Time flies when you're having fun

              Another week has flown by for the first years in the University of Cincinnati’s Genetic Counseling Program.  We got to go to our first journal club meeting this week.   We reviewed an article entitled “Genomics: The Breast Cancer Landscape” by Joe Gray and Brian Druker, which was recently published by Nature.  The authors discussed whole genome sequencing and how it could be used to examine tumor diversity so physicians could use targeted therapies. 
                In other exciting news, we are looking forward to attending the 2012 Ohio Genetic Counselor Meeting next Friday, September 21st, which our Assistant Director, Carrie Atzinger, has helped to coordinate.   This conference will be held at the Cincinnati’s Children Hospital this year which ensures all the University of Cincinnati genetic counseling students will be able to attend.  Practicing genetic counselors and students from all over the state will attend the meeting.  Topics addressed throughout the day include: updates on the Ohio Newborn Screening, genetic research studies in Ohio, defining the role of genetic counselors in Epilepsy and Hematology/Oncology and many more. 

                As October draws closer and the weather begins cooling down the first year students are getting more and more excited about clinical rotations.  Our first clinical rotation begins in early October.  This first rotation mostly involves observation of the genetic counseling session.  My first rotation is in Pediatrics with a focus on Tuberous Sclerosis (TS).  Understanding that I might not have any background knowledge on TS the genetic counselor I am observing has posted a few journal articles to help me familiarize myself with the disorder.  I can’t wait to start seeing patients, but more to come on that in a few weeks.
                Many of us our eager to attend our first UC football game against Delaware State this Saturday (Go Bearcats!).  Hope you guys have a great weekend. 
Some first years at the University of Cincinnati football game
Second years enjoying the game


An exciting start to the fall 2012 semester

The Cincinnati Genetic Counseling Program students are off to another great start this year! To kick off the program’s 31st year, we attended an in depth orientation series followed by a team building exercise and picnic in the park with program faculty and staff prior to the start of classes. 
The first years are wrapping up their second week of classes.  This semester the first years are taking human genetics, molecular genetics, introduction to genetic counseling, epidemiology, counseling techniques, and emerging topics in genetic counseling.  Since many of our classes take place at Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital we are lucky enough to have specialists in different fields come and lecture for our classes.  So far we have had lectures on metabolic disorders, newborn screenings and chromosomal structure abnormalities.  It’s refreshing to be in graduate school taking only classes that directly relate to the field of genetic counseling. 
The second years are taking advanced genetic counseling, statistics and emerging topics in genetic counseling.  The rest of their time is filled up meeting with clients in clinic and working on their theses. 
In addition to the classes listed above the first and second years also attend case conferences.  These conferences give the second years a chance to discuss cases they saw during their summer rotations, and a chance for first years to hear about things they may encounter in their future rotations.  Psychosocial issues, rare disorders and new treatments are some of the topics discussed at case conference every week.
At the University of Cincinnati all first years are matched up with a second year student.  These second years act as mentors to help answer any questions the first years have and address any of their concerns.  This weekend I was able to meet up with my mentor, Rebecca, outside of school to talk about how I have been adjusting to graduate school.  It is comforting to have someone to talk to that has been through their first year of the program, it gives me a first-hand account of what to expect this year. 
A long awaited renovation to the Cincinnati Children’s Department of Human Genetics was just completed and the genetic counseling students have a new student work area equipped with our own personal computers and desks. This space allows us to be in proximity to the department faculty and in reach of all of the departmental resources.
Outside of class the first years have been getting together to explore the city.  We’ve gone to baseball games, checked out farmers markets and enjoyed concerts downtown. 
-Kate Heraty
Genetic Counseling Graduate Student, Class of 2014
University of Cincinnati Genetic Counseling Program
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center