Medical genetics is a field of medicine that studies the role of genetics in human disease. Geneticists may be physicians or scientists or a combination of both. Their work may be purely clinical and take place in regional hospitals, university medical centres or community clinics, or it may also include clinical research and translational studies. Genetics is a fascinating and challenging discipline that is constantly changing, as technological and research advances rapidly expand the amount of information known about individual genes, their gene products and their role in disease. Medical genetics affects patients of all ages and involves all body systems.
Clinicians can become geneticists via two routes: (1) the Royal College Medical Genetics training program and (2) the CCMG fellowships in Clinical Genetics or in Clinical Biochemical Genetics.
Medical students can enter medical genetics as a five-year primary specialty with direct entry from medical school in the CaRMS match.
The Canadian College of Medical Genetics (CCMG) offers subspecialty fellowships to physicians who have already completed the Royal College training in a primary specialty (such as an FRCPC in pediatrics or internal medicine, or an FRCSC in obstetrics) as a pre-requisite. Admission to a CCMG fellowship is contingent on the availability of training resources at the receiving institution and on the ability of the receiving institution to secure funding to provide salary support to the CCMG fellow.
More information about a comparison of the Royal College and the CCMG route can be found on the CCMG website.