The postdoctoral training program in medical genetics at Johns Hopkins was established by Victor McKusick MD in 1957. Three years later, Barton Childs MD accepted his first postdoctoral fellow in Pediatric Genetics. The predoctoral training program in Human Genetics began in 1961 and was combined with the postdoctoral programs in 1968. Fellowship training in Genetics continued to be offered by Pediatrics and Medicine independently until 1975, when the two programs were combined. Until 1980, the program offered 2 or 3 year fellowships, in which each year had a mixture of clinical and research activities. In 1980, the program began offering standard three-year fellowships to optimize genetics research experience of each trainee. This decision has contributed directly to the outstanding success of the program in attracting and training some of the most productive physician-scientists in the field of medical genetics.
The integration of medical and pediatric genetic programs continued with the formation of the Center for Medical Genetics in 1989. Clinical inpatient and outpatient services were joined to provide a seamless approach to patients with genetic disorders. This was a particularly important development in light of the familial context in which many genetic disorders occur.