So you want to be a Clinical Geneticist...
Clinical Geneticists deal with a broad range of disorders,
which is reflected in the wide variety of backgrounds and
disciplines from which trainees are recruited. Entry to higher
medical training in Clinical Genetics is at SpR level. Preferably
three years (minimum two) general professional training, ideally
involving both adult and paediatric medicine, is desirable.
However, entry from other specialties such as obstetrics and
gynaecology, surgery, general practice and psychiatry is welcomed.
MRCP, MRCPCH, MRCGP or equivalent postgraduate qualification is
Whilst some trainees enter the specialty having already
completed an MD or PhD, many others take time out of their training
programme to undertake a research degree.
Opportunities exist within the specialty for Flexible
Training. Your local Deanery can provide information on the
possibilities within your area.
After obtaining a CCT in Clinical Genetics, it is increasingly
possible to sub-specialise in an aspect of Clinical Genetics, e.g.
Full details of current entry requirements are available
JRCPTB. Due to the ongoing changes in postgraduate medical
training, prospective applicants are advised to contact
JRCPTB for the latest requirements.
Doctors who meet the entry requirements are able to
compete for Specialist Registrar (SpR) posts, which are advertised
in the medical press (usually in the BMJ). Those who successfully obtain
a post must complete a training lasting at least 4 years (often
longer, as many people take extra time for research), based on
published curriculum for Clinical Genetics.
Those choosing Flexible Training will have their training
programme individually calculated according to time spent within
The progress of training is formally monitored in two
ways, and recorded in a log
book (also called the 'Grey Book'). Monitoring is
1. Informal appraisals, held twice a year with
2. Formal annual assessments (recorded in a
Upon successful completion of training, the JRCPTB will award a CCT
(Certificate of Completion of Training) which allows the doctor's
name to be added to the Specialist Register, and for them to apply
for consultant posts within their specialty.