The UAB Medical Genetics Residency Training is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and is intended for physicians with an interest in the diagnosis, counseling, management, and treatment of patients with genetic disorders. During training a broad array of disorders is encountered, encompassing the complete spectrum of medical genetics. This includes each subspecialty of the field—pediatric, biochemical, cancer, prenatal, and adult patients. There is also a significant research component that may include either basic science bench research or clinical research.
Why Chose the UAB Medical Genetics Residency Training Program?
There are dozens of medical genetics residency programs that can provide excellent training, but we believe that our program has several features that make it as an exceptional experience. The diversity of clinical and research opportunities means that every career path to our residents is available upon graduation. This is evident when you look at what our past residents are doing today.
- Clinical training. While our training program offers ample research opportunities, the main focus is clinical training. From adults with cardiomyopathy to infants with metabolic decompensation, we have a very busy clinical service with a large volume of patients that represents the entire spectrum of medical genetics. Graduates leave this program as superior clinicians.
- Diverse clinical experience, large volume. Residents learn to evaluate and care for patients that represent the spectrum of genetic disease. While we have a substantial presence in our children’s hospital, approximately 25% of our patients are adults. This includes not only cancer and prenatal genetics patients, but also a wide variety of other conditions.
- Faculty. Our faculty has a wide range of clinical expertise, many of whom are national and international experts in their areas. This includes not only the medical genetics physicians but also genetic counselors and adjunct faculty in neurology, pediatrics, internal medicine, and maternal fetal medicine.
- On site clinical genetics labs. Our clinical laboratories (cytogenetics, molecular genomics, and biochemical genetics) are each on-site, so there is no required travel for a lab rotation. Each lab director is very accomplished and is committed to resident education.
- Facilities. Our residents have dedicated office space. Each has their own personal desk and computer. Each has guaranteed funds for books and educational conferences. Additional funds are available if they are presenting at a meeting.
- New hospitals. Opened in 2012, our new children’s hospital is one of the largest in the US. This is the newest of several new hospitals in the UAB medical complex
- Large genetics residency training program. UAB genetics has one of the larger training programs, with 4-6 residents in a given year between the 4 tracks (categorical medical genetics, pediatrics-medical genetics, internal medicine-medical genetics, maternal-fetal medicine-medical genetics). This provides ample opportunities for peer-interaction and education.
- Other training programs. UAB has a number of other genetics training programs, including a genetic counseling masters training program, PhD programs in genetics and bioinformatics, and fellowship training programs in cytogenetics, molecular, and biochemical genetics. We provide genetics education for the UAB Medical School. This creates a strong educational environment, both as a learner and as a teacher.
- Learn how to teach. While the medical genetics residency emphasizes clinical training, it’s just as important to learn how to be a good teacher. Residents are required to give frequent presentations at the weekly clinical genetics conference. Furthermore, with so many other students, residents and fellows, there are many opportunities to teach both in formal and informal settings.
- Undiagnosed Disease Program. The Undiagnosed Diseases Program is a multidisciplinary program that seeks to make a diagnosis in patients with severe chronic medical conditions in whom a diagnosis has not been made despite extensive efforts by the referring physician. It offers a unique training opportunity as it incorporates the highest level of medical expertise and genomic analysis (see Hudson Alpha). Residents can be involved in patient evaluation, multidisciplinary case review, and genetic data interpretation.
- Research opportunities. While we do emphasize clinical training, there is up to 6 months of protected research time for research. There are ample research opportunities, which can be a basic science/bench project, a clinical project, or combination of both. While most residents opt to do their research with Department of Genetics faculty, some have worked with faculty in biochemistry, cell biology, cardiology, and neuroscience. And for those with a strong interest in research, funding is available for a 3rd year of training entirely dedicated to research.
- Hudson Alpha. The Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology is a state of the art genomics research center that has a collaborative partnership with the UAB Department of Genetics. Located in Huntsville, the collaboration permits many educational and research opportunities for residents. For example, residents videoconference in to monthly variant review committee meetings for the interpretation of whole genome analyses.
Quotes from recent graduates:
“I chose UAB Genetics for its strong clinical training, diverse patient population, and the many opportunities to explore specialized areas within the field.”
“I appreciated the ability to develop consistent relationships with patients in continuity clinic, and there are many opportunities to teach medical students, residents, and genetic counseling students.”
“Clinically, the attendings provide the perfect balance between autonomy and supervision. They are incredibly approachable, and they always cared about my interpretation and plans for a case. There is also great teamwork between all the attendings, genetic counselors, dieticians, and staff.”