A medical geneticist is trained in general medicine, genetic diagnosis, and the treatment of patients with genetic disorders. They employ molecular genetics, cytogenetics, and biochemical tests to diagnose patients in a comprehensive molecular and clinical approach. A medical geneticist works as part of a team with genetic counselors, genetic nurses, and other medical specialists to develop interventions to minimize the risk and impact of genetic disorders.
As a result of advances in the area of genetic and genomic research and diagnostic testing, it is anticipated that the need for medical geneticists will grow considerably.
Working Conditions & Context
Most medical geneticists work for hospitals, research institutes, and pharmaceutical companies. They most commonly work in clinical and laboratory settings, dealing directly with patients and their families. Medical geneticists are often part of teams dedicated to addressing patients' needs from complementary approaches.A medical geneticist can conduct independent research, provided they can secure support for their projects.
A typical Salary Range for this career is $39,870 - $134,770 annually.
The Median Income for this career is about $72,590 annually.
Students considering a career in medical genetics should undertake a rigorous undergraduate college program suitable for medical school matriculation and complement their studies with courses in genetics, microbiology, biochemistry, and computer science. They will need to obtain an M.D. to qualify for medical genetics clinical training. M.D.'s may either undertake a primary care residency (pediatrics, internal medicine, etc.) and then undertake a genetics fellowship, or they may undertake a combined Pediatrics and Genetics residency.
Certification & Licensing:
M.D. and medical geneticists are certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics (ABMG).
The American Board of Genetic Counseling
The American Board of Medical Genetics
The American Society of Human Genetics
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics
The National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics
The Genetics Society of America
** More than a minimum degree may be required for some careers.