Clinical Education

woman receives telehealth counseling

Students in the MUSC Master of Science in Genetic Counseling (MSGC) program receive 17 credit hours of clinical practicum experience over the course of the program. Each student will rotate in a variety of practice settings including prenatal, cancer, pediatrics and general genetics, and will gain specialty experience in some of laboratory, research, and specialty practice areas such as cardiology and neurology based on student interest and rotation availability. Students will practice genetic counseling using multiple service delivery models, from traditional clinical care models to telehealth and remote service delivery. The MSGC ensures that all students gain exposure in a variety of genetic counseling settings and achieve the practice-based competencies outlined by the Accreditation Council of for genetic counseling.

The clinical experience begins in the second semester (spring of year one) with simulated patient counseling. Simulated patients are on-site at MUSC, but remote real-time counseling via telehealth is possible for distance learners.

Students begin rotations in real-world professional settings in summer of year one. The summer rotation will be one-month full-time or equivalent. Real-world placements continue through the second year, with two placements in each of fall and spring semesters. In these rotations, students build skills commensurate with experience and under the supervision of a practicing certified genetic counselor. While a rotation may begin with observation, by advanced stages of the rotation/program, students will take on many or all roles with patients/clients, under supervision. A minimum of 50 participatory cases gathered across all rotation placements is required per student for graduation.

A majority of clinical rotations offered through this program utilize the MUSC genetic counselors and MUSC clinics (most of which are in person, though some offer remote services and supervision opportunities). MUSC rotation opportunities include prenatal, cancer, pediatric/general, cardiovascular, neurology, pulmonary, laboratory and research. The MSGC has affiliation agreements with Greenwood Genetics Center and Summerville Medical Center to offer rotation placements in these outside facilities in South Carolina, which also offer a breadth of diverse clinical experiences and formats. The MSGC maintains a list of rotation opportunities offered by genetics industry partners/labs by application only; students are encouraged to apply for these opportunities based on interests and educational needs. Most students will also have the opportunity to complete an away/elective rotation. The MSGC will facilitate the best placement possible based on student geographical and practice area preferences and needs. Students may also solicit their own opportunities and work with the MSGC fieldwork coordinator to execute appropriate agreements and plans.