Along with conducting independent research, students participate in hospital rounds with attending physicians. This experience exposes students to areas of clinical genetics having to do with inherited disorders, chromosomal abnormalities, metabolic disorders, malformation syndromes and genetic predispositions. Some clinical genetics programs prefer applicants who have completed their residency in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics or internal medicine. Students entering these programs already possess a doctoral degree, such as a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).
Post-doctoral Residency Program in Clinical Genetics
Students in these 2-6 year programs conduct focused independent research in the area of medical genetics. In lieu of structured courses, students spend the majority of time designing, administering and analyzing clinical test trials. Students also have the opportunity to participate in rounds, attend conferences, network within professional organizations and attend lectures covering the following subjects:
- Biochemical genetics
- Molecular genetics
- Mowat Wilson syndrome
- Turner's syndrome
- Molecular pattern recognition and brain cancer
- Sirtunis and metabolism
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that, due to continued advancements in technology and medical research and the biotechnology industry, employment for medical scientists is expected to increase 8% from 2018-2028 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2018, the BLS reports that the median annual salary for medical scientists was $84,810. The BLS also reported that professionals who worked in scientific research and development firms earned $102,260 and employed 44,210 in May 2018.
Residency programs in prepare students become certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics (ABMG) in clinical genetics. Candidates must demonstrate a certain level of knowledge and proficiency in a clinical setting, as well as pass general and specialty examinations. While not absolutely necessary for employment, board certification is considered a highly desirable professional qualification.
Studies in clinical geneticist education are available to students at the post-doctorate level. Residencies will prepare students for certification in clinical genetics.