Students attend an external genetics related conference for patients and their families (e.g. SOFT conference, Fragile X conference).
- The Genetics Task Force of Illinois (GTFI) has been devoted to the development and delivery of genetic services, research and education in the State of Illinois. It is the only organization devoted exclusively to the interests of the genetics professional community in Illinois.
- Quarterly meetings consist of an educational component and provide the valuable opportunity to network with other like-minded professionals. The annual educational symposium brings experts together to speak about the latest genetic topics.
- All second year students receive reimbursement from the program to attend the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Conference.
- Chicago is a host city to a wide variety of educational conferences. If possible, the graduate program is very supportive of giving the students the opportunity to attend selected meetings.
- Operated by the Sisters of Mercy under the auspices of the Catholic Bishop of Chicago, Misericordia has been providing services for persons in need since 1921. Originally a home for unwed mothers, the current Mission began in 1954 when Misericordia opened its doors to infants and children with developmental disabilities. Today, Misericordia supports 550 children and adults with mild to profound developmental disabilities from all racial, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. Misericordia has a wide range of programs on campus and in the community at-large to meet the diverse needs of persons with developmental disabilities.
- University of Wisconsin-Madison: Students attend a Bereavement Conference sponsored by UW-Madison’s Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling. Students from Northwestern University, UW-Madison and the University of Minnesota program all come together in Madison for this one day workshop.
- The Center for Genetic Medicine sponsors several annual seminars for the public and scientific community (e.g. Silverstein lecture series, Scott Lectureship, Genetics seminars by the Illinois Humanities Council).
- Students also get to attend Grand Rounds and sponsored lectures at their various clinical rotation sites across the Chicago Land area.
- All students are required to attend the Laboratory Course the second five weeks of Spring Quarter at the University of Chicago. Students will become more familiar with molecular and cytogenetic laboratory techniques, interpretation of variants, written components of a laboratory report and the role of the genetic counselor within the laboratory setting.
Teaching Opportunities and Presentations
- Students are very involved in the city’s DNA Day activities. They work closely with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Center for Jewish Genetics to organize presentations in Chicago public schools.
- Each student is required to give one lay presentation to the public (high school or college students, community groups, public forums etc.) The topics of these presentations have varied depending on the audience and needs. Past topics have included genetic counseling as a career, what is genetic counseling, the basics of genetics and inheritance, psychosocial issues in genetics etc.
- Second year students have the opportunity to teach genetics to medical students at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.
- Case Conference: This meeting allows students to present cases seen during their clinical rotations. Students may also be required to attend outside case conferences that are specific to their clinical rotations.
- Journal Club: This meeting allows students and faculty to review current genetics journals and present recent articles of interest. In addition, it allows students to develop critical literature assessment and presentation skills, as well as to keep abreast of current developments in medical genetics.
- Students also get the opportunity to present and teach each other in several of the courses in the graduate program.
- First and second year students will be participants in the popular game show “Genetic Jeopardy.”
- Students are also required to attend advocacy/support group meetings to learn more about the support resources that are available to our clients.
- Workshops and seminars are held by the program throughout the 18 months to help the students further their professional development. Topics include:
- Preparing your CV/resume
- Identifying the right job for you
- Honing your interviewing skills
- How to negotiate a salary
- Developing your writing skills
- How to get involved in NSGC
- Networking: How and why is it important?