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Residency in Medical Genetics

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Hi all,

I'm interested in medical genetics and hope to do an elective next year (3rd year). Does anyone have any insight into the elective experience at different places? I'm thinking Toronto at the moment, in large part because I figured the large and diverse population would present interesting cases that would not be seen in smaller centres. I'm most interested in pediatrics (including pre-natal), less so in cancer genetics. Can anyone recommend an elective they've done or heard about? Many thanks!

I did an elective in genetics at Sick Kids and they have one organized where you spend time in a number of different clinics (metabolic, general genetics, in patient consults, prenatal at Sinai). If you specifically wanted to do more prenatal I'm sure they could schedule you for more. I can't remember who the contact person is but the electives office would probably be the place to start.

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Thanks for the input guys. Can anyone comment on the electives at Ottawa, McGill, UBC? Any comments on the length of the elective you did? Eg. was 2 weeks too short, or 4 weeks too long? Did they let you take on more responsibility towards the end of a longer elective? Were you still seeing lots of new things by the end of 3 or 4 weeks? Thanks again for the information.

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Hi there, Long way down!

 

Doing an elective at Sick Kids is a good idea, but you should see some other places too, because at Sick Kids you will see tertiary-level genetics. Often you will find that you are following the fellows and residents around.

 

At the community hospitals in Toronto and area, you will likely see more, because there usually aren't any other trainees around. North York General and Credit Valley Hospital have some great, experienced geneticists and a very busy "general genetics" practise.

 

Ottawa is a good choice because they see a range of patients (everything from prenatal to adult) and have a fairly large staff and busy service. Dr. Gail Graham is the program director and a very nice person. Her email is ggraham@cheo.on.ca.

 

I can't comment on McGill's elective experience. Teresa Costa is the program director there. As for UBC, I haven't been there either, but I've heard it is similar to Sick Kids in terms of the type of experience you get.

 

Generally speaking (this goes for any specialty, not just genetics!), if you want to "do more" on a clinical elective, just ask. Often we assume that med students don't want to do more... so speak up!

 

Let us know how it goes!

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yayyyyyyy!! thanks a lot McMaster girl!! I am soooooo happy to have found someone who's been through everything that I am aspiring to, and who's soooo happy and excited with her experience as well!!! :D

 

I am a Medicine graduate from India, and really interested in going for a residency in Medical Genetics!!! I feel Medical Genetics is the perfect specialty for me!!

 

I plan to do that from the USA through the USMLE route, and have already secured admission for an MPH in Epidemiology and Human Genetics in the Uni of Texas Health Science Center in Houston!! I was actually planning for MS in Human Genetics itself, but figured that it would not leave much time for studying for USMLE...

So i'll be choosing courses during MPH that will concentrate on Medical Genetics... And also hoping to get some valuable research and clinical experience in Medical Genetics, for both, actually experiencing the work as well as boosting my CV :)

 

And later I plan to return in India and work here, since there are so feeeeww medical geneticists in spite of the huuuuge population!!

 

I hope you're doing well in whatever that you're be doing right now in the developmental disorders field!! :)

Please do keep posting whenever you get the time!!

 

I am going to become one big time follower of you!! I wish I had found this website earlier!!

All the very best :)

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Hi, i would appreciate to get your opinion regarding my case .

 

Starting from positive portions , i am finishing my PhD on a Human Genetic field in a Canadian University. I have done some oral/poster presentations and have 2 first author papers. Also have done some workshops in France in the area of Cytogenetics. In addition, my master in Egypt was on Genetic disease using primarily genetic approaches. These facts would indicate that i have a strong attachement to genetics. Anyway. on the other side,. I am a really old MD graduate 1998 and now i am aiming to do my best to get a residency in genetics either in Canada or USA. Also, i will apply for the Canadian Citizenship soon.

 

I am confident that i could achieve high degrees in any exam i could go through. This is really my best skills.. I know it is not easy but i believe i could do it if i prepare well. However, this will require a long commitment for 1-2 years of my life. That is why i am here trying to get relevant opinions from you regarding my story.

 

I know some genetics residencies do not require having MD but only requires PhD. The picture, as i see and might be wrong, in Canada is it is a country of contacts. You should have a good network to help you to get wherever you want. I till now do not have such network support.

 

This is all.. please do not hesitate to share me your opinions/feelings/ advices..They will really help me to get a better picture. Specially from people who knows .Thanks in advance and it is my first day here in this forum..It looks it is a great forum.

 

McGenetics2012

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Huh? You're confusing as hell.

 

You have an MD (circa 98)? From Egypt I'm guessing?

And are now finishing a PhD?

 

There's no shortcut to getting a residency. Apply to Carms with every other IMG and hope for the best. Having said that, given that you finished your MD nearly 15 years ago (and in a foreign country) I doubt any residency program would take you.

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Hi, i would appreciate to get your opinion regarding my case .

 

Starting from positive portions , i am finishing my PhD on a Human Genetic field in a Canadian University. I have done some oral/poster presentations and have 2 first author papers. Also have done some workshops in France in the area of Cytogenetics. In addition, my master in Egypt was on Genetic disease using primarily genetic approaches. These facts would indicate that i have a strong attachement to genetics. Anyway. on the other side,. I am a really old MD graduate 1998 and now i am aiming to do my best to get a residency in genetics either in Canada or USA. Also, i will apply for the Canadian Citizenship soon.

 

I am confident that i could achieve high degrees in any exam i could go through. This is really my best skills.. I know it is not easy but i believe i could do it if i prepare well. However, this will require a long commitment for 1-2 years of my life. That is why i am here trying to get relevant opinions from you regarding my story.

 

I know some genetics residencies do not require having MD but only requires PhD. The picture, as i see and might be wrong, in Canada is it is a country of contacts. You should have a good network to help you to get wherever you want. I till now do not have such network support.

 

This is all.. please do not hesitate to share me your opinions/feelings/ advices..They will really help me to get a better picture. Specially from people who knows .Thanks in advance and it is my first day here in this forum..It looks it is a great forum.

 

McGenetics2012

 

 

There are some fellowships through the CCMG for PhDs to get training in cytogenetics and molecular genetics. The clinical genetics I believe is reserved for MD holders (and you need to go through residency - either medical genetics, internal medicine, OB/GYN, or pediatrics - first).

 

http://www.ccmg-ccgm.org/sites.html

 

Maybe this site will be helpful for you.

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Thanks alot McMaster girl for the useful information u provided us

 

I have a couple of questions if you don't mind .

 

First , I'm a MD graduate from oustide Canada . I came to Edmonton because my husband was accepted in U of A , Internal Medicine program .

 

1- while searching in U of A website , I just found a MS & PHD programs for medical genetics . Do u advice me to go on and apply ?

 

2- Since I have MD , is studying MS & PHD will be equal in taking residency in medical genetics ?

 

3- I read somewhere that after finishing my PHD , I can take a followship of 2 yrs so I can be a clinical geneticist and practice genetics as physician . Is that true ?

 

Thanks alot

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Hi there,

 

Just my curiosity. I had recently an elective on MG, and I had opportunity to discuss with one Geneticist, Bizarrely She think that MG will probably less necessary in the future although the huge progress in genetic because She argues that each speciality will manage their own genetic deceases, and there a less need of the consultations of MG, I think that at some points she is right !

 

What do you guy "the future geneticist" think about that ???

 

F_M

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Hi there,

 

Just my curiosity. I had recently an elective on MG, and I had opportunity to discuss with one Geneticist, Bizarrely She think that MG will probably less necessary in the future although the huge progress in genetic because She argues that each speciality will manage their own genetic deceases, and there a less need of the consultations of MG, I think that at some points she is right !

 

What do you guy "the future geneticist" think about that ???

 

F_M

 

 

I am not currently a medical genetics resident but a trainee in genetic counselling, and working in medical genetics for over a year now, I've developed substantial knowledge of the field. The role of the medical geneticist seems to ironically be threatened as the price of genetic testing gets cheaper. As the price of sequencing falls, it is more economically effective to conduct high-throughput diagnostic methods such as exome sequencing, and less necessary conduct a dysmorphology exam to propose a differential diagnosis and narrow down a genetic test. Therefore, the medical geneticist, with their specialized dysmorphology training, is seen as less relevant. What's more, as genetics becomes a more integral part of medical care, genetic testing companies have figured out ways to market their tests in a simpler way for physicians without genetics training, offering next-generation sequencing panels for all of the genes that can predispose to a particular observed symptom/disorder.

 

However, all this being said, I don't think genetics is a diminishing role but rather an evolving one. In the past few years it has become common clinical practice for neurologists/pediatricians/neonatologists, etc. to order diagnostic microarrays. They are perfectly capable of ordering these tests, but once the results come back, they do not have the knowledge or experience to interpret them. Often these tests come back with variants of uncertain experience, which are challenging for both patient and physician to handle. These cases inevitably all end up getting referred to us. It is possible that as time goes on, medical genetics will become less of a pre-test diagnostic, and more of a post-test interpretative specialty.

 

The nature of genetics is that it is constantly rapidly changing, and with rapid change inevitably comes a bit of uncertainty. Further, because genetics is preventive medicine, it is a specialty that hospitals will cut before something more immediate such as emergency medicine. Therefore, I would not recommend entering genetics if you are simply looking for a secure profession, due to the growth of the area. However, if you are genuinely interested in genetics, it is a fascinating area to practice, and I wouldn't worry about it "dissolving" anytime in the near future.

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Frankly, from what you've read it sounds like a job that PhDs will be doing in the near future.

 

Or MSc trained genetic counselors. However there are currently barriers to billing that prevent this.

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I agree that you guy PhD or MSc in genetic you have very knowledge in genetic; however in term of counsouling and patient care (preventive or therapeutic) you are not training to do that. So I think these tasks will be done by someone they have MD and recidency training.

 

Bottom line the question is not barriers but it is competence and responsibility,

 

F_M

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Doom and gloom! Doom and gloom my friends, for everybody except for radiologists and dermatologists

 

That's right. CRNAs will replace anesthesiologists everywhere. NPs instead of family doctors! Psychologists who can prescribe lithium and clozapine! NP "intensivists" running ICUs!

 

Anyway.

 

Mid-levels are all well and good, but even NPs working on CV stepdown everyday have to ask me whether it's okay for a guy with adequately rate-controlled flutter (for *days*) to go off telemetry for a chest xray. (Well, this one didn't *have* to, but she did.)

 

The only major thing that should happen is that if the IR guys want to "operate", they're going to have to start taking care of their patients too.

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I'm totally on board with this. If you do something to a patient, be responsible for the outcome and subsequent management of that intervention. I bet you've experienced the ED consulting medicine to admit a patient with post-surgical complications.

 

A lot of IR guys would be on board for that as well - as long as of course they would actually have a ward, and get to bill etc for that side of things.

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Doom and gloom! Doom and gloom my friends, for everybody except for radiologists and dermatologists

 

ha - there is always outsourcing and the risk(?) of mid level rad techs that just read one type of imaging. Mammograms are an often cited example.

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I'm totally on board with this. If you do something to a patient, be responsible for the outcome and subsequent management of that intervention. I bet you've experienced the ED consulting medicine to admit a patient with post-surgical complications.

 

We admit all their PEs and post-op pneumonias when they fail to ensure adequate analgesia prescriptions for discharge. Not that I'm bitter. :rolleyes:

 

The same can be said of cardiologists who cause femoral art dissections during caths. The vascular guys are not happy - and it's not very uncommon either.

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I agree that you guy PhD or MSc in genetic you have very knowledge in genetic; however in term of counsouling and patient care (preventive or therapeutic) you are not training to do that. So I think these tasks will be done by someone they have MD and recidency training.

 

Bottom line the question is not barriers but it is competence and responsibility,

 

F_M

 

Genetic counselors receive specialized training in both medical genetics and counselling :) If you are considering entering the field I would recommend learning more about the roles of different genetics professionals, since it is a very team-oriented specialty.

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Three years after the last post, I'd like to revive this old thread :P

 

I'm an MS1, and I'm really interested in medical genetics. My undergrad focused heavily on genomics and I just loved it. Since it's a fairly small community, I've never met a clinical geneticist (I am supposed to do an elective in medical genetics this summer, but have yet to meet my preceptor). I was just wondering if anyone around here is/knows a resident in medical genetics who'd be willing to answer a few questions? This thread is great, but since most of the posts date from +10 years ago, I'm just not sure how relevant it still is.

 

I'm mostly curious about patient interaction, the importance of research in medical genetics, work schedule, etc.

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