There is a concurrent fieldwork placement in each of the two years. Our graduate program will use fieldwork sites at UCLA and in the greater Los Angeles area. There will be flexibility to obtain a fieldwork placement outside of Los Angeles for the summer fieldwork experience. Because Los Angeles is a large metropolitan city, students will find it much easier to get to their fieldwork placements if they have access to a car; public transportation may be unavailable or impractical. Fieldwork experience earns course credit via enrollment in HUM GEN 431A-E.
The clinical training is based on a developmental progression from novice to intermediate then advanced skills. Clinical training begins in Year 1 in the fall and winter quarters with observations in a variety of genetic counseling and multispecialty clinics that will expand students' knowledge of the various specialties in clinical practice. These observations help familiarize students with the range of approaches to providing genetic counseling services and, more broadly, to the varying approaches to health care. Students will also benefit from role-plays which enables them to apply theories through work with virtual patients. Clinical training continues with five fieldwork rotations beginning the spring of Year 1 and ending the spring of Year 2. Throughout fieldwork experience, student growth is promoted through a required one-hour discussion each week as part of their fieldwork courses offered during the regular academic year to serve as an opportunity to debrief, self-reflect, and normalize feelings.
All students will complete core rotations in prenatal, pediatric, cancer, and adult genetics. Opportunities for rotations or observations in other specialty areas such as neurogenetics, cardiogenetics, ocular genetics, and commercial genetic testing are also possible. Arrangements are also available for students interested in completing a specific rotation in another geographic area during the summer term of the program.