When individuals or couples are experiencing infertility or are hoping to extend the schedule to bring children into the world, doctors who specialize in fertility can help.
These doctors can also perform sterilization procedures such as tubal ligations and vasectomy.
Future fertility doctors need to be curious and innovative because the field is moving fast; Technology is changing all the time. They should also be non-judgmental listeners and be good listeners.
“We’re looking at people who can care for patients during the most vulnerable part of their lives,” says Dr. Gary Frischman, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Warren Albert College of Medicine in Rhode Island.
Below is an educational guide for anyone planning to become a fertility doctor.
Academic tracks in fertility medicine
An aspiring reproductive medicine doctor needs to have both bachelor’s and medical degrees. There are two types of pipelines in the field of fertility medicine, and the path you take depends on the population you intend to treat.
Medical school graduates must complete residencies in obstetrics and gynecology if they intend to focus on female fertility, and in urology if their goal is to focus on male fertility. Many OB/GYN residencies now include training in transgender medicine.
After the residency, the future Reproductive Medicine Physician will need to complete a fellowship that focuses on fertility and sterility issues. Aspiring fertility doctors who complete OB-GYN residencies typically seek fellowships in reproductive endocrinology, while those who complete urology residencies typically pursue fellows in andrology.
It usually takes at least six years to complete a residency and fellowship in reproductive medicine, often seven years.
Future reproductive physicians also need to have National Board certification and state medical licensure.
Reasons for getting training in fertility medicine
There is plenty of work in the field of reproductive medicine.
Over the past four and a half decades, more than 9 million babies have been born due to in vitro fertilization and other assisted reproductive technologies.
“You have some of the most interesting medical problems that have to do with hormones, you have some of the most complex and advanced surgeries, and then on top of that you have a field that is growing and expanding a lot,” Frischmann says.
Plus, since the recent US Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, many doctors say they’ve seen more Patients seeking sterilization.
Feinberg, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of the reproductive endocrinology and infertility fellowship program at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern Illinois University.
According to Feinberg, the most fascinating mysteries in fertility medicine revolve around how women’s biological clocks are stretched, what are the potential environmental and nutritional causes of fertility disorders, why IVF sometimes fails and whether there is an age limit beyond which it is not recommended for men to have children. She adds that there are also many ethical debates about the ethical limits of gene editing and embryo selection, as well as practical considerations about the accuracy of genetic testing.
Facts to know and courses to learn to get a job as a fertility doctor
Obstetricians, gynecologists, and urologists in this field of medicine assert that nearly half of infertile heterosexual couples struggle to have children in part because of a man’s reproductive health problems, contrary to the common misconception that women suffer the vast majority of fertility disorders.
says Dr. Larry I. Lipshultz, founder of the Society for the Study of Male Reproduction and past president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
According to Lipshultz, MD, chief of the division of male reproductive medicine and surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, fertility problems are sometimes an indicator of serious, undiagnosed health conditions that need treatment.
Dr. Craig Niederberger, chair of urology at the University of Illinois – Chicago Medical School, suggests that because reproductive medicine is an interdisciplinary field, there are many classes an aspiring fertility doctor may want to take before beginning residency and fellowship training, during college and medical school. .
Topics worth studying in prior years of college or medical school include biology, genetics, psychiatry, or psychology, says Niederberger.
Anyone intending to enter the urology department half of the fertility medicine profession must complete an elective course in urology during medical school. Rotation or training in obstetrics and gynecology is usually a mandatory component of the medical curriculum.
Niederberger advises future reproductive doctors to take non-science classes during college, noting that as a dual major in chemistry and theater, he now uses his knowledge of theater more frequently than his knowledge of chemistry because he does a great deal of public speaking.
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