MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Incoming GSBS Genetic Counseling class participated in Match Day

July 06, 2018
Tracey Barnett

This fall, the GSBS Genetic Counseling Program will welcome a new crop of students, but this incoming class will have the distinction of being the program’s first class to have participated in Match Day that was held on April 27.  The Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors moved from a multi-day offer and acceptance window to using a computerized algorithm from National Matching Service that released results to programs and applicants simultaneously on the notification date, much like matching for medical residency.  All genetic counseling programs across the country participated in the new system.

“It is always nerve wracking to try something new, but the experience of opening an email and learning who our 10 students were rather than spending three days and many, many phone calls was worth the anxiety provoked by change from our perspective,” said Claire Singletary, M.S., C.G.C., program director and associate professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at McGovern Medical School. “We were able to make 10 good news phone calls and welcome our class by noon on Match Day”

The newest program recruits are:

Kaitlyn Amos
Caroline Bertsch
Wendi Betting
Sarah Burke
Aranza Gonzalez Cendejas
Addison Johnson
Lukas Kruidenier
Bradley Power
Emily Stiglich
Autumn Vara

The Graduate School is home to the two-year specialized master’s program, which was founded in 1989 in association with the Department of Pediatrics at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. There are approximately 43 accredited genetic counseling programs across the United States and Canada. The GSBS genetic counseling program is the oldest one in Texas.

“At GSBS, our students benefit from the wisdom of more than 25 years of training, while at the same time having program leadership who are nimble and responsive to change,” said Singletary. “I am proud of the strong didactic background that we provide our students coupled with the chance to see such diverse patients in the country’s largest medical center.”

The traditional role of the genetic counselor has changed over the years to meet the needs and demands of the medical community. While prenatal, cancer and medical genetics remain common areas of focus for genetic counselors; the opportunities outside of these realms continue to expand. Many genetic counselors now work in diagnostic laboratories, industry, private practice and other specialty areas such as cardiovascular genetics.

This year, genetic counseling was ranked as the #1 best job by


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