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MCW Approves Development of Genetic Counseling Program

The Medical College of Wisconsin approved the development of a Genetic Counseling (GC) program in the MCW Graduate School. Genetic counselors are crucial to the growth of precision health as they specialize in discussing with patients the scientific, emotional and ethical implications of genomic testing. Wisconsin has only 50 percent of the genetic counselors it needs to fill current clinical care roles in Wisconsin, and the need for genetic counselors is projected to continue growing over the next decade.

The GC program will offer a Master of Science degree to 10 students per class with a 21-month curriculum. The target matriculation date is August 2021.

“MCW’s future genetic counseling students in this exciting program will make a significant difference in filling Wisconsin’s workforce needs and helping provide patients with individualized care,” says Joseph E. Kerschner, MD, dean of the MCW School of Medicine, provost and executive vice president of MCW.

Over the next 18 months, a team from the Institute of Health & Equity, the Genomic Sciences and Precision Medicine Center and the Office of Academic Affairs will continue development of this program by recruiting a program director, applying for accreditation and completing the program design. The Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment awarded initial development funding for the creation of the program.