GeneDawg

Genetic Counseling Fall 2018 Applicants

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How many schools are you all thinking of applying? I am thinking of applying to about 8-10, but I don't want to annoy my recommenders and don't know if it is worth spending so much money.

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12 minutes ago, GeneDawg said:

How many schools are you all thinking of applying? I am thinking of applying to about 8-10, but I don't want to annoy my recommenders and don't know if it is worth spending so much money.

I originally applied to five this past cycle and thought it was low compared to other people. I was thinking about applying to 6 for the next cycle. The only downside about it is the application fees and the number of letters needed for the recommenders to keep track of. 

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4 hours ago, AspiringGC said:

Hi guys! So not sure if anyone has some suggestions about classes I should retake. 
Basically, I think a big issue with my application this year was my science GPA/prereq grades. I figured I should try retake some of the ones I received a C in as well as take the other semester of Biochem as I only took one semester. So I'm thinking of retaking OChem I (which I've taken twice already), Biochem I, and then a random assortment of Psych classes (because I'm looking to add a minor on if I am allowed to after I graduate). Psych classes I'm looking at are: Health psych, Psych of Death and Loss, and Intro Cognitive Psych/Cognitive development. 

Are there any other suggestions of classes I should look into? I know embryology would be beneficial, but none of the programs I'm looking at require it. Counseling classes? Try to improve my sign language by taking more semesters of that? I've already taken a medical terminology class, Stats, and Calc and received A's/B's in those. 

I took heath psychology this past semester and I enjoyed it at my school due to the emotional perspective of many health problems. I was told by counselors I shadowed previously to take as many psychology classes as possible. I think an intro to counseling course may be helpful, it was to me anyway when I took it. I don't have any experience with sign language but it would be an interesting thing to put in your application next cycle especially under any special skills or as another language you understand. Right now I am planning on taking embryology this summer. 

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55 minutes ago, GeneDawg said:

How many schools are you all thinking of applying? I am thinking of applying to about 8-10, but I don't want to annoy my recommenders and don't know if it is worth spending so much money.

Sorry to interject but this information might be useful too! So I got into a program this year (yay) but I ended up talking to a program director during my interviews who is a part of ACGC and she was saying there will also be a $100 fee ON TOP of all application fees for the new algorithmic based match system. I'd take that into consideration when picking how many schools to apply to as well. Good luck! :) 

Edited by jadeo07

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Hey everyone,

So I was a second time applicant this past cycle: I applied to 9 schools, interviewed at 5, and was waitlisted at 3 but still didn't get a spot so naturally I'm feeling a bit frustrated about having to be a third time applicant :/

I felt like my GRE/GPA was fine as no schools seemed to say anything about it this cycle and I had followed up with programs last year and tried to do everything that they asked me to. The only thing that I felt like I was liking was long-term shadowing experience/a GC assistant position. I'm just not really sure what they're looking for since I tried to improve on everything that I was told to :( 

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1 hour ago, JK93 said:

Hey everyone,

So I was a second time applicant this past cycle: I applied to 9 schools, interviewed at 5, and was waitlisted at 3 but still didn't get a spot so naturally I'm feeling a bit frustrated about having to be a third time applicant :/

I felt like my GRE/GPA was fine as no schools seemed to say anything about it this cycle and I had followed up with programs last year and tried to do everything that they asked me to. The only thing that I felt like I was liking was long-term shadowing experience/a GC assistant position. I'm just not really sure what they're looking for since I tried to improve on everything that I was told to :( 

I am really sorry! That sounds very frustrating. Seems like you are well qualified since you got waitlisted at three places. I heard that sometimes it is not about how qualified you are, but about how well your personality will fit in other students in that particular program. Hopefully new match system will be good for you!

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2 hours ago, JN212 said:

I took heath psychology this past semester and I enjoyed it at my school due to the emotional perspective of many health problems. I was told by counselors I shadowed previously to take as many psychology classes as possible. I think an intro to counseling course may be helpful, it was to me anyway when I took it. I don't have any experience with sign language but it would be an interesting thing to put in your application next cycle especially under any special skills or as another language you understand. Right now I am planning on taking embryology this summer. 

Thank you! That helps me a lot. With working my classes are limited to evening or online, so I might not be able to take an intro counseling class.
I just found a grad level Public Health class on telemedicine that I thought would be interesting, so I am enrolled in that. I will likely take an intro human histology class that is grad level as well. I think I should force myself to take the other semester of biochem, and then round it out with the health psych class! 

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2 hours ago, AspiringGC said:

 I think I should force myself to take the other semester of biochem, and then round it out with the health psych class! 

There is an "Intro to Biochem" online class offered through UCSD's Education Extension Department.  It is 3 units!  It was a good class and super convenient since I couldn't take biochemistry at my college.  I can give you the info and course syllabus if you are interested!

