Medical Student Opportunities

medical student genetics elective

The Department of Genetic Medicine offers a one-month clinical genetics elective rotation for eligible medical students and residents from The Johns Hopkins University and other institutions in the United States and abroad. The trainees who participate in this elective will have an opportunity to participate in outpatient genetics clinics and inpatient services and consultations.


The learning objectives of this elective are:

  • Learning the systematic approach to evaluating patients with a known or suspected genetic condition
  • Performing a comprehensive physical examination with an emphasis on the documentation of congenital anomalies and dysmorphic features
  • Building a foundation in natural history, etiology, inheritance and management of several of the more common disorders seen by clinical geneticists
  • Eliciting and constructing a complete three-generation pedigree
  • Analyzing a pedigree and determining possible modes of inheritance
  • Genetic counseling for conditions with Mendelian inheritance (autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, X-linked) and conditions with non-Mendelian inheritance, such as mitochondrial inheritance, multifactorial conditions and chromosomal abnormalities
  • Learning up-to-date genetic and genomic testing technologies and their applications in a clinical setting
  • Becoming familiar with online resources for physicians who care for patients with genetic disorders
  • Becoming familiar with community resources and support groups for individuals with genetic and genomic disorders and their families
  • Learning clinical indications for patient referral to genetic services
  • Developing an appreciation of the public health and health care systems (e.g., newborn screening and national guidelines) in which genetic medicine is practiced

Elective Details

Under supervision of genetics attending physicians, the elective trainees are expected to work closely with genetics residents, genetics counselors and other supporting staff to participate in clinical care and educational activities in both inpatient and outpatient settings at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Department of Genetic Medicine offers the following genetics services, specialty clinics and other educational activities.

Inpatient Services and Outpatient Clinics

  • Metabolic Inpatient Service
  • Metabolic Consultation Service
  • Dysmorphology Consultation Service
  • General Genetics Clinic
  • PCRU Metabolic Clinic
  • Lysosomal Storage Disease Clinic
  • Skeletal Dysplasia Clinic
  • Epigenetics Clinic

Other Genetics Educational Activities

  • Clinic genetics case conference
  • Preclinic chart review
  • IGM journal clubs
  • IGM seminars series
  • Current topics in clinical genetics
  • Brown bag resident rounds
  • Kennedy Krieger Institute genetics conference
  • Skeletal dysplasia conference

For more information regarding a clinical rotation, please contact Laura Gibson.