The University of Alabama at Birmingham's Departments of Genetics and Pediatrics offer a combined Pediatrics-Medical Genetics residency program. This is a 5-year program that integrates training in Pediatrics and Medical Genetics, leading to board eligibility in both disciplines. The program is intended for graduating medical students who are committed to a career in academic medicine, offering training in clinical skills, teaching and research in both Medical Genetics and Pediatrics.
The Pediatrics training in the combined program is designed to assure that the resident is fully able to care for infants, children and adolescents. It is almost identical to that offered categorical Pediatric residents, with the primary difference being in that categorical residents are required to spend 33 months in Pediatrics training compared to 30 months for combined Pediatrics-Medical Genetics residents. The other difference is the integration of medical genetics training in years 2 through 4.
The first year is identical to that of a pediatric intern, with the only exception being a once per month genetics outpatient clinic. In years 2-4, the pediatric training is interspersed in 3-6 month blocks with 3-6 month blocks of training in Medical Genetics (a sample schedule).
The Genetics training in the combined program is designed to give the resident experience in every aspect of practice of modern medical genetics. This includes not only training in diseases that affect pediatric-age patients, but prenatal and adult-onset genetic diseases as well. Furthermore, there is substantial training in the clinical diagnostic genetics laboratories (Biochemical, Cytogenetic, and Molecular Genomics). This is typically a laboratory-based project. This breadth of medical genetics training is essential to the goal of training excellent clinical geneticists, and is required by the American Board of Medical Genetics. During their training, regardless of the rotation (Pediatrics or Genetics), the resident maintains a regular general pediatrics clinic and a general genetics clinic. Year 5 is dedicated entirely to a research project in genetics of the resident’s choosing.
Program Directors: Nathaniel H. Robin, MD & Michele Nichols, MD