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Am J Hum Genet. 1991 Aug;49(2):488-93.

ASHG/NSGC activities related to education. The doctoral degree in genetic counseling: attitudes of genetic counselors.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of South Carolina, Columbia 29203.


All 565 full members of the National Society of Genetic Counselors were surveyed in September 1989 to assess their attitudes toward a potential doctoral degree in genetic counseling. The usable return rate was 59.6% (337/565) of the full membership. One hundred eighty (54.4%) respondents indicated a need for a doctoral degree in genetic counseling, 101 (30.5%) were undecided as to the need, and 50 (15.1%) did not see a need for such a degree. One hundred forty-seven (44.3%) respondents indicated their individual interest in pursuing a doctorate in genetic counseling, 109 (32.8%) would not pursue such a degree, and 76 (22.9%) were undecided. Beyond the generally accepted feeling that genetic counseling should expand as a professional field, the reasons cited most often for seeking the Ph.D. in genetic counseling were professional recognition, a desire to specialize in a particular area, and greater depth of knowledge. The study revealed a strongly positive attitude, among full members of the NSGC, toward establishment of a doctoral degree in genetic counseling.

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