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1 minute ago, kds27 said:

There is an "Intro to Biochem" online class offered through UCSD's Education Extension Department.  It is 3 units!  It was a good class and super convenient since I couldn't take biochemistry at my college.  I can give you the info and course syllabus if you are interested!

Yes I would love that! Thank you, I'll message you my email address :)

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5 hours ago, Elisheva said:

It's so confusing! Even if you think you nail the interview, you just never know. At the same time although I was barely considering some options for this year, after getting waitlisted for them I was dying to attend so they all of a sudden became my top choice... It's going to be so confusing.

I'm just so confused also with how it is going to work... What if my rankings don't match theirs?  Will it be a waste of money and time again? How is it going to be fair and beneficial to all... ugh already feeling the anxiety. 

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On 4/29/2017 at 7:59 PM, kds27 said:

Hi all!  I have a question!  What types of jobs do you all have?  I am looking for an advocacy/healthcare/nonprofit/clinical research type of job and I would love to hear what you all are up to, so I can get ideas!  Thanks :)

Hi! I currently work as a clinical research assistant at a cancer hospital - my job is working directly under a lung cancer oncologist, consenting patients in research that's studying the genetic basis of lung cancer, and taking their family history/pedigrees. This job was a really great fit for me but I got hired after I sent in apps, but got to talk about it during my interviews! Before that, I was just volunteering at the same hospital and at a crisis helpline. All of the fields you listed would be great options - things that allow you to gain experience working with patients, counseling, one-on-one education, research etc! 

10 hours ago, AspiringGC said:

Are there any other suggestions of classes I should look into? I know embryology would be beneficial, but none of the programs I'm looking at require it. Counseling classes? Try to improve my sign language by taking more semesters of that? I've already taken a medical terminology class, Stats, and Calc and received A's/B's in those. 

I had decided to retake my genetics class (but that's because I had originally gotten a C+). Also, I think it was beneficial to take some broader classes outside of the prereqs, like bioethics, public policy, and some kind of sociology/public speaking - just because I think that you can apply these topics to the multiple roles a genetic counselor may fill!

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2 hours ago, NHxx said:

 

I had decided to retake my genetics class (but that's because I had originally gotten a C+). Also, I think it was beneficial to take some broader classes outside of the prereqs, like bioethics, public policy, and some kind of sociology/public speaking - just because I think that you can apply these topics to the multiple roles a genetic counselor may fill!

Yeah I am happy with my grade in genetics, my Chem/biochem classes are where most of my Cs are. And I have already take both bioethics and a public speaking class, so I'm good on that front but glad you mentioned them!

I really should focus on my science classes GPA as that's (what I believe, but I'll find out soon enough once I contact programs) really hindered my application. Yet at the same thing, I think having a deeper psych/public health background couldn't hurt since my degree is in Moleculae and Cellular Biology. 

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In regards to the matching algorithm, don't over think it or try to game it somehow by ranking schools in some order that is not your true preference. The way to get your best possible placement is to rank schools in the order that you'd want to attend them. Here is a very detailed video that explains The Match for medical residency, but our match is going to use the same exact iterative algorithm with successive rounds of tentative matching. I really think it's better for everyone involved. 

http://www.nrmp.org/match-a-to-z/video-tutorials/about-the-matching-algorithm-tutorial/ 

Really, the only theoretical way someone might benefit from the decision day system as opposed to the match system is if they're the lucky marginal candidate that happens to profit off of someone else's anxiety. Say, Amy, Becky and Claire are all waitlisted for their top choice school, Pitt. At the end of the second day, They're all still on the waitlist, in that order. Amy and Becky are competitive candidates who both have offers at other school; Claire does not - this waitlist is her only option. At the beginning of the 3rd day, Amy and Becky both give up on their top choice, and accept offers at other schools, and Claire is now at the top of the waitlist. When one last position opens up at Pitt, it's now Claire's, even though Pitt had initially ranked Amy higher and Amy really, really wanted to be at Pitt. I know it can be temping to identify with Claire here - Yay, everyone in our example is going to be a genetic counselor, they're all at least going somewhere- but you could just as easily end up being Darla, who would have gotten in to OSU had Amy not accepted there instead of her top choice, but now will have to apply for a second cycle. The number of spots is still going to be less than the number of applicants that interviewed and some people won't get in no matter what, but the matching system will take the waiting, stress, and game theory element out of it. 

Edited by Ultrapeaches

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I'm probably going to disappear from the threads now but if anyone wants any advice or someone to look over their application, I'm happy to help! I know what it feels like to be rejected during round 1 and I wish I had more support/advice. So feel free to message me if I can be of any assistance! Good luck to everyone next year!

