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Cancer Genetics

What Makes a Good Geneticist?

02/28/2010

Question:

Hello, I am currently a senior in high school, and I`m really interested in genetics and possibly going to pursue higher education in that field. Since you are no doubt a busy and important man, I am just going to ask you one question: What types of character traits can make a good geneticist, and which character traits can prevent someone from being a good geneticist?

Thank you for your time.

Answer:

There are a variety of people who work in the field of genetics; some are basic researchers who work at universities teaching and doing basic research on genetics; some work in clinical laboratories supervising clinical testing; some work in biotech industries; and some are clinical medical geneticists who work primarily with genetics as it influences human health. Each will have slightly different qualities that fit best with their professions. Some will require strict attention to detail, some will require the ability to work with people in challenging health situations, and some will require the ability to think about things in new ways. All will require a basic curiosity about why biological processes happen the way they do, and what other intrinsic factors influence these processes. Listed below are some websites that you might find helpful in learning more about genetics.

Related Resources:

Genetics Home Reference - National Library of Medicine
National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics
Information for Genetic Professionals, University of Kansas Medical Center

For more information:

Go to the Cancer Genetics health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Duane D Culler, PhD, MS Duane D Culler, PhD, MS
Clinical Instructor of Genetics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University