A medical specialist who treats patients with infertility is known professionally as a
Reproductive Endocrinologist. Training in Reproductive Endocrinology requires four years
of college followed by four years of medical school. The physician must then complete a
four-year residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN), during which the physician
receives broad training in general Obstetrics and Gynecology. The final course of training
is a two or three year Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology. Fellowship training
concentrates on the diagnosis and treatment of infertility and related syndromes. This
training includes experience in microsurgery, laparoscopic and hysteroscopy surgery, in
vitro fertilization, sonography, and ovulation induction. In addition, the physician spends
a large amount of time completing clinical or laboratory research.
Upon achieving a Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology, a specialist seeks Board
certification, a multi-step process. To become Board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology,
the physician must first obtain Board certification in Obstetrics and Gynecology. This
requires successful completion of both the written and oral examination. The entire
certification process takes several years to complete. Only a physician who has successfully
completed a Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and passed the examinations can become
Board certified as an infertility specialist.
When seeking an infertility specialist it is often quite difficult for a patient to determine
whether or not their physician is an infertility specialist. Some physicians have gained skills
through experience outside fellowship training, and some physicians successfully complete
fellowship training and do not obtain Board certification. However, Board Approved is
the only standard by which patients can measure a physician's official qualifications.