Clinical Genetics is a 4-year training programme with entry at ST3, leading to CCT in Clinical Genetics. The Thames Valley training programme is managed by The Oxford Centre for Genomic Medicine or OXGEM, based at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital in Oxford. We provide a comprehensive programme for speciality training following the curriculum set by the Joint Royal College of Physicians Training Board (JRCPTB).
To begin training, the focus will be on core techniques and knowledge in general genetics and general cancer genetics. Trainees then rotate through the many speciality services offered including neurology, cardiology and subspecialty cancer services. There is flexibility to tailor later years of training to subspecialty interests developed.
Trainees will form part of the on-call team who receive, review and manage referrals from inpatient services, such as the neonatal intensive care unit, and the prenatal team. There is opportunity for a laboratory block to provide exposure to cytogenetics and molecular genetic techniques. Research experience is encouraged.
In line with the rest of the UK, the service is run on the ‘hub and spoke’ principle. The trainee will be based in Oxford but will typically attend peripheral clinics served by the Oxford Regional Genetics Service once or twice a month. These clinics are located in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Wiltshire. However, this is a comparably small geographically area so it is possible to live in one location during the 4-year programme.
Trainees attend weekly departmental clinical meetings in prenatal, urgent general and cancer genetics where interesting and challenging clinical cases are discussed. Teaching opportunities are also gained through timetabled journal clubs and consultant led teaching. Trainees are encouraged to attend national trainee teaching and speciality specific courses.
A trainee’s progress is continually assessed with the help of work placed based assessment and annually reviewed in the form of ARCP. Training is overseen by the Training Programme Director, Dr Lara Hawkes (email@example.com), with personalised support through an allocated clinical supervisor and educational supervisor. OXGEM has a small number of trainees which allows an individualistic and flexible approach to training. Taster days are possible for those in training within our region and prospective applicants are welcome to contact Dr Hawkes for further information.
Clinical Genetics – Essential Courses for all Trainees
- Counselling course if not doing PGCert in Genomic Medicine
- Cancer Genetics course
- Dysmorphology course (Manchester)
- Teaching course
- Management course
- PGCert/MSc in Genomic Medicine or Fundamentals of Clinical Genomics (Hinxton)
- BSGM conference, at least one ESHG conference during training with presentation.
There are a few good stand-alone courses offered on occasion, for example, by the Royal Society of Medicine and these are often excellent for training. An example is the Rasopathy conditions or skeletal dysplasias, which would be very helpful to trainees.
It is difficult to be completely prescriptive to what would be essential training for this reason. Another reason is to allow us to tailor the training towards the end to help the trainee establish themselves in a field of interest, e.g. cancer genetics, so we would consider going to the Cancer Genetic Society meetings as important.
There will be a degree of flexibility about the essential courses in clinical genetics and the ESs can discuss each one individually that is not on the above list.