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1 hour ago, Ultrapeaches said:

In regards to the matching algorithm, don't over think it or try to game it somehow by ranking schools in some order that is not your true preference. The way to get your best possible placement is to rank schools in the order that you'd want to attend them. Here is a very detailed video that explains The Match for medical residency, but our match is going to use the same exact iterative algorithm with successive rounds of tentative matching. I really think it's better for everyone involved. 

http://www.nrmp.org/match-a-to-z/video-tutorials/about-the-matching-algorithm-tutorial/ 

Really, the only theoretical way someone might benefit from the decision day system as opposed to the match system is if they're the lucky marginal candidate that happens to profit off of someone else's anxiety. Say, Amy, Becky and Claire are all waitlisted for their top choice school, Pitt. At the end of the second day, They're all still on the waitlist, in that order. Amy and Becky are competitive candidates who both have offers at other school; Claire does not - this waitlist is her only option. At the beginning of the 3rd day, Amy and Becky both give up on their top choice, and accept offers at other schools, and Claire is now at the top of the waitlist. When one last position opens up at Pitt, it's now Claire's, even though Pitt had initially ranked Amy higher and Amy really, really wanted to be at Pitt. I know it can be temping to identify with Claire here - Yay, everyone in our example is going to be a genetic counselor, they're all at least going somewhere- but you could just as easily end up being Darla, who would have gotten in to OSU had Amy not accepted there instead of her top choice, but now will have to apply for a second cycle. The number of spots is still going to be less than the number of applicants that interviewed and some people won't get in no matter what, but the matching system will take the waiting, stress, and game theory element out of it. 

Thank you for the video it definitely helped understand the match. The only question I had was, when do you actually fill out/rank the match system and is it now required by all schools to do so? 

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8 minutes ago, JN212 said:

Thank you for the video it definitely helped understand the match. The only question I had was, when do you actually fill out/rank the match system and is it now required by all schools to do so? 

I would assume only after all your interviews? That's the only fair way. Especially since many people's ideas of top choice and last choice change between just applying and having gone through interviews. And since you would never be offer a spot without an interview, there'd be no reason to send in a ranked list of all the programs you applied to if you didn't receive an interview from all of them.

 Maybe there will be a specific date all interviews have to be done for each program, say 2-3 weeks before match day? Then there will likely be a deadline for applicants and programs to submit their ranked list as well and then the match process can happen. But this is all just speculation.

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The website is launched and they explain things really clearly. I think we're all nervous due to the fact that we get one answer without any flexibility... I think it's sort of fear of the unknown. Thinking about it, it's true, there are the same amount of slots available for the same amount of applicants. It all just seems very final and I think that's what's causing the nerves.

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1 hour ago, Elisheva said:

The website is launched and they explain things really clearly. I think we're all nervous due to the fact that we get one answer without any flexibility... I think it's sort of fear of the unknown. Thinking about it, it's true, there are the same amount of slots available for the same amount of applicants. It all just seems very final and I think that's what's causing the nerves.

Reading through the website really helped, but it still makes me nervous that I wouldn't be the one directly making decision of choosing the program. I am glad though that this will reduce stress and waitlist game! 

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On 5/1/2017 at 2:55 PM, AspiringGC said:

Hi guys! So not sure if anyone has some suggestions about classes I should retake. 
Basically, I think a big issue with my application this year was my science GPA/prereq grades. I figured I should try retake some of the ones I received a C in as well as take the other semester of Biochem as I only took one semester. So I'm thinking of retaking OChem I (which I've taken twice already), Biochem I, and then a random assortment of Psych classes (because I'm looking to add a minor on if I am allowed to after I graduate). Psych classes I'm looking at are: Health psych, Psych of Death and Loss, and Intro Cognitive Psych/Cognitive development. 

Are there any other suggestions of classes I should look into? I know embryology would be beneficial, but none of the programs I'm looking at require it. Counseling classes? Try to improve my sign language by taking more semesters of that? I've already taken a medical terminology class, Stats, and Calc and received A's/B's in those. 

It looks like you've already gotten some great feedback about classes, but I just thought I would add in that I'm a second year applicant and to help build my application in between I took a couple of genetic counseling specific classes that Cincinnati offers online. Cardiovascular genetics is a good one. The students in the program take it for their summer semester and it's also used as continuing education for current GCs. That being said, it's not too difficult, even without the knowledge base it kind of assumes you have. Anyone can register for these classes so they can be a great thing to have. CV genetics is one you do at your own pace and then you take an exam at the end. I finished pretty quickly.

