Working life (clinical genetics)

This page provides useful information about the roles and responsibilities of clinical geneticists, where they work, who they work with and what they feel about their role.

“I became a clinical geneticist because I had an interest and fascination for the rare syndromic disorders seen in paediatrics and adult medicine." - Clinical geneticist

How your time is spent

Specialists generally work in the UK network of 23 regional genetics centres. Their work is mostly in clinic (outpatient-based) and ambulatory care settings but they also see ward referrals.

Clinical geneticists will see anyone referred to them with a genetic concern or condition. This will include patients of all ages with a whole host of conditions as well as screening of ‘at risk’ family members. On average, specialists will see between ten and 15 families a week, spread between two or three clinics.

Typically, the day will include a general genetic clinic or a specialist clinic such as a clinic for:

Other activities to be fitted into the day include:

On-call and working hours

There is little or no out-of-hours or shift work in clinical genetics. However, some clinical genetics units organise an on-call rota, particularly for the diagnosis of neonates with abnormalities or prenatal cases. Just over 5% of consultants say they are routinely on-call at weekends.

Less than full-time working is common in this specialty with just over a half of women consultants in clinical genetics doing so.

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