Two new genetic graduates for UCT

15 November 2004

Drs Rik de Decker and Karen Fieggen of the human genetics department have become UCT's first medical genetic graduates, part of a rare group of registered clinical geneticists in South Africa.

UCT and Wits are presently the country's only training units for these practitioners. A clinical geneticist is a doctor who practices medical genetics, involving care, management and counselling. Doctors require higher training and a higher degree in a genetics and thereafter special training in medical genetics.

In broader terms, it is concerned with human inheritance, and in practical terms it is concerned with abnormalities that run in families and involves the diagnosis and genetic management of these conditions.

The sub-speciality college exams for practitioners like Fieggen and De Decker were introduced two years ago, a gruelling process after which candidates obtain a formal certificate of qualification.

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