What brings YOU to Perspectives?
Sometimes, I come to Perspectives to look at the trails that others have blazed–whether that be pioneering renal genetics research, establishing a trainee-led J.E.D.I organization, or creating a professional society for genetic counseling in Latin America.
Other times, I read through Perspectives to remind myself that I am far from alone in my professional challenges. In the publication’s archives, authors have shared thoughtful accounts of their experiences as mentors, as new graduates, and as rotating students in the midst of increasing restrictions on abortion.
Often, I arrive at Perspectives to have my mind changed, as when past NSGC president Deepti Babu and members of the Advocacy Coordinating Committee convinced me that the Access to Genetic Counselor Services Act and J.E.D.I. efforts were far from mutually exclusive. I felt a wave of humility, and resolve to continue learning, after I read an article published in the wake of Dobbs v. Jackson and realized that the way I had been discussing reproductive rights—with an overemphasis on terminations in the context of life-limiting diagnoses—perpetuated that ableist narrative that some abortions are more justifiable than others and obscured the true meaning of reproductive autonomy.
Whatever brings you to Perspectives, I am so glad you are here. As the newest Executive Editor of Perspectives, I am honored to be leading the publication through the next two years alongside Hannah Durnas, NSGC Senior Marketing and Content Manager, as well as the Perspectives Committee Members: Chloe Barnett, Christine Tallo, Janice Berliner, Julie Solimine, Sara Spencer, Shannon Wieloch, and Shenin Sanoba.
For the next two years, my focus is approachability, interconnection, and justice-oriented conversations.
Writing an Op-ed for the first time can be intimidating. Our team has made some changes to increase the transparency around the editorial process so you can know what to expect when you submit an article, and what we are looking for (see About Perspectives). If you have questions about the suitability of a topic or piece for Perspectives, please reach out to an Editor or Committee member (and the answer is probably we’d love to publish you!). Additionally, I want to make an explicit invitation to genetic counseling graduate students—we want to showcase more of your voices.
Perspectives is a cross-section of genetic counseling discourse that expands and amplifies our reach as contributors; let’s capitalize on it. Connections formed from Perspectives articles have led to interdisciplinary presentations like ELSIhub Seminars on trans allyship (see seminar) and NSGC Conference On Demand Sessions on transferable skills (see conference content). An article that my co-author and I published a few years ago led us to be co-advisors on a recently published genetic counseling student project and, separately, led us to collaborate with a research team of nurse-midwives, obstetricians, and sociologists. Are you ideating a research project? Building a professional organization? Starting a first-of-its-kind subspecialty clinic? Let Perspectives be your launchpad.
To continue to serve its central place in genetic counseling discourse, Perspectives must engage fully in critical discussions about the history, the present, and the future of our field. All topics in clinical genomics and genetic counseling intersect with equity and justice; I invite Perspectives contributors to bring these considerations into the foreground. For example, if you are writing about advancements in gene therapy, consider discussing how medical racism led to the historical underfunding of sickle cell disease research. If you are writing about preimplantation genetic testing, consider commenting on the inequitable access to assistive reproductive technologies for publicly insured and LGBTQIA+ individuals. Hannah Durnas, the Perspectives committee, and I are here to support you, fully.
Additionally, we will particularly be looking for articles that directly address inequities and injustices within healthcare and our profession—historical, current, and potential. This includes commentaries on personal and professional identity within genetic counseling and on efforts to improve J.E.D.I. in clinical genetics research and healthcare. These discussions cannot be apolitical. J.E.D.I. thought leaders, scholars, and genetic counselors have reminded us that our identities as well as those of our patients are inherently and necessarily political. These discussions are meant to be uncomfortable. Part of J.E.D.I. work is acknowledging that there is no endpoint to unlearning the xenophobia, transphobia, racism, ableism, sexism, and other oppressive frameworks that we hold—regardless of whether these frameworks and systems of power are internalized or not—and that permeate our practice, our profession, and the society in which we and our patients live. In this next chapter of Perspectives, I invite us into a place of reflection, curiosity, and action.
Perspectives is only as strong as its authorship and its readership. Your ideas and voices belong here.
NOTE: Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.