Medical genetics combines both clinical and laboratory aspects. Geneticists that provide medical consultation deal with tests and the analysis of physiological and pathological disorders in relation to genetic disease (i.e., a person’s hereditary background). Geneticists specialize in the investigation, diagnosis and management of patients presenting innate metabolic errors, chromosomal abnormalities and birth defects. They also specialize in genetic advice, prenatal screening and abnormalities of physiological development. They take part in investigating such problems as malformation, infertility and learning disabilities. They are responsible for the transfer of research and knowledge to clinicians and decision makers.
A bachelor's degree in biology or in a related discipline is required for biologists. A master's or doctoral degree in biology or a related discipline is required for employment as a research scientist in biology. Post-doctoral research experience is usually required before employment in academic departments or research institutions.