The Smith Family Clinic welcomed a Stanford University student for a mini-rotation in genetic counseling this summer. Kristina Cotter, PhD, spent two weeks working alongside the genetic counseling team, gaining genomics specific experience. One rising second-year genetic counseling student is selected each year from across North America for the mini-rotation through a competitive application process.
Cotter says she applied for the mini-rotation because she wanted to learn about what goes into offering whole genome sequencing in a clinical setting. She got the chance by spending time in clinic. She notes the clinic offers experiences that are hard to find elsewhere.
“I saw a patient receive a rare diagnosis after a long diagnostic odyssey, and I also observed how genetic counselors conveyed complex genomic information to patients, including the meaning of secondary findings, pharmacogenomic information, and uncertain findings,” she said of her clinical experience.
Cotter walks away from the mini-rotation with her eyes on the horizon. “The work being done is cutting-edge, and the genetic counselors play such diverse roles, that I often felt like I had stepped into a world that was 5 years in the future. There is an endless amount of fascinating work to do in this field.”