Genetic Counseling Training Program Admissions Teams and Racial and Ethnic Diversity: Surveying the Gatekeepers

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dc.contributor.advisor Chan-Smutko, Gayun
dc.contributor.author Sarmiento, Ana
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-24T18:08:11Z
dc.date.available 2019-05-24T18:08:11Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10192/36771
dc.description.abstract A racial and ethnic diversity gap has been observed between the healthcare workforce and the populations it serves. This gap is especially striking within the genetic counseling workforce, with the most recent Professional Status Survey (PSS) demonstrating 95% White membership. Despite years of documented efforts on behalf of the genetic counseling profession to diversify its workforce, the diversity gap has seen very minimal improvement since the inception of the field in 1969. Notably missing from this research are the voices of genetic counseling training programs. The aim of the study was to survey genetic counseling program directors and program admissions teams to gain insight into their views and perceptions of, and efforts to increase diversity in the profession. Eighty-two program admissions team members participated in our survey. We found that most respondents did not think the genetic counseling profession had advanced enough with respect to diversity (97.5%), and that racial and ethnic minorities were not well represented in the profession (95.1%) or the healthcare field at large (64.2%). Financial considerations emerged as the top-rated barrier to diversity as well as one of the most important factors in increasing diversity. An overwhelming majority (84%) agreed that in order to meet parity in genetic counseling, admissions standards need to be lowered. The majority of respondents (92%) agree that they engage in diversification endeavors and over half (55%) report they perform well in this respect. Respondents rated training programs, NSGC, and genetic counselors as a whole, as bearers of the greatest responsibility for diversifying the workforce. Our findings show considerable support for diversification, though substantial variability in strategies to achieve this. A collaborative approach between stakeholders to implement low cost but high-impact strategies, such as mentorship and educational outreach is recommended.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Ana Sarmiento 2019
dc.subject genetic counseling training programs
dc.subject admissions teams
dc.subject diversity
dc.subject racial and ethnic diversity
dc.subject genetic counseling
dc.subject diversity in healthcare
dc.subject healthcare workforce
dc.title Genetic Counseling Training Program Admissions Teams and Racial and Ethnic Diversity: Surveying the Gatekeepers
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling
dc.degree.name MS
dc.degree.level Masters
dc.degree.discipline Genetic Counseling
dc.degree.grantor Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.description.esploro yes


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