Defining moments: Catalysts for professional development

Patricia Mc Carthy Veach, Dianne M. Bartels, Bonnie S. LeRoy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In this series of papers, 17 genetic counselors describe defining moments, that is, personal experiences or events that led to a further realization of themselves as genetic counselors. These experiences, both positive and negative, describe a significant impact on the authors' professional growth and development. A call for papers was issued through the National Society of Genetic Counselors listserv and through the Journal of Genetic Counseling in 2001. This call resulted in the following 15 papers in which the authors were asked to describe the nature of a defining moment and how it affected their professional identity and practice. The authors provided an account of the experience or event, what it was about the experience that made it a defining moment, how it affected them personally and professionally, and if a defining moment was negative, how they were able to derive positive outcomes. Implications of these defining moments for other genetic counselors are discussed in a concluding paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-280
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Genetic Counseling
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Genetic counselor development
  • Personal and professional crises
  • Professional development


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