Background One billion people worldwide live with a mental health disorder, with 11 million in the United States (US) alone1,2. More than 90% of people with mental illnesses (MI) and their relatives would like to have psychiatric genetic counseling (PGC)3, and those who receive it report many benefits3,4,5,6,7. Despite this, only 0.2% (6/2740) of the NSGC 2021 Professional Status Survey (PSS) respondents report PGC as their primary area of practice8. Consequently, most individuals and families living with mental illnesses- who have historically been underserved by genetic counselors (GCs) - remain without access to PGC services. Research indicates that GCs do want to work in this specialty area, and that there are more graduates who want to work in specialty areas, including PGC, than there are positions9. Recent graduates depend on the availability of positions to pursue PGC as a career, and PGC positions have yet to be widely posted. A study of subspecialty GCs demonstrated that factors contributing to the expansion of a GC subspecialty include physician interest and job availability10. However, the viewpoint of the employer, specifically regarding hiring psychiatric genetic counselors, is missing from the literature. These decision makers facilitate the crucial step of translating the need for a subspecialty into practice and hearing their perspective on the implementation of PGC will be invaluable in understanding the barriers to the growth of this important discipline. Study purpose The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine the implementation of PGC from the perspective of the GC clinical director by investigating what is preventing clinical directors from hiring psychiatric GCs and/or what would facilitate the creation of these positions.
|Effective start/end date||7/1/21 → 6/30/22|
- National Society of Genetic Counselors (agmt 09/14/21)
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