Hi, hope this is of help. Most peds/genetics programs overall are not very competitive because there aren't a lot of applicants. However, there are very few programs, and there are only 1-2 spaces per year. Most programs also aren't aiming to fill those spaces no matter what, so they'd rather not fill than match someone who wasn't a good fit for the program. There's not much difference doing the peds/genetics route versus striaght peds (that's what I did, am currently a PL-3) then fellowship. Most combined peds/genetics programs are 5 years, and peds residency alone is three years. However since most genetics fellowships are 2 years the training either way ends up being 5 years. The exception is Boston Children's/HMS fellowship which requires 3 years. A lot of places though do encourage an extra year for research though so it could extend a year either way.So, this post is pretty ancient, but I'm hoping that there will be more responses now. I am very interested in doing a peds/genetics combined program but there is not very much information on these aside from what's available on FREIDA. For instance: are these combined programs very competitive? How does the experience compare to doing a peds residency and then a genetics residency separately (aside from the number of years)?
Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much-super helpful!I got pinged by @kb1900 (thanks!) I'm an attending who did a combined peds/genetics program. I'm now on faculty and involved with admissions at a combined program
You can do any type of research you want. We want to see research experience, but we don't really care how "genetics-y" it is. Pick a mentor you like who will support you. Do work you're enthusiastic about using techniques that will some-day be applicable to genetics.
Fit means that you're enthusiastic about genetics, you have evidence that you are going to pursue clinical genetics and not dump us for general peds and that you're dependable and a good personality match, since in most programs you'll spend a lot of one-on-one time with each attending and we don't want you to be annoying. Personality depends on the program. At my program, it means not whiny, and able to react quickly to biochemical labs, but it can vary.
Almost everyone ends up in a big academic center, but there are larger private practice groups (e.g. Kaiser) that higher geneticists.
The "industry" mostly means drug development for rare genetics diseases or being the medical director of a commercial genetics laboratory.
Hope that helps!
It would probably come across as crass to ask about this (i.e. maybe don't ask program directors), but the good news is that you don't have to. Public universities are required to disclose the salaries of employees, and this includes many major academic medical centers. You can google this for yourself. To answer your question, yes, it is reasonable as a medical geneticist to expect to earn a similar salary to what primary care physicians earn. You will definitely not earn what your orthopedist or ENT colleagues do, and this is not because what you do is less valuable but because our current healthcare system rewards specialties that perform procedures. With the exception of those that are OBGYNs, most geneticists don't do procedures so there's not much you can do about that. Most doctors still manage to pay off their loans though, and ultimately what matters is that you enjoy the career you chose.Thank you @Mendelssohn for this generous write up. It has inspired me to give the field a very serious consideration. However, I can't help but consider the financial aspect of pursuing a career in medical genetics, especially that I'm anticipating to graduate med school with an astronomical debt burden.
I was wondering if you could provide us with a ballpark the type of salaries medical geneticists make. In other words, how likely is it for a medical genetics to make a similar income to that of a primary care doctor?
Thanks for reaching out to me. I just saw this response so I am a bit late. While I did consider matching to a Peds/Med Genetics, I ultimately ended up matching into a good Med/Peds program actually. I felt that it was too difficult to give up seeing adult patients and understanding their complex pathology. However, that being said, I still am interested in doing Medical Genetics after I finish residency so I would definitely like to keep that door open.Hi, I just saw this. 2KOTN I don't know if you're still interested in the combined programs but in answer to your questions:
1. The combined programs are competitive (more competitive compared to the classic categorical residency programs. This is primarily due to the small number of spots (at most 2 per year) and programs, and due to the applicant pool being skewed towards candidates who have had a strong interest in genetics from a very early time, hence have done more activities focused on genetics, etc. compared to someone who decided later in residency. Having a PhD is definitely not mandatory by any means, but certainly is a plus in general. If you did well on Step 2, this may help programs overlook the Step 1 score, however really this will overall depend on whatever program you're applying to. There are some honestly who have a hard cutoff for Step 1 and may not look at your application because of this. Keep in mind with the combined programs, both sides need to feel the applicant is a good fit. I have definitely seen candidates who were highly desired by the genetics side, but blocked by the peds side for XYZ reason (and I'm sure the opposite may occur).
2. Md/PhD clinical geneticist duties will depend on the type of job you have. Vast majority who continue with the research route have and 80/20 set up (80% research, and 20% clinical which ends up being about one clinic a week). To have any less research time I would say would definitely potentially impact the time you have to do the actual research, get grants etc. and be really successful from the research side. In reality your time does not get split "exactly" into those percentages no matter how nicely that is written on paper. So any place that says you can do "50/50" or "60/40" cannot truly guarantee this, especially when you're up against deadlines for XYZ grant, and still have clinical duties to complete for your patients.