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1 hour ago, UCincyGC2019 said:

It looks like you've already gotten some great feedback about classes, but I just thought I would add in that I'm a second year applicant and to help build my application in between I took a couple of genetic counseling specific classes that Cincinnati offers online. Cardiovascular genetics is a good one. The students in the program take it for their summer semester and it's also used as continuing education for current GCs. That being said, it's not too difficult, even without the knowledge base it kind of assumes you have. Anyone can register for these classes so they can be a great thing to have. CV genetics is one you do at your own pace and then you take an exam at the end. I finished pretty quickly.

Oh wow thank you! It's are actually relatively cheap compared to classes at my university, I saw their neurogenetics course that is also the same format I could even start those now and likely have them completed before my other courses start later this summer.

Do you remember if there is a time deadline to have the course completed by once you start, like 13-16 weeks after you started the course? I need to research more but if I do end up taking it, I don't want to bite off more than I can handle and not be able to finish in time 

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23 minutes ago, AspiringGC said:

Oh wow thank you! It's are actually relatively cheap compared to classes at my university, I saw their neurogenetics course that is also the same format I could even start those now and likely have them completed before my other courses start later this summer.

Do you remember if there is a time deadline to have the course completed by once you start, like 13-16 weeks after you started the course? I need to research more but if I do end up taking it, I don't want to bite off more than I can handle and not be able to finish in time 

I don't believe there is a deadline for completing the course, at least for the Cardiovascular class. I think they say something like if you don't access it in a year, you lose access. I was worried a time constraint at first because I went through the lectures then got busy and had to go through them all again before taking the exam because I forgot everything. But I think you have as much time as you need to finish. Once you feel ready, you email the course instructor on your syllabus and they will open the final for you. Unfortunately, I don't think many people can take it for GPA credit (might be different for you) but I got a letter of completion with my final exam grade that I could attach to a lot of applications. If nothing else, it helped me feel a lot more confident in my knowledge about the field and increased my knowledge of genetics above what I was able to take in undergrad. I also took their lab genetic counseling course as that's an area I'm really interested in, but that one is a little different. There's no actual final, just a self assessment, because most people only take it for continuing education credits. I don't think it's as valuable as CV genetics or embryology unless you are really interested in lab jobs. I don't know as much about the neuro or other class they offer. But this was something a current student at UC suggested I do to strengthen my app and I would recommend it, too.

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13 hours ago, Elisheva said:

The website is launched and they explain things really clearly. I think we're all nervous due to the fact that we get one answer without any flexibility... I think it's sort of fear of the unknown. Thinking about it, it's true, there are the same amount of slots available for the same amount of applicants. It all just seems very final and I think that's what's causing the nerves.

@Elisheva is there a different link than what was posted before? I clicked on the GC match page link posted earlier and it still said "more info will be posted here later in may"..

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1 hour ago, UCincyGC2019 said:

I don't believe there is a deadline for completing the course, at least for the Cardiovascular class. I think they say something like if you don't access it in a year, you lose access. I was worried a time constraint at first because I went through the lectures then got busy and had to go through them all again before taking the exam because I forgot everything. But I think you have as much time as you need to finish. Once you feel ready, you email the course instructor on your syllabus and they will open the final for you. Unfortunately, I don't think many people can take it for GPA credit (might be different for you) but I got a letter of completion with my final exam grade that I could attach to a lot of applications. If nothing else, it helped me feel a lot more confident in my knowledge about the field and increased my knowledge of genetics above what I was able to take in undergrad. I also took their lab genetic counseling course as that's an area I'm really interested in, but that one is a little different. There's no actual final, just a self assessment, because most people only take it for continuing education credits. I don't think it's as valuable as CV genetics or embryology unless you are really interested in lab jobs. I don't know as much about the neuro or other class they offer. But this was something a current student at UC suggested I do to strengthen my app and I would recommend it, too.

Oh wonderful! That's exactly what I was worried about. I'm starting my first full-time job in June and since I'm not entirely sure what to expect about how much time I'll actually have after work, I didn't want to commit and not be able to finish. 

I'm definitely looking more into the neuro and cardio genetics classes, but I think embryology might be fun too! Thanks again for the info!

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As per the match site, they have a list of scheduled dates, figured I'd post the more important ones:

9/5/17: List of participating programs released/Applicants can register for Match process

12/15/17: Must be registered for Match process by this date. Additionally, applicants must be registered for Match before a program will consider their applicant. 

3/29/18: Participants can start submitting Rank Order List

4/13/18: Deadline to submit Rank Order List

4/27/18 at NOON: Results released

4/28/18-5/31/18: Post-Match Process starts and unmatched applicants can seek to fill empty seats at programs

 

So yeah, looks similar to what I was expecting deadline-wise and seems to be a fair date for us to have finished interviews before we rank the programs :)

Edited by AspiringGC

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