No two genetic counselors have the same role. This makes the genetic counseling profession exciting and full of possibilities. Our ongoing series, “I Am a Genetic Counselor,” shares diverse perspectives and stories from genetic counselors showcasing the variety of roles and the many experiences those in the field can have.
Hear first-hand stories from genetic counselors below to get a better idea of what it’s like to walk in their shoes and revisit this page as it will be updated with testimonials over time. Additionally, follow our social channels to receive updates. If you are a genetic counselor and are interested in sharing your career experience and perspective, please reach out to NSGC at NSGCPR@Pcipr.com to learn more.
Training the Next Generation
Janice Berliner, MS, CGC, Director, Master of Science in Genetic Counseling Program
I'm Janice Berliner, and I am a genetic counselor. What I love most about our profession is the vast growth in opportunities over the past few decades. I've been a genetic counselor for over 30 years, and when I graduated from my training program in the late 1980s, the only options we really had were to do clinical counseling in either pediatrics or prenatal settings or if we were really lucky, a combination of both. And I did that of course for about 10 years and I really loved it. But then the opportunity for cancer risk assessment came along and I was really excited to try that. It was a long experiment of about 20 years that I loved and felt competent doing.
Now I'm the Director of the Master of Science and Genetic Counseling Program at Bay Path University. What I love most about our profession is the variety and flexibility that is not only allowed but encouraged. We can cross specialties in the clinic as I did. We can work in laboratories, industry research, public health, public policy, education or the direct-to-consumer testing space, or any combination of these and others. We can write books and journal articles, build departments, testify before Congress, and educate the next generation of genetic counselors. We can start businesses, websites, blogs, and podcasts. We can plan conferences and provide expertise for journalists.
I tell my students that they are building a skill set that is transferable from one specialty to another, and that the doors open to them are limited only by their imaginations. What I think says the most about my love for this profession is that if I were starting over, I would most certainly want to be a genetic counselor again.
I can't say enough about what I value about our profession and how excited I am to be part of the process of training the next generation. Again, I am a genetic counselor and proud of it.
Back to Resources