When seeking an infertility specialist, many people are unaware of the differences in education, qualifications, and professional skills between one doctor and the next. Don’t all doctors who practice reproductive medicine have the same training? Many potential infertility patients are surprised to find the answer is no. Just like other areas of medicine, this is one with subspecialties. Some infertility doctors are board-certified, while others are not.
If you are seeking infertility treatment, you should try to find a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist. This is an OB/GYN (obstetrician/gynecologist) certified in both obstetrics and gynecology with the subspecialty of reproductive endocrinology by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. You can be treated for some infertility disorders by an OB/GYN (or a urologist), but board-certified reproductive endocrinologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of reproductive disorders. It should not be difficult to find one of these doctors in your area; ABOG certifies over 1,500 obstetrician-gynecologists each year, including doctors with subspecialties in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, maternal-fetal medicine, and gynecologic oncology.
Board certification in any subspecialty of OB/GYN requires that a doctor complete no less than four years of graduate education. Additionally, the doctor must pass various examinations, including an evaluation of his or her case list from the first year of practicing medicine. This means that a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist is not just someone with a degree; he or she must have practiced for at least 12 months, and his or her actual patient history must be approved by ABOG.
FertilityProRegistry highly recommends that you find a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist as your infertility specialist. While other OB/GYNs and urologists may be able to help you, you should go to a board-certified specialist to make sure you get the expertise you deserve in the diagnosis treatment of any and all reproductive disorders you have. Just as you would go to an oncologist if you had cancer, you should find a doctor with an appropriate subspecialty of reproductive endocrinology for infertility treatment.
If you are unsure whether a doctor is board-certified, you can contact the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology by letter at:
2915 Vine Street,
Dallas, TX 75204
They will respond to mailed or faxed requests regarding verification of a doctor’s board certification. Learn more at www.abog.org
Updated August 2014