Studying genetic counselling in South India.
I’d like to pursue a career in genetic counselling. What kind of courses should I take and which colleges in South India are the best options for this field? SERA JACOB, VIA EMAIL Genetic counselling, by definition, is the process by which advice is offered to individuals or prospective parents on the risk of inherited disorders, the probability of developing or transmitting them and the options available for prevention or management of the disorder.
One of the academic routes you could follow would be to do a bachelor’s programme in either genetics or biology, followed by a postgraduate course in genetics with further specialisation in genetic counselling.
In India, genetic counselling is just emerging as a study option. The Oxford College, Bangalore, has a three-year BSc programme in genetics that is combined with chemistry and biotechnology. The college also offers a postgraduate course in applied genetics. Osmania University, St Johns Medical College, and Vellore Institute of Technology are other options in South India for genetics.
Kamineni Education Society in Hyderabad has a one-year PG certificate course in medical and genetic counselling. The course claims to be the first of its kind in India. To be able to apply you are required to complete an MSc in either health or life sciences.
Genetic counsellors work in a variety of fields including prenatal, oncology, neurology, paediatrics, research laboratory and diagnostic centres. The scope for this career can also extend to teaching and research within the medical genetics, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. Read journals to learn more about genetics and its social, medical and ethical aspects. Consider volunteering at clinics as community experience is desirable. While pursuing the course, try to shadow genetic counsellors from different specialities.
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