Movement of Genetic Counselors from Clinical to Non-clinical Positions: Identifying Driving Forces
- 477 Downloads
A previous study of genetic counselors (GCs) in the state of Indiana identified movement out of clinical positions within the past 2 years. The aims of this study were to determine if this trend is nationwide and identify reasons why GCs are leaving their positions and factors that might help employers attract and retain GCs. An email was sent to members of the American Board of Genetic Counseling with a link to an online confidential survey. There were 939 responses (23.5% response rate). Overall, 52% of GCs report being highly satisfied in their current position, although almost two thirds think about leaving and one third had changed jobs within the past 2 years. Of those who had changed jobs (n = 295), 74.9% had been working in a hospital/clinic setting but only 46.3% currently do, demonstrating a major shift out of the clinic (p < 0.001). The top three reasons cited for leaving a position were work environment/institutional climate, salary/benefits, and a lack of feeling valued/recognized as a professional. These results confirm that GCs are moving out of clinical positions and document elements of job satisfaction. We suggest points for employers to consider when trying to recruit or retain GCs.
KeywordsGenetic counselors Job satisfaction Workforce Genetic counseling
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Stephanie Cohen and Megan Tucker declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human Studies and Informed Consent
All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5). Necessity of written informed consent was waived per IRB review.
This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
- ACGC. (2013). Standards of accreditation for graduate programs in genetic counseling. In Specific requirements for core cases. Accredited Programs. (2018, January 21). Retrieved from http://gceducation.org/Pages/Accredited-Programs.aspx.
- Allen, D. G. (2008). Retaining talent: a guide to analyzing and manageing employee turnover. Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/about/foundation/research/Documents/Retaining%20Talent-%20Final.pdf.
- Bonadies, D. C., Brierley, K. L., Barnett, R. E., Baxter, M. D., Donenberg, T., Ducaine, W. L., Ernstx, M. E., Homer, J., Judkins, M., Lovick, N. M., Powers, J. M., Stanislaw, C., Stark, E., Stenner, R. C., & Matloff, E. T. (2014). Adverse events in cancer genetic testing: the third case series. The Cancer Journal, 20(4), 246–253. https://doi.org/10.1097/PPO.0000000000000057.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Bureau of Labor Statitstics, US Department of Labor. (2015). Occupational Outlook Handbook, Genetic Counselors, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/genetic-counselors.htm (visited November 15, 2016).
- Cohen, S. A., Tucker, M. E., & Delk, P. (2016). Genetic counselor workforce issues: a survey of genetic counselors licensed in the State of Indiana. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 1–9. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10897-016-0026-y.
- Cragun, D., Camperlengo, L., Robinson, E., Caldwell, M., Kim, J., Phelan, C., Monteiro, A. N., Vadaparampil, S. T., Sellers, T. A., & Pal, T. (2014). Differences in BRCA counseling and testing practices based on ordering provider type. Genetics in Medicine, 17, 51–57. https://doi.org/10.1038/gim.2014.75.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Dickerson, J. A., Cole, B., Conta, J. H., Wellner, M., Wallace, S. E., Jack, R. M., Rutledge, J., & Astion, M. L. (2014). Improving the value of costly genetic reference laboratory testing with active utilization management. Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, 138(1), 110–113. https://doi.org/10.5858/arpa.2012-0726-OA.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hoskovec, J. M., Bennett, R. L., Carey, M. E., DaVanzo, J. E., Dougherty, M., Hahn, S. E., LeRoy, B. S., O’Neal, S., Richardson, J. G., & Wicklund, C. A. (2017). Projecting the supply and demand for certified genetic counselors: a workforce study. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 27, 16–20. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10897-017-0158-8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Marzuillo, C., De Vito, C., Boccia, S., D’Addario, M., D’Andrea, E., Santini, P., et al. (2013). Knowledge, attitudes and behavior of physicians regarding predictive genetic tests for breast and colorectal cancer. Preventive Medicine, 57(5), 477–482. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.06.022.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Medina, E. (2012). Job satisfaction and employee turnover intention: what does organizational culture have to do with it?, Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.7916/D8DV1S08.
- Miller, C. E., Krautscheid, P., Baldwin, E. E., Tvrdik, T., Openshaw, A. S., Hart, K., & LaGrave, D. (2014). Genetic counselor review of genetic test orders in a reference laboratory reduces unnecessary testing. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A, 164(5), 1094–1101. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.36453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- NSGC. (2016). 2016 professional status survey: executive summary. Retrieved from nsgc.org
- NSGC Strategic Plan. (2018). National Society of Genetic Counselors. Retrieved from https://www.nsgc.org/page/about-nsgc
- O'Brien-Pallas, L., Griffin, P., Shamian, J., Buchan, J., Duffield, C., Hughes, F., et al. (2006). The impact of nurse turnover on patient, nurse, and system outcomes: a pilot study and focus for a multicenter international study. Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice, 7(3), 169–179. https://doi.org/10.1177/1527154406291936.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Riley, J. D., Procop, G. W., Kottke-Marchant, K., Wyllie, R., & Lacbawan, F. L. (2015). Improving molecular genetic test utilization through order restriction, test review, and guidance. The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, 17(3), 225–229. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmoldx.2015.01.003.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Salm, M., Abbate, K., Appelbaum, P., Ottman, R., Chung, W., Marder, K., Leu, C. S., Alcalay, R., Goldman, J., Curtis, A. M., Leech, C., Taber, K. J., & Klitzman, R. (2014). Use of genetic tests among neurologists and psychiatrists: Knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and needs for training. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 23(2), 156–163. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10897-013-9624-0.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Seidel, A. (2016). You’ve got to stop losing your millennial staff. Here’s how to do it. The Daily Briefing. Retrieved from https://www.advisory.com/daily-briefing/2016/06/20/millennial-turnover
- Sperber, N. R., Carpenter, J. S., Cavallari, L. H., J Damschroder, L., Cooper-DeHoff, R. M., Denny, J. C., et al. (2017). Challenges and strategies for implementing genomic services in diverse settings: experiences from the Implementing GeNomics In pracTicE (IGNITE) network. BMC Medical Genomics, 10(1), 35. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12920-017-0273-2.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Vadaparampil, S. T., Scherr, C. L., Cragun, D., Malo, T. L., & Pal, T. (2014). Pre-test genetic counseling services for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer delivered by non-genetics professionals in the state of Florida. Clinical Genetics, 87, 473–477. https://doi.org/10.1111/cge.12405.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Waltman, L., Runke, C., Balcom, J., Riley, J. D., Lilley, M., Christian, S., Zetzsche, L., & Goodenberger, M. L. (2016). Further defining the role of the laboratory genetic counselor. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 25(4), 786–798. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10897-015-9927-4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar