Spotlight on Specialties

  • Medical geneticists work in one of the most rapidly evolving fields in medicine and can — and often do — customize their career. The opportunities for a physician to work in multiple settings and to perform diverse tasks are just two of the unique features of practicing medical genetics that are enticing for some physicians.

    Geneticists learn about all types of genetic conditions: pediatric and adult, reproductive and prenatal, cancer, and biochemical, says Mira B. Irons, M.D., training program director for the Harvard Genetics Training Program and an associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass. This allows geneticists to recognize and understand the significance of genetic disorders and birth defects, to arrange for proper evaluation, follow-up, and treatment, and perhaps more importantly, to help patients and their family understand and cope with the disorder.

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Special Feature

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    With a little effort and foresight and adherence to a few simple guidelines, a student can maximize the opportunities for his or her advisor — whether assigned by the medical school or selected by the student — to provide meaningful career mentoring.

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Match Corner

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    Assessing your competitiveness for different specialties requires 1) an honest assessment of your qualifications, and 2) information about what program directors want in their trainees. First let’s address the information sources you should use.

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