Medical Genetics Residency


Program Overview | Application Eligibility | Application Process | Residency Schedule | Clinical Training | Clinical Faculty | Contact Information

Overview

Medical genetics clinical training is accomplished through resident's active participation at a variety of general and subspecialty clinics, coverage of the consultation service, exposure to the clinical laboratories, and completion of readings for each rotation. Through participation in these rotations the resident will be exposed to the spectrum of genetic evaluation, testing, diagnosis,  counselling, and management of genetic diseases; and gain an appreciation for the natural history of genetic disorders and the value of multidisciplinary clinics in the management of genetic disease.

The UAB Medical Genetics Residency Training Program consists of 18 months of clinical rotations and 6 months dedicated for independent work and/or research. The clinical rotations consist of 7 months on the in-patient consultation service (including one month as Acting Attending); 4 months of outpatient clinics; 1.5 months each on Cancer Genetics and Prenatal Genetics, and a one month clinical elective. There are 3 months dedicated to clinical laboratory education, one each on Molecular Genomics, Cytogenetics, and Biochemical Genetics. Each lab is on-site.


Application Eligibility

  1. U.S. medical graduates must obtain an unrestricted Alabama medical license by the end of the seventh month of postgraduate year two. International medical graduates must obtain 1) a limited Alabama medical license by the end of the seventh month of postgraduate year two, AND 2) an unrestricted Alabama medical license by the end of the seventh month of the postgraduate year four.

  2. Graduates of medical schools outside the United States and Canada must possess a currently valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), or have a full unrestricted license to practice medicine in the US licensing jurisdiction in which they are training.

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Applying to the Medical Genetics Residency Program

Only electronic applications via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) are accepted for Medical Genetics Residency positions. We do not accept any applications that are mailed or faxed to our office.

U.S. medical students should contact their dean's office for access to the ERAS system. International graduates must apply for residency through ERAS by contacting the ECFMG.

The following documents are required by our program for your NRMP file to be considered complete and ready for review by our internal selection committee.

  • Current photo

  • Personal statement

  • Medical school transcript

  • Three letters of recommendation

  • Dean's letter

  • USMLE Step 1 Score Report

  • USMLE Step 2 Score Report

  • For international graduates, copy of your ECFMG certificate, if available

How and Where to Apply

Categorical Medical Genetics Residency
Applicants must have completed one (1) years in an ACGME-approved primary residency. Applicants should apply through ERAS. For questions, please contact Nathaniel H. Robin, M.D., Program Director, or Christy Underwood, Medical Genetics Residency Program Director.

ACGME program number for Medical Genetics Residency: 1300113056

Admission Procedure (based on ACGME requirements) 

  1. Once completed, each candidate's application packet will be reviewed by Dr. Robin.

  2. Select candidates will be invited for interviews with members of the Genetics faculty.

  3. Dr. Robin and the members of the admissions committee will then make a decision on acceptance based on the interviews and application packet.

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Residency Schedule

Overview

Medical genetics clinical training is accomplished through resident's active participation at a variety of general and subspecialty clinics, coverage of the consultation service, exposure to the clinical laboratories, and completion of readings for each rotation. Through participation in these rotations the resident will be exposed to the spectrum of genetic evaluation, testing, diagnosis,  counselling, and management of genetic diseases; and gain an appreciation for the natural history of genetic disorders and the value of multidisciplinary clinics in the management of genetic disease.

Sample Rotation Schedule

MedicalGeneticsSchedule1 

Click here to download a PDF of the schedule 

Note: Residents maintain their weekly ½ day clinic throughout their training

Working hours, vacation, and leave(pdf)

On-Call Duty Hours and Responsibilities

During the first year, regular working hours are generally 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, it is expected that the resident will spend time outside these hours reading, reviewing patient records, and working on clinic notes. Later in the year, other activities, such as writing manuscripts, preparing presentations, and research are expected as well. Each resident is on call 5 months of year 1 of genetics training, and 2 months year 2. Responsibilities of the on-call resident include: staffing all requests for inpatient consultation, including the clinical genetics and metabolism services*; answering phone consultations; and attending the specialty clinics at the Children's Hospital of Alabama (TCH) (Cleft, Craniofacial, and Bone Disorders). The responsibilities of the inpatient service take precedence to attending these clinics. In addition, while on the consultation rotation, the resident should attend pediatric morning report, which is held each weekday at 8:00  a.m.  in the 4th floor Bradley Conference room at Children’s Hospital.

