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Clinical molecular geneticist: Career development

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Career progression depends on a number of factors, including merit, taking on additional responsibilities and gaining professional qualifications such as membership of The Royal College of Pathologists , especially for senior positions. Those with relevant qualifications and experience may be able to enter the career at a slightly more advanced level.

Post-registration clinical molecular geneticists assume a more supervisory role and carry fuller responsibility for the work of the laboratory. There are also opportunities to specialise in specific areas.

Senior grade responsibilities entail supervising and training a laboratory team, compiling and interpreting reports, and advising health authorities on policy matters relating to molecular genetics services through work on appropriate committees.

Consultant positions are usually awarded to heads of departments or of major sections. It is also possible to gain a senior position by making a significant contribution in the field of genetics.

Career progression is likely to require geographical mobility within the UK.

Networking at all levels is part of successful career development in this role. Maintaining a professional profile by presenting research at meetings, undertaking work exchanges abroad and applying for research grants is also recommended.

There are also opportunities for management roles within the National Health Service (NHS) (see NHS Careers ). The diagnostics and pharmaceutical industries also offer a number of opportunities including pure research, technical support for sales and marketing, medical information specialist and senior management posts.

Written by AGCAS editors
February 2013

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