Specialties that utilize understanding of genetics

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Jun 24, 2018
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I will be starting medical school soon and I'm currently unsure which specialty would like to pursue. I am interested in medical genetics, however I've come to learn that it is one of the lowest paying specialties and there don't seem to be many jobs outside large cities. Are there other specialties that require you to have an in depth knowledge of the genetic causes of disease and current genetic testing methods?

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Child neurology deals with a lot of genetic disorders
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Medical genetics is also a specialty, albeit not a popular one. Did a week as part of peds rotation. They used lots of targeted and whole genome sequencing.
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It's awesome that you're already thinking about which specialties you're interested in, but also keep in mind that there's no rush to decide on a specialty anytime soon! Keep an open mind and explore as many specialties as possible -- many students end up switching their preferred specialty multiple times throughout the first three years (and beyond).

That said, pathology could be a great field for someone who is interested in genetics, as long as you are okay with not having much patient contact. If you're really interested in the basic science of genetics and want to become an expert on the nitty gritty of genetic testing, a branch of pathology called molecular genetic pathology could be worth looking into.

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As far as ACTUALLY dealing with (ordering, interpreting, counseling) genetics testing then I would say Medical Genetics or a subspecies our like Cardio genetics or even Pathology like was mentioned above.

To some degree most fields will deal with genetic disorders in their respective area however it will likely be fairly superficial as in you refer for genetics testing/counseling and they come back to you with a diagnosis.

If you’re able I’d suggest trying to arrange some time with a geneticist is some field to gain some insight into what they really do. You may love it or realize that it’s not how you want to spend your days.
Oncology is another area where an in-depth understanding of genetics can be very useful.
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