Launch of the Inter-Departmental Genetic Counselor Program (IDGCP)
The Inter-Departmental Genetic Counselor Program (IDGCP) was launched in 2019 as a collaboration between the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology and Institute of Genomic Medicine, with participation from NewYork-Presbyterian and the Dean’s Office as well as the Departments of Pediatrics, Ophthalmology, Medicine, Neurology and OB-GYN. At Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC), genetic counselors play a central role in the evolving field of genomic medicine, and demand for genetic counseling services often outstrips current capacity. In recent years, the CUIMC scientific community has developed a robust assessment of the optimal indications for clinical genomic sequencing in numerous subspecialties, and funding opportunities have increased in parallel, allowing large-scale clinical sequencing initiatives to be carried out. In recognition of this shift, the IDGCP was founded to address the intersection of patient-focused care, scientific knowledge, research, and innovative laboratory-based technologies. The mission of the IDGCP is to facilitate the appropriate, cost-effective ordering of genetic tests and ensure that all patients at CUIMC have access to high quality, genetic counseling services. IDGCP counselors will carry out this mission by working with CUIMC physicians, researchers and clinical teams to meet the needs of an expanding landscape in genetics and genomics.