Edye Conway, MS, LCGC
Joined Metis: May 2016
Hometown: Boise, ID
Passions: Backyard beekeeping, gardening, working at our neighborhood chicken coop, doing nosework with my dog and working with my horse.
Favorite Specialty: Oncology Counseling
Tell us about the day or moment you knew you wanted to be in the genetics industry?
I had known for a while that I wanted to go to graduate school and pursue a career in healthcare but was just not sure what. I happened to read a magazine article about genetic counseling which was a career I had never heard of before. It seemed like the perfect fit for me. I had always enjoyed genetics and through genetic counseling, I would have the opportunity to combine that interest in genetics with patient care versus working in a laboratory or research setting.
When was the first time a patient's feedback or response caught you by surprise?
An unexpected question or perspective from a patient is something I really enjoy about genetic counseling. Many patients have a thought or question that I am not anticipating and I really enjoy the spontaneity of that exchange. This is what I enjoy most about human interactions, seeing different individual perspectives.
Demand for genetic counselors is intensifying but so is the competition for program acceptance. What three pieces of advice can you provide to students interested in becoming a genetic counselor?
1. I would encourage prospective students to talk with genetic counselors working in as many different roles as you can. The career options for genetic counselors has really broadened in the last several years, and it is good preparation to really see some of those different applications of the skill set.
2. Program directors are an excellent resource for information not only about their program but also about the career in general. Programs can be really different from one another and may have different strengths or focuses so asking a lot of questions about the individual programs you are considering applying to can assist in determining which programs might be the best fit for your personality and learning style.
3. Finally, don’t give up. If you don’t get into a program on your first try, hang in there. Talk with the program director about how you can improve your application for the next year and give it another go. Perseverance and preparation pay off.
What do you enjoy most about being a Metis Maven?
I really enjoy the accessibility of genetic counseling through Maven. It is so rewarding to be able to help patients sort through their questions about genetics no matter where they may be located.