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M.Sc. Genetic Counselling Program


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M.Sc. Genetic Counselling Program


Our two-year Genetic Counselling program incorporates academic and clinical training to provide students with the most up-to-date skills that facilitate their employment in a variety of engaging work settings. 


The Department of Molecular Genetics offers a Master of Science Program in Genetic Counselling in collaboration with the Division of Clinical and Metabolic Genetics in the Department of Paediatrics of the Hospital for Sick Children and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto.

This Program has full accreditation status with the Accreditation Counsel for Genetic Counseling (ACGC).  Upon graduation, students are eligible to apply for “Active Candidate” status and to sit both the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) and the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors (CAGC) certification examinations. (See also the National Society of Genetic Counselors).

Our internationally distinguished faculty is committed to:

  • Leading edge research in the diagnosis and treatment of genetic disease
  • Comprehensive and compassionate genetic counselling
  • Excellence in education
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Clinical Rotations


Clinical Rotations


Students develop genetic counselling skills, in part through their experiences in a wide variety of clinical training opportunities which are in close proximity to the classroom setting.

Moreover, rotations in a number of university-affiliated teaching hospitals ensure that the students are able to participate in the care of patients and families with both common and rare genetic disorders.

The clinical training comprises two fairly distinct components: the observational component in the first semester of first year and the participatory component throughout the remainder of the program. The observational rotations provide an appreciation of the medical, financial and emotional burdens encountered by individuals/families with a genetic disorder. The clinics selected are those providing medical care for individuals/families with relatively common genetic disorders.

Beginning in the second semester of the first year and throughout the second year, students become directly involved in the provision of genetic counselling.

 The students’ clinical rotations take place at the following health care facilities:

  • The Hospital for Sick Children 
  • Mount Sinai Hospital 
  • Princess Margaret Hospital - University Health Network 
  • Toronto General Hospital - University Health Network 
  • Women’s College Hospital 
  • St. Michael’s Hospital 
  • Bloorview-MacMillan Rehabilitation Centre
  • North York General Hospital

Rotations are supervised by genetic counsellors, geneticists and other health care professionals who are considered experts in their fields and have experience in supervising a variety of health care trainees.

Semester 1

These rotations provide students with the opportunity to participate in various specialty clinics and learn first-hand about some common genetic disorders.

Clinics Including: Autism Research Unit, Adult and Paediatric Cystic Fibrosis, Neuromuscular, Adult and Paediatric Hemoglobinopathies (Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Disease), Hemophilia, Spina Bifida and Spinal Cord, Huntington Disease Clinic.

Semester 2-4

In second semester of first year and throughout second year, students will provide care and genetic counselling to patients and their families in a supervised clinical setting.

Clinics: General Genetics Outpatient and Inpatient Services, Prenatal Genetics and specialty clinics such as Cancer Clinics (Ovarian, Colon, Breast, Paediatric), Metabolic Genetics and DNA Resource/Molecular Lab.

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Activities


Activities


Supplementary activities serve to enrich the learning experience and professional development offered by the courses and clinical rotations.

The diversity of topics and learning opportunities available is outstanding and many of the lectures are given by international experts who are leaders in their respective fields.

Supplementary activities include:

  • Genetic Counselling Journal Club, Case Conference and Walk Rounds 

  • Genetic Grand Rounds 

  • Genetic Metabolic Rounds 

  • Divisional Journal Club and Case Conference 

  • Mount Sinai Hospital Prenatal Diagnosis Rounds

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Admissions


Admissions


Students applying to the program will be considered based upon the following:

  • review of formal applications
  • academic performance
  • volunteer experience 
  • 3 letters of reference and 
  • personal interviews by the selection committee.  

The review process includes consideration of applications that have not met minimum requirements, though fulfillment is strongly advised.

Interviews will be conducted in March and April.  The two day interview process involves an orientation session a tour of the Hospital for Sick Children, and the formal interview.  During this process interviewees are invited to attend educational activities and have an informal lunch with students in the program.

The selected candidates will be notified on the Universal Acceptance Date; all ABGC accredited programs notify applicants of their admission status on the same day, currently the end of April or the beginning of May.   Four students will be accepted per year.



 

 

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Facilities


Facilities


The Program is housed within the Division of Clinical and Metabolic genetics of the Hospital for Sick Children, providing students with a unique opportunity to work in a clinical setting

The facilities are located along University Avenue, where most of the University of Toronto teaching hospitals involved in clinical rotations are centred. Our clinical rotations are reachable within a 5-minute walk or a short subway ride from the Hospital for Sick Children, minimizing transportation time and maximizing time spent in clinics. Given the proximity, genetic counselling students may have the opportunity to participate in impromptu clinical opportunities when they arise.

 

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Always Here to Help


Always Here to Help


Program Director, Genetic Counselling Hospital for Sick Children, Division of Clinical & Metabolic Genetics      555 University Ave, Toronto ON M5G 1X8  

Tel: 416-813-6374                 

Program Administrator, Genetic Counselling Hospital for Sick Children, Division of Clinical & Metabolic Genetics      555 University Ave, Toronto ON M5G 1X8   Tel: 416-813-6374  

 

Medical Director, Genetic Counselling Ontario Power Generation Bldg., # 3-709               700 University Ave.        Toronto ON M5G 1Z5  

Tel: 416-813-6374

       

Chair, Department of Molecular Genetics  #4388, Medical Sciences 1 King's College Circle
University of Toronto
Toronto ON M5S 1A8    Tel: 416-946-8511

Assistant Program Director (Operations), Genetic Counselling Hospital for Sick Children, Division of Clinical & Metabolic Genetics,      555 University Ave. Toronto On M5G 1X8     Tel: 416-813-5875              

Graduate Program Administrator, Molecular Genetics                  #4398, Medical Sciences Bldg.
1 King's College Circle
University of Toronto
Toronto ON M5S 1A8
Tel: 416-978-7145
 

Assistant Program Director (Clinical Supervision & Learning), Genetic Counselling            Familial Breast & Ovarian Cancer Clinic, Princess Margaret Hospital        Tel: 416-946-2286