Analyzing and evaluating patients with genetic diseases and disorders is part of the job description of a clinical geneticist. The individual is a physician who screens patients for inherited conditions that can result from alterations in normal DNA.
A clinical geneticist is a physician who diagnoses and prescribes treatment for patients with conditions that result from genetic anomalies.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Clinical Geneticist
•Gathers data and evaluates the medical histories of patients and their families.
•Collects and analyzes DNA samples from patients and family members.
•Uses DNA mapping techniques and biochemical processes including blot analysis, gel electrophoresis and polymerase chain reaction.
•Trains laboratory technicians in proper safety protocols.
•Supervises lab technicians who perform the DNA tests.
•Reviews laboratory results of genetic research.
•Manages the collection of relevant data regarding patient histories.
•Coordinates with genetic counselors to prescribe a plan of treatment for patients suffering from genetic disorders and conditions.
•Collaborates with other physicians and biologists to determine the specific genetic tests that need to be performed on a patient.
•Maintains complete and accurate records of research, methodology, processes, procedures and test results.
•Documents results of experiments in scientific journals and presents findings at medical conferences.
•Maintains computer databases of genetic information.
•Supervises geneticists and technicians on genetic technicians on genetic research projects.
•Attends educational conferences.
•Reads scientific literature relating to genetics to stay up-to-date on discoveries and developments in the field.
•Seeks funds for research by writing grants and white papers and organizing fundraising events.
•Works to improve existing techniques in genetic research and treatment of patients.
•Strives to enhance and improve treatment techniques for people with genetic diseases and disorders.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
•Must have exceptionalanalytical skills.
•Must be highly observant and detail oriented.
•Must have excellent computer and technology skills and knowledge of genetic software.
•Must have superior problem solving and decision making skills.
•Excellent critical thinking skills.
•Strong verbal and written communication skills.
•Must have the ability to effectively train subordinates.
•The ability to monitor and control resources.
•Strong time management skills.
Education and Experience
•Bachelor’s degree in Biological or Physical Science.
•Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) Degree which requires eight years of study.
•Certification following six years of clinical residency.
•United States Medical Licensing Examination or USMLE completion to obtain license to practice medicine in the U.S.
•Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam or COMLEX completion to obtain a license to practice as an osteopath in the U.S.
•Time is spent both in a clinical environment working with the patients or in a laboratory conducting experiments and documenting test results.
•Must be able to work as a component of a genetic team with the goal of improving the quality of life for patients who suffer from genetic abnormalities.
•Must be able to observe mandatory safety procedures and work with hazardous substances as well as radioactive materials.
•Time is spent working long hours and even weekends to complete experiments and obtain test results.
•Salaries range from $60,000 to $135,000 depending on years of experience, amount and quality of published works and the size and complexity of the employer’s facility.