Mentor: Melany Paola Cruz, MS-GC '21

Mentee: Barbara Batista, MS-GC '23

Location: Massachusetts General Hospital

What has the alumni mentorship you received during your clinical education experience meant to you?

Barbara shares:

"The alumni mentorship I received meant a lot! Melany was my mentor at the Center for Cancer Risk Assessment (CCRA) at MGH, where I am now her colleague! She taught me about clinic workflow, risk assessment, genetic testing in the oncology space and lots more. Melany is a great genetic counselor, which makes me excited about my career, as we received the same education and training. The alumni mentorship also allows for a closer and more comfortable relationship with a supervisor. Melany always provided a safe space and allowed me to ask questions without feeling like I was being a burden. Overall, I feel extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to be led by Melany, an IHP alumni at the CCRA." 

What has this mentorship experience meant to you as an alum of the IHP?

Melany shares:

"It has been so rewarding giving back to IHP students, especially after the amazing experience I had as a student. Since graduating from the IHP in 2021, I have been the primary supervisor to two genetic counseling students and had many other students shadow me in clinic. Supervising has turned out to be more than just helping students learn. It has also helped me grow as a counselor and mentor. Each student brings new perspectives and ideas that help widen my horizons and, in turn, grow my professional skills. I have left each supervision experience a better genetic counselor than before it started. I look forward to continuing to learn from future students!" 

How has this mentorship experience helped you grow as a new professional?

Barbara shares:

"This mentorship has definitely contributed to my professional development. Having the opportunity to rotate at a prestigious hospital such as Massachusetts General Hospital has been invaluable. The interactions I had with patients, other genetic counselors and oncologists taught me a lot about genetic counseling in the cancer space, and I take a lot of what I learned into my practice today as a genetic counselor. Rotating at the CCRA opened my mind to this specialty, and showed me just how rewarding this area is. Being able to offer preventative screening to a patient with a hereditary cancer predisposition saves lives! While knowing that having a hereditary cancer predisposition is unsettling to say the least, most patients feel very grateful to know we can offer preventative screening and close follow up. I could not have asked for a better clinical rotation, mentorship and education. I am forever grateful to all who have contributed to my education and training as a genetic counselor."