The on-call resident will take call from home during evenings and weekends for inpatient consultations or to answer questions from referring physicians, and is required to be available by pager 24 hours a day, seven days a week (able to respond to a page within 15 minutes and get to TCH or UAB Hospital within one hour). An on-call attending is available for both clinical genetics and metabolism services 24/7 as well, and all after-hours calls must be discussed with the on-call attending. An attending physician typically will accompany the resident to consultations. A resident may switch on-call responsibilities (e.g., weekend coverage) with other residents with approval and notification of the on-call attending. While on the consultation service, the resident is guaranteed every other weekend and averaging one night per week off duty. That time will be covered by other residents in Year 1 and 2, or the on-call attending (if there is no second resident or they are not available).

On-call responsibilities when not on consult rotation

During the 17 months when not on the consultation service, a resident will take call one weekend per month.

Patient log

During their clinical months, the resident is required to maintain a log of their patients that includes the information required by the ABMGG in their application for certification. The format for the patient logbook can be found at the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics Website.

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Clinical Training

It is a primary goal of the UAB Medical Genetics Residency Training Program that a resident, regardless of long-term career goals, learn the clinical skills needed to be an accomplished practitioner of medical genetics. This includes extensive hands-on experience in clinical genetics, learning how to obtain information by taking a personal and family medical history, performing a detailed physical exam, ordering appropriate laboratory tests, interpreting the results, and synthesizing these into a unified plan. Other skills that will be obtained include carrying out treatment for select disorders, conducting clinical and/or laboratory-based research, writing manuscripts and research grants, organizing and delivering lectures and seminars to a wide variety of groups, and obtaining information about the specialty of medical genetics. A broad spectrum of clinical cases, conferences, and readings will cover general medical genetics, dysmorphology and teratology, metabolism, adult genetics, cancer genetics, neurogenetics, prenatal screening and diagnosis, and molecular, biochemical, and cytogenetics laboratory technology.

Residents are supervised by an attending genetics physician during all patient encounters. The attending is actively involved in the patient care and is present during the main portion of the interaction. For some situations, such as some prenatal visits, the resident is supervised by the genetic counselor, and the attending is available in-house.

Clinical skills are gained during the clinical rotations described below. Details for each rotation can be found in Educational Goals and Objectives(pdf) or the Policy and Procedure Manual (pdf). The resident should be familiar with these and review them prior to each rotation.

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Other learning activities 

Advanced Medical Genetics: Every resident is required to take and pass the Advanced Medical Genetics class. This is offered each Fall, from August to December. Residents are excused from clinical duties to attend class.

Patient/counseling simulation (2): Residents are required to participate in 4 patient/counseling simulation exercises during their training.

Quality Improvement Project: Each resident is expected to complete an administrative project related to improving clinical care and/or education. The project should be identified and approved by the Program Director by the 6th month of genetics training.

Virtual genetics clinicResidents are required to complete this exercise in the first year of their training.

Case scenarios: Each resident is required to complete 6-10 written clinical case scenarios per year. These are open book essay questions that propose a clinical scenario that the resident must explain their diagnostic evaluation. The essays will be reviewed with the designated faculty member, depending on the topic.

In-service exam: It is mandatory for residents to take the national in-service exam in each year of training. It is typically offered in February.

North American Metabolic Academy.  This is an intense one-week course that will provide extensive and critical teaching about inherited disorders of metabolism.  It is held in the fall and residents are required to attend, preferably during their  2nd year.  The website is simd.org.

National meetings:  Residents have funding to allow attendance at one national meeting per year. Additional funding is available if the resident is presenting their work.

Seminars & teaching conferences: The Department of Genetics holds several conferences and seminars each month that the residents are expected to attend.

Clinic Conference is held every Tuesday at 4:00-5:00 PM in the Finley Conference Center. Residents are expected to prepare formal presentations periodically, as well as be prepared to present and discuss interesting cases.

Resident consult conference: On Tuesdays at 3:30 all of the residents will meet with a faculty member to review the consult cases of the previous week.

Genetics Grand Rounds is held each Fridays at 12:00 pm in the Finley Conference Center in Kaul and attendance is mandatory. 

Radiology Conference: This is a once per month conference held with the radiologist at Children’s Hospital at which imaging for genetics patients is reviewed.

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Research

The resident has up to 6 months of time dedicated to carrying out an independent research project. Details about this requirement, including the including the approval process, goals and objectives are also provided in the section on goals and objectives. If interested, funding is available for one additional year to continue their research project. 

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Policy and Procedure Manual

Policy and Procedure Manual


Contact

Christy Underwood
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Department of Genetics
Kaul 210, 720 20th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35294
Phone: (205) 975-6867
Fax: (205) 975-6390
Email: christyunderwood@uabmc.edu

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