What does a fertility specialist mean? Technically? The term means absolutely nothing.
Anyone can call themselves a fertility specialist- there is no criteria that needs to be met. Any person, even a non-doctor, can call themselves a fertility specialist.
What is a Reproductive Endocrinologist?
A board certified Reproductive Endocrinologist? That's a whole other story. This is what it takes to be a board certified Reproductive Endocrinologist:
Reproductive Endocrinology is a sub-specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This requires 4 years of medical school followed by completion of a 4 year residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Training includes:
- Medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the female reproductive tract
- Care of pregnant women
- Delivering babies
Reproductive Endocrinology Training
After completing a residency program, a physician would apply through a highly competitive system to receive additional training in Reproductive Endocrinology. This is referred to as a fellowship and includes a 3 year intensive training program, which focuses on understanding the complexities of the human female reproductive system.
Reproductive Endocrinologists receive board certification by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. These require both written and oral examinations. Once board certified, a physician must continue to take a certain amount of continuing education credits per year to maintain their certification.
Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT)'s five board certified Reproductive Endocrinologists discuss the more specific points of their medical field and even share their personal stories about becoming "fertility specialists".