J Genet Med.  2009 Jun;6(1):38-55.

A Study on Genetic Counseling Curriculum, Accreditation of the Training Program, and the Certification Process of Genetic Counselors in Korea.

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medical Genetics, Ajou University School of Medicine, Korea. genetics@kornet.net
  • 2Center for Genetic Disease, Suwon, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE
This study was undertaken to provide the framework for development of a genetic counseling training program, and an accreditation and certification process suitable for non-M.D. genetic counselors in Korea.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Global standards of genetic counseling curriculums, training program accreditation (TPA), and the certification process for genetic counselors (CPGC) in the U.S.A and Japan were reviewed, and a questionnaire survey was performed to elicit opinions among health-care providers including physicians, nurses, technicians, researchers, and educators. In addition, input from professional communities, including the Korean Society of Medical Genetics (KSMG) and Institute for Genetic Testing Evaluation, was sought in formulating the framework of this study.
RESULTS
Comparison of U.S.A. and Japan educational systems showed similarities in curriculum, accreditation, and certification programs. Analysis of 117 respondents opinions showed a high level of agreement in the area of global standards; 88% indicated that KSMG should be in charge of TPA and CPGC, while 77% favored a certification exam composed of both written exam and interview components.
CONCLUSION
Based upon this study we propose that the KSMG should be in charge of providing the TPA and CPGC for non-MD genetic counselors. Requirements for the entrance to a Master's degree genetic counseling program should be open to successful four year undergraduate students in all areas, provided the candidates demonstrate the abilities to master the graduate level of study in human genetics, clinical genetics, statistics, psychology, and other required subjects. Eligibility for certification should include qualified candidates of genetic counseling with no formally approved education, but a sufficient amount of clinical experience, in addition to accredited program graduates. Certification examinations should be carried out every two years and the certification should be good for five years, as is the case in Japan.

Keyword

Medical genetics training program; Genetic counsening; Accreditation; Certification
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