What is Medical (or Clinical) Genetics?
Medical (or Clinical) Genetics?
Clinical or Medical Genetics is a relatively young, small
speciality in the UK, which has grown steadily since the first
Genetics Clinic began at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 1946.
There are currently about 90 NHS Consultant Clinical
Geneticists working at 25 Regional Centres around the UK,
supported by hundreds of paramedical and scientific
Due to scientific and technological advances and increasing
public and professional awareness of genetic issues, Medical
Genetics is rapidly gaining importance, and the need for
substantial growth in staff numbers is being increasingly
recognised at the highest levels.
What is the difference between 'Medical' and 'Clinical'
The terms are often used interchangeably - some departments are
called 'Clinical Genetics' and others 'Medical Genetics'. Both deal
with the application of the science of genetics to human beings'
Some people however, recognise a distinction between the terms,
using 'medical genetics' to refer to those aspects carried out
exclusively by medical doctors (such as diagnosis), and 'clinical
genetics' to refer to aspects also carried out by non-medical
clinical staff (such as genetic counselling).
The Royal College of Physicians, which oversees the training of
medical specialists (doctors), refers to the speciality as
'Clinical Genetics', and specialist physicians as 'Clinical