Graduate Medical Education (GME): Medical Genetics
Maximilian Muenke, MD
Eligibility CriteriaCandidates with the MD degree must have completed an accredited U.S. residency training program and have a valid U.S. license. Previous training is usually in, but not limited to, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine or Obstetrics and Gynecology.
OverviewThe NIH has joined forces with training programs at the Children’s National Medical Center, George Washington University School of Medicine and Washington Hospital Center. The combined training program in Medical Genetics is called the Metropolitan Washington, DC Medical Genetics Program. This is a program of three years duration for MDs seeking broad exposure to both clinical and research experience in human genetics.
The NIH sponsor of the program is National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). Other participating institutes include the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Eye Institute (NEI), the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Metropolitan area participants include Children’s National Medical Center (George Washington University), Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and the Department of Pediatrics, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington Hospital Center. The individual disciplines in the program include clinical genetics, biochemical genetics, clinical cytogenetics, and clinical molecular genetics.
The primary goal of the training program is to provide highly motivated physicians with broad exposure to both clinical and research experiences in medical genetics. We train candidates to become effective, independent medical geneticists, prepared to deliver a high standard of clinical genetics services, and to perform state-of-the-art research in the area of genetic disease.
Structure of the Clinical Training Program
RotationsThis three year program involves eighteen months devoted to learning in clinical genetics followed by eighteen months of clinical or laboratory research.
Year 1Six months will be spent on rotation at the NIH. Service will include time spent on different outpatient genetics clinics, including Cancer Genetics and Endocrine Disorders and Genetic Ophthalmology; on the inpatient metabolic disease and endocrinology ward; on inpatient wards for individuals involved in gene therapy trials; and on the NIH Genetics Consultation Service.
Three months will be spent at Children’s National Medical Center and will be concentrated on pediatric genetics. Fellows will participate in outpatient clinics, satellite and outreach clinics. They will perform consults on inpatients and patients with metabolic disorders and on the neonatal service. Fellows will be expected to participate in the relevant diagnostic laboratory studies on patients for whom they have provided clinical care.
One month will be spent at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and will concentrate on adult and pediatric clinical genetics. One month will be spent at Washington Hospital Center on rotations in prenatal genetics and genetic counseling.
Year 2 Fellows will spend one month each in clinical cytogenetics, biochemical genetics, and molecular diagnostic laboratories. The remaining three months will be devoted to elective clinical rotations on any of the rotations previously mentioned. The second six months will be spent on laboratory or clinical research. The fellow will spend at least a half-day per week in clinic at any one of the three participating institutions.
Year 3This year will be devoted to research, with at least a half day per week in clinic.
NIH Genetics Clinic (Required)Fellows see patients on a variety of research protocols. The Genetics Clinic also selectively accepts referrals of patients requiring diagnostic assessment and genetic counseling. Areas of interest and expertise include: chromosomal abnormalities, congenital anomalies and malformation syndromes, biochemical defects, bone and connective tissue disorders, neurological disease, eye disorders, and familial cancers.
Inpatient Consultation Service (Required)Fellows are available twenty-four hours daily to respond to requests for genetics consultation throughout the 325-bed hospital. Written consultation procedures call for a prompt preliminary evaluation, a written response within twenty-four hours, and a subsequent presentation to a senior staff geneticist, with an addendum to the consult, as needed. The consultant service fellow presents the most interesting cases from the wards during the Post-Clinic Patient Conference on Wednesday afternoons during which Fellows present interesting clinical cases for critical review. Once a month the fellow presents relevant articles for journal club.
Metropolitan Area Genetics Clinics
Other Clinical Opportunities: Specialty Clinics at NIHThe specialty clinics of NIH treat a large number of patients with genetic diseases. We have negotiated a supervised experience for some of the fellows at various clinics; to date, fellows have participated in the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic, the Lipid Clinic, and the Endocrine Clinic.
Lectures, Courses and SeminarsThe fellowship program includes many lectures, courses and seminars. Among them are a journal club and seminars in medical genetics during which invited speakers discuss research and clinical topics of current interest. In addition, the following four courses have been specifically developed to meet the needs of the fellows:
Trainees are encouraged to pursue other opportunities for continuing education such as clinical and basic science conferences, tutorial seminars, and postgraduate courses, which are plentiful on the NIH campus.
Structure of the Research Training ProgramFellows in the Medical Genetics Program pursue state-of-the-art research related to genetic disorders. Descriptions of the diverse interests of participating faculty are provided in this catalog. The aim of this program is to provide fellows with research experiences of the highest caliber and to prepare them for careers as independent clinicians and investigators in medical genetics.
Fellows entering the program are required to select a research supervisor which may be from among those involved on the Genetics Fellowship Faculty Program. It is not required that this selection be made before coming to NIH.
In addition to being involved in research, all fellows attend and participate in weekly research seminars, journal clubs and laboratory conferences, which are required elements of each fellow’s individual research experience.
Program Faculty and Research Interests
Examples of Papers Authored by Program Faculty
Program GraduatesThe following is a partial list of graduates including their current positions:
The NIH/Metropolitan Washington Medical Genetics Residency Program is accredited by the ACGME and the American Board of Medical Genetics. Upon successful completion of the three year program, residents are eligible for board certification in Clinical Genetics. During the third residency year, residents may elect to complete either (a) the requirements for one of the ABMG laboratory subspecialties, such as Clinical Molecular Genetics, Clinical Biochemical Genetics or Clinical Cytogenetics, or (b) a second one year residency program (e.g., Medical Biochemical Genetics).
Candidates should apply through ERAS, beginning July 1 of the year prior to their anticipated start date. Candidates with the MD or MD and PhD degree must have completed a U.S. residency in a clinically related field. Previous training is usually in, but not limited to, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine or Obstetrics and Gynecology. Four new positions are available each year. Interviews are held during August and September.
Electronic Application The quickest and easiest way to find out more about this training program or to apply for consideration is to do it electronically.
The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs.
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