Clinical Conferences

A variety of clinical conferences enrich resident education at UCSF.

Clinical Genetics Patient Conference (Weekly)

This weekly conference is routinely attended by all core faculty, genetic counselors, laboratory directors, rotation students/residents, PhD fellows, T32 grant trainees and interested graduate students. All residents are required to attend this conference. The conference is a formal review of the patients evaluated that week in genetics clinics and in-house consultations. The residents/attendings/genetic counselors present the patients with the history and pertinent physical findings (including photographs when appropriate). In addition, cytogenetic, molecular and prenatal testing results of the past week are discussed. The resident on call leads the conference, including discussing recent inpatient consultations. The discussions are robust and include issues of differential diagnosis, disease biology, diagnostic testing, treatment, genetic counseling and basic science correlates. In this forum, the trainee gains experience in organizing and formally presenting medical genetic information, in leading the interactive discussions that ensue, and in addressing the questions and problems that arise in these discussions. Over the years, this conference has been a hub for medical care providers interested in clinical genetics from UCSF and nearby medical centers. An additional half-hour each week is devoted to didactic presentations on topics or journal articles of particular interest to attendees. All attendees (residents, fellows, faculty, genetics counselors, and students) participate in leading the presentation. Attendance at this conference is mandatory for all faculty and residents. All individuals attending the conference sign in at the beginning at the lecture.

Biochemical Genetics Conference (Weekly)

This weekly conference series, led by Dr. Packman, is attended by all residents (required attendance), the genetic counselors of the biochemical genetics service, the genetics nutritionists, and members of the medical genetics faculty. All attendees contribute presentations, including didactic lectures, journal club presentations, and case presentations with discussion of the biology, genetics, and medical aspects of the disorder. All individuals attending the conference sign in at the beginning of the lecture.


Fellows' College Workshop (Once Per Quarter)

The Fellows' College of the Department of Pediatrics is a professional development program which endeavors to provide all departmental academic fellows with the guidance and mentorship essential to prepare them to maximize their education, research and individual professional development during their fellowship years and to assist them in making a successful transition into their early careers as physician-scientists and academic clinician-educators. The primary goal is to provide specific information to allow fellows to acquire skills to navigate the complex world of academic medicine from fellowship through the early years of an academic career. The Fellows' College was developed to enhance the individual educational and professional development experiences that are available as part of the various subspecialty fellowship-training programs. The College consists of three half-day workshops held in the summer, fall, and spring of each year. In addition, our residents also participate in Pediatrics Research Day sponsored by the Fellows' College. Each session includes interactive introductory didactic talks and smaller topic-specific breakout sessions. All academic fellows participate in the program. Faculty and senior fellows from the Department of Pediatrics and the University act as lecturers, mentors, and leaders of breakout sessions. Our residents are required to attend these workshop sessions and are relieved from clinical duties during these sessions. Attendance at this workshop is mandatory and is recorded.


Neurogenetics Seminar. This conference is held monthly, under the direction of Dr. Bruce Miller of the Memory and Aging Center (MAC). Drs. Miller and Packman organized this seminar series to bring together members of the adult neurology MAC and movement disorders groups, with members of the pediatrics neurometabolic program. At the conference, a formal seminar on a research topic, or recent topic or paper of interest, is presented by faculty members or fellows of the adult and pediatrics groups, in rotation. The conference is attended by medical genetics and neurology trainees, faculty in clinical and basic human genetics, faculty in child and adult neurology, and genetic counselors, psychologists, and staff members of the two groups. Recent seminars have included talks on: sub-telomeric cryptic translocation screening in patients with neurodevelopmental delay of unclear etiology; non-Parkinson dystonia syndromes; the molecular genetics of neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation; biochemical genetic disorders causing adult-onset dementias; and modifier genes and genetic complexity in Mendelian inborn errors. In the long term, it is hoped that this series will constitute an academic setting that will lead to faculty collaborations in educational endeavors and research, and eventually lead to the development of a formal nuerogenetics training program.

NF/Ras Clinic Conference. Trainees in medical genetics attend the NF/RAS Clinic, and participate in a conference discussing patients from this clinic, which interfaces with the Cancer Risk Program and meets every 2-3 months.

Prenatal Diagnosis Meeting. This weekly meeting is attended by faculty and residents of the reproductive genetics group, genetic counselors, and medical genetics trainees during their prenatal diagnosis rotation. At this meeting, recent complicated cases are reviewed.

Fetal Treatment Meeting. Neonatologists, surgeons, radiologists, perinatologists, and geneticists attend this daily meeting. Medical genetics trainees who are in their prenatal diagnosis rotation may attend this meeting, where complicated ultrasonographic findings are reviewed and prenatal treatment options and protocols are discussed.