Fieldwork begins at the start of Year 1 and continues across both years of the program. Students are exposed to a wide variety of both common and rare genetic disorders as well as the natural history, management, and psychosocial concerns for each. Increasingly complex skills are built over time, allowing students to develop autonomy in their practice as appropriate. Standardized clients and simulations are also used to support the development of clinical skills. Face-to-face cases seen in the clinical setting are augmented with other experiences, including phone counseling, clinical and research laboratory rotations, involvement with databases/registries, clinical experiences with non-genetics providers, and public health genetics-related activities. Community outreach is explored through the All of Us project, for which Columbia University is a lead site.
Students provide supervised genetic counseling services for clients being seen in the reproductive genetics clinic. Students work with clients with abnormal prenatal screening results, abnormal prenatal ultrasound results, clients considering invasive prenatal testing (i.e., CVS, amniocentesis), and clients at high risk for fetal anomalies. Students provide genetic test results and work with clients in follow-up who continue or terminate their pregnancy. Meet the reproductive genetics fieldwork faculty.
Students provide supervised genetic counseling services for clients being seen in the cancer genetics clinics. Students work with clients affected with or at risk for hereditary breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and other cancers. Meet the cancer genetics fieldwork faculty.
Students are given an introduction to sequencing technology and the analysis pipeline within the Institute for Genomic Medicine, as well as the tools and databases used to interpret genomic variants. Students interpret example variants and apply this experience to critically analyze a clinical whole exome sequencing report, including appreciating the limitations of sequencing technology and variant interpretation. Meet the translational genomics fieldwork faculty.
Students provide supervised genetic counseling for clients being seen in the general genetics/metabolism clinic. Students work with clients with multiple congenital anomalies, developmental delay/intellectual disability, hypotonia, and other nonspecific findings. Additionally, students work with pediatric and adult clients being evaluated for a variety of specific genetic disorders, including skeletal dysplasias, craniofacial disorders, neurofibromatosis, inborn errors of metabolism, connective tissue disorders, and other single-gene and multifactorial disorders. Meet the general genetics fieldwork faculty.
Students provide supervised genetic counseling for clients being seen in the cardiogenetics clinics. Students work with adult and pediatric clients with congenital heart defects, heritable rhythm disorders, familial hypercholesterolemia, thoracic aortic aneurysm, Marfan syndrome, and cardiomyopathies. Meet the cardiogenetics fieldwork faculty.
Students provide supervised genetic counseling services for clients being seen in the neurology clinics. Students work with adult and pediatric clients with epilepsy, memory disorders and dementia, movement disorders, neuromuscular disorders, and neurodegenerative disorders. Meet the neurogenetics fieldwork faculty.