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


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.


genetic counseling recruitment ethnicity training gender 


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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

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