Should Fellows Perform Live Embryo Transfers in Fellowship?

Presented in Partnership with Fertility and Sterility
Live from the SREI Fellows Symposium in Park City, Utah

Few things are more taboo in reproductive medicine fellowship training than allowing fellows to perform live embryo transfers. While regional and program differences exist - be it via insurance mandates, training culture, and program volume - nearly one in every five fellows graduate without performing a single live embryo transfer, with most performing under 10 during three years of subspecialty training. Is the next generation of reproductive medicine specialists being under trained in this essential skill because their outcomes are inferior to those of faculty member performed transfers?

This Journal Club Global discussed the article “Outcomes of embryo transfers completed by Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility fellows versus faculty: An 11-year retrospective review” recently published in Fertility and Sterility.

The event was hosted live from the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (SREI) Fellows Symposium in Park City, Utah. Discussants included a panel of REI fellows and faculty who were asked to switch allegiances and argue the opposing side of whether fellows should perform embryo transfers.

Questions and issues addressed during the event include:
  • Should REI fellows perform live embryo transfers in fellowship?
  • Are the outcomes between fellow and faculty performed transfers different?
  • How do you effectively convey to patients that a trainee is involved in their clinical care?
  • Should fellows simply be required to learn this skill once out in practice?
  • How much does experience and technique matter?
  • How do you best prepare and train fellows for live embryo transfers?

Faculty Panelists:
Erica B. Johnstone, M.D., M.H.S.
Kenan Omurtag, M.D.
Steven Young, M.D., Ph.D.

Fellow Panelists:
Sarah Bjorkman, M.D.
Erika New, M.D., M.P.H.
Callum Potts, M.D.

Micah Hill, D.O.
Pietro Bortoletto, M.D.

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