P. L. (1999). Asian Americans’ career choices: A path model to examine factors influencing their career choices. J Vocational Behav, 54, 142–157.Google Scholar
  31. Tanne, J. H. (1992). US strives to increase ethnic minorities in medicine. Brit Med J, 304(6837), 1266.Google Scholar
  32. Uhlmann, W. (1992). Professional status survey 1992. Perspect Genet Couns, 14(2), S7–S10.Google Scholar
  33. U.S. Bureau of the Census (2000). Available at: http://www. census.gov.Google Scholar
  34. Wailoo, K. (2001). Dying in the City of the Blues: Sickle Cell Anemia and the Politics of Race and Health. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  35. Wang, V. O. (1998). Curriculum evaluation and assessment of multicultural genetic counselor education. J Genet Counsel, 7(1), 87–111.Google Scholar
  36. Warren, N. S., & Johnson, N. S. (1999). To diversify the profession, graduate genetic counseling programs need to increase the size of the minority applicant pool, not just try harder to recruit the ones who apply. J Genet Counsel, 8, 410.Google Scholar
  37. Weil, J., & Mittman, I. (1993). A teaching framework for cross-cultural genetic counseling. J Genet Counsel, 2, 159–169.Google Scholar
  38. Williams, C. L. (1995). The glass escalator: Hidden advantages for men in the “female” professions. In M. S. Kimmel & M. A. Messner (Eds.), Men’s Lives (3rd ed., pp. 193–207). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  39. Wong, P., & Lai, C. F. (1998). Asian Americans as a model minority: Self-perceptions and perceptions by other racial groups. Sociological Perspect, 641(1), 95–119.Google Scholar
  40. Xu, G., Fields, S. K., Laine, C., Veloski, J. J., Baransky, B., & Martini, C. J. (1997). The relationship between the race/ ethnicity of generalist physicians and their care for underserved populations. Am J Public Health, 87, 817–822.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical GeneticsChildren’s and Women’s Health Centre of British ColumbiaVancouver
  2. 2.Department of PsychologySarah Lawrence CollegeBronxville
  3. 3.Medical Genetics, Rm C234Children’s and Women’s Health Centre of British ColumbiaVancouver

Personalised recommendations