Reflections on diversity, equity, and inclusion in genetic counseling education

Annie K. Bao, Amanda L. Bergner, Gayun Chan-Smutko*, Janelle Villiers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Through self-reflection, self-education, and with a learning mindset each of us has embarked on a personal path to understand the impact of racism in our personal and professional lives. This personal work is ongoing, though it was through our individual paths that led us to engage in dialogue on race and racism at the 38th National Society of Genetic Counselors Annual Conference. We initially did not know each other; however, we were drawn by a mutual desire to further the conversation and sought connection with each other after the Conversations Around Diversity Platform Presentations. Through sustained, open dialogue we created a brave space for sharing our emotional and intellectual responses to the conference. Through this dialogue and through written reflections, we recognized an emboldened urgency to author a joint reflection on our shared responsibility as genetic counseling training program leaders to use our privilege in service to our students and future students. We have the evidence that we are not a diverse profession. We have more evidence now than we did before that our profession performs poorly with regards to inclusivity. Our inability to acknowledge, address, and discuss racism and other forms of oppression is damaging to each of us individually and as a group of professionals. We owe it to ourselves, our students, our patients, and colleagues to name our learned biases and behaviors, own them and interrupt them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-323
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Genetic Counseling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • diversity
  • diversity in genetic counseling
  • education
  • genetic counseling
  • genetic counseling education
  • genetic counselors
  • power
  • privilege diversity
  • racism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)

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