Virtual genetic counselling clinic

Staff and students from the Master of Genetic Counselling program in the Department of Paediatrics responded to the COVID-19 related shortage of placement opportunities by developing a virtual genetic counselling clinic.  

The activity was approved by the professional organisation the Human Genetics Society of Australasia (HGSA) Board of Censors for Genetic Counselling.

Second year Master of Genetic Counselling students participated over two days during which time they prepared for three cases. For each case, they carried out an intake call and a full genetic counselling session via Zoom that was video recorded.

A total of 60 scenarios were created based on real cases. Simulated clients were recruited from other student cohorts, practicing genetic counsellors and other volunteers.

Genetic counsellors and clinical geneticists provided supervision over the two days and students made clinical notes, reflected on each case in small groups and prepared a client letter.

Feedback from students, supervisors and ‘clients’ has been very positive and viewed as a good investment of time and effort.

Led by Dr Melody Menezes and Dr Samantha Wake, the initiative formed part of several additional simulated activities that provided students with additional days of clinical placement so they could successfully achieve the required professional competencies to graduate on time.