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Conference Program

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Increasing Access To Genetics Care by Practicing at the top of our Scope

13 Mar 2024
Venue: Metro Toronto Convention Center
Meeting Room: 801 AB
Health Services & Implementation
  • Accredited:
    • Accredited
  • Primary Categories:
    • Health services and Implementation
  • Secondary Categories:
    • Health services and Implementation
  • Level of Learner:
    • Basic
Given the decline of the medical geneticist workforce, there is a need to accommodate new workflows to the traditional genetics service delivery model. According to the 2019 US Medical Genetics Workforce study, there were 1.9-2.2 clinical geneticists FTE per 1 million people. In the most recent National Resident Matching Program (2022), only 36.4% (12 of 21) of Medical Genetics Fellowship programs were filled. In addition, of the 46 Genetics fellowship positions available, only 21 were filled (45.7%). As the geneticist workforce continues to be reduced, there is growth in other professionals involved in the care of patients with genetic conditions. The 2022 Professional Status Survey for genetic counselors showed an 88% increase in GCs since 2011. According to the ACGC 2021 report, there are 56 accredited genetic counseling training programs, with an average of 8.9 slots per program and 8.8 average enrolled and matriculated students per program. The American Academy of Nurse Practioners identify more than 355,000 NPs with licenses in the US, and more than 36,000 new NPs completed their academic programs in 2020-2021. According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants, there are more than 168,300 PAs in the US, with 303 accredited programs. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated growth of 28% in PAs from 2021 to 2031. This information provides opportunities for reimagining the genetics workforce and how each participant can practice at the top of their professional scope.

This session will highlight how various genetics professionals function within a clinical genetics practice. Each of the speakers will discuss their training and how they can operate at the top of their scope to provide the most efficienct care.  He/she will review their current role with patients in pediatric genetics and how they work together with their team. Speakers will review applicable support staff and how they collaborate. This discussion is relevant to today’s workforce due to the difficulty in meeting the increasing demand for genetics services.

After the presentations, the panel will address prepared questions. These questions will foster discussion among the group about the evolution of their specific clinics, and how these changes have improved patient care.  The panel will be asked their particular strengths in clinic and where other professionals support them, in addition to job satisfaction, collaboration, and autonomy in their roles.  Additional questions from the audience will be incorporated into the discussion. 

Learning Objectives

  1. Explain the training and scope of each member of the genetic services team
  2. Recognize appropriate utilization of team members practicing at the top of their scope in a genetics service
  3. Explore different models practiced by genetics providers
  4. Collaborate as a team to increase access to genetic services