Fellowship training and board certification in reproductive endocrinology and infertility
The certification process for reproductive endocrinology and infertility is maturing in the content of its training programs aimed at improving the reproductive health of all women.
Joseph C. Gambone, D.O., M.P.H., James H. Segars, M.D., Marcelle Cedars, M.D., William D. Schlaff, M.D.
Volume 104, Issue 1, Pages 3-7
Reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI) is one of the original officially recognized subspecialties in obstetrics and gynecology and among the earlier subspecialties in medicine. Recognized by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1972, fellowship programs are now 3 years in length following an obstetrics and gynecology residency. Originally focused on endocrine problems related to reproductive function, the assisted reproductive technologies (ART) have recently become the larger part of training during REI fellowships. It is likely that the subspecialty of REI strengthens the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology and enhances the educational experience of residents in the field. The value of training and certification in REI is most evident in the remarkable and consistent improvement in the success of ART procedures, particularly in vitro fertilization. The requirement for documented research activity during REI fellowships is likely to stimulate a more rapid adoption (translation) of newer research findings into clinical care after training. Although mandatory reporting of outcomes has been proposed as a reason for this improvement the rapid translation of reproductive research into clinical practice is likely to be a major cause. Looking forward, REI training should emphasize and strengthen education and research into the endocrine, environmental, and genetic aspects of female and male reproduction to improve the reproductive health and fertility of all women.