DEI Highlights

While the medical field is geared toward caring for patients who have disabilities and chronic illnesses, the inclusion of healthcare professionals, such as genetic counselors, with these same conditions is often overlooked. Epstein et al. discusses how these challenges may impact graduate training of genetic counseling students with disabilities and chronic illnesses here.

“Women are often underrepresented in science and technology, but talented women have been hard at work in this field for decades. Here we celebrate some of the dedicated and accomplished women who have played key roles in the field of genetics.” – Medicover Genetics

Studies show transgender and non-binary individuals consistently encounter providers who have limited knowledge about the gender affirmation process. Huser, et al. showed online training modules are an effective way to improve this knowledge gap for genetic counselors.

Black women are less likely to receive genetic services than non-Hispanic White women. This study piloted a video decision aid with the goal of promoting genetic counseling among Black women at risk for HBOC. They found there was cultural satisfaction with the decision aid and that more women were likely to make an appointment after watching the video.

June is Pride Month! The genetics of sexual orientation and gender identity has been a largely controversial topic. Not only does it rarely involve members from the LGBTQ+ community, but also rarely asks for their opinion in conducting research in this area.  Hammack-Aviran’s article explores the perspectives of the LGBTQ+ community and their hopes as well as concerns for research on the genetics of sexual orientation and gender identity.

In honor of celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month this May, check out this article from Thomsen et al., discussing the current status of Jewish genetic disease education within the synagogue.

As genetic counselors, we strive for inclusivity in counseling. Rudderman, et al describes the experience of genetic counselors working with transgender individuals in the reproductive setting and identifies opportunities for our continued training and advocacy.

What are our gaps in knowledge relating to the care of transgender patients who carry BRCA mutations? In this article from Bedrick et al., the need for screening, management, and surveillance recommendations tailored for transgender BRCA mutation carriers is discussed.

September 15th – October 15th is National Hispanic Heritage Month. This time pays tribute to many generations of Hispanic Americans who have impacted our nation’s history and are influencing its future. Read this story published by the Association of American Medical Colleges highlighting inspiring Hispanic leaders who launched advances in medicine and research that led to Nobel Prizes, life-changing cures, and better care for millions of people.