Date of Award
Open Access Thesis
There are fewer and smaller genetic counseling master’s programs in Canada compared to the United States, which makes it challenging for prospective Canadian students to train in their home country. We investigated which factors influenced Canadian students to apply or not to apply to American genetic counseling training programs, as well as the experiences of those Canadians who attended a program in the United States. We predicted that Canadian students applied to American genetic counseling training programs primarily because of limited training opportunities in Canada and a competitive application process across North America. We used a mixed method, online survey to study Canadian genetic counseling students who matched with a training program during the 2018-2021 application cycles. Descriptive statistics and thematic analysis were used to analyze the collected data. We had a total of 72 respondents, most of whom identified as female, white, and not Hispanic or Latino, and a response rate of 48.6%. Limited training opportunities in Canada and a competitive application process were the most common factors that influenced Canadian students to apply to American programs. Cost of education in the United States and cost and logistics of the GRE requirement for American programs were the most common factors that influenced Canadians not to apply to an American program. Canadian genetic counseling students who studied in the United States faced challenges related to being an international student and stated that more information, contact with other Canadians, and personal support from the program and/or institution would have improved their experience. We propose the development of informational materials and a support network of Canadian genetic counseling students that can be advertised in a joint effort by NSGC and AGCPD. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the experiences of Canadian genetic counseling students and our findings highlight the unique challenges faced by this group.
Ladouceur, M. E.(2022). Describing the Experiences of Canadian Genetic Counseling Students Studying in the United States. (Master's thesis). Retrieved from https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/6742