The American College of Embryology (EMBCOL) is an organization of embryology practitioners that serves patients, embryologists, and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of reproductive embryology.
The College's mission is to assure that the knowledge and skills of every reproductive embryology practitioner in the United States meets a minimum standard established by EMBCOL through a peer review process.
Embryology practitioners are individuals who create human embryos in an Embryology Facility using In Vitro Fertilization. The best known reproductive embryologist, who was awarded a Nobel Prize in medicine in 2010, is Sir. Robert Edwards,PhD.
Embryologists provide care for embryos until they are about a week old. At the end of the process, embryologists select embