Fertility doctors, also called reproductive
endocrinologists, specialize in diagnosing and treating issues affecting
fertility in men and women. Like all other medical personnel, a fertility
doctor must be qualified before practicing. The qualifications ascertain that
the specialist can offer accurate diagnoses and recommend the right treatment
for fertility issues. Here are the different qualifications a fertility
specialist must have:
Fertility specialists must earn a medical degree by
completing medical school. The medical school fertility doctors attend should
be accredited by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) or
the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). The undergraduate program in
medical school takes four years to complete, with students undergoing classroom and clinical
The initial two years in medical school involve students
learning basic science courses like biochemistry, anatomy, pharmacology, and
physiology. Students rotate through clinical settings in the last two years to
gain hands-on experience working with patients. The rotation program prepares
students for residency training once they complete the undergraduate program.
Residency training for fertility specialists offers advanced
urology or obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) training. The program lasts
several years and combines clinical and research training. Trainees undergoing
their residency program work under the supervision of an experienced physician.
It involves interacting with patients in clinical settings such as dispensaries
During residency, aspiring fertility specialists learn to
diagnose and treat various reproductive health issues, including:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
Besides clinical training, research training helps residents
understand technological and methodical advances in reproductive medicine.
Resident trainees participate in research projects focusing on specific issues
in their field. They publish research papers that contribute to their field in
medical journals to help further their knowledge. Residency training aims at
preparing students for a career as fertility experts.
Fellowship training is an advanced subspecialty program in
reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI). This program comes after
residency training in urology or OB/GYN and often lasts several years.
Fertility experts enjoy more specialized training in diagnosing and treating
infertility and reproductive issues.
Fellowship training imparts fertility specialists with
knowledge about advanced procedures, including in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and
intrauterine insemination (IUI). They are also trained on how to perform
different surgical procedures to correct structural abnormalities that may be
causing infertility. Other areas that learners receive training on include:
- Genetic testing
- Embryo selection
- Interpreting diagnostic tests like ultrasounds and
On completing fellowship training, a fertility doctor must obtain board
certification in reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI). The two
primary certifying bodies are:
- The American Board of Urology (ABU)
- The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG)
Board certification demonstrates mastery in fertility and
reproductive health, making specialists more revered in the market. Fertility
doctors must pass an examination that the professional medical board
administers before being board certified. The board may also require them to
have an active medical license and have practiced fertility medicine for
Board certification exams contain written and oral tests.
The written test examines the expert's understanding and knowledge of
reproductive health and infertility issues. Oral tests evaluate how the doctor
applies their knowledge to real-life situations. Once fertility doctors are board-certified,
they must participate in continuing medical education and retake the
examination to demonstrate ongoing mastery in their specialty.
A license is mandatory for US medical professionals before
they can practice. Here's what fertility doctors need to obtain licensure:
- Pass the USMLE exam: The United States Medical Licensing
Exam (USMLE) is a three-part test evaluating a doctor's knowledge and skills in
general medicine and their specialty. Doctors must pass the test to demonstrate
they understand what safe and effective patient care involves.
- Meet state-specific requirements for practitioners:
Different states have unique requirements for medical licensure that fertility
doctors must meet. Common requirements include completing a particular number
of postgraduate training hours and passing state-specific exams.
- Background check: The state licensing board performs
statutory background checks on licensure applicants to make sure they are not
involved in unethical behavior.
Work With a Qualified Fertility Doctor
Qualified fertility specialists demonstrate mastery of
reproductive health and infertility issues. Before attaining the licensure to
practice, a fertility doctor must complete a medical degree, residency, and
fellowship training. Board certification also makes sure that the specialists
can apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios. Schedule a consultation with
a qualified fertility doctor today to receive proper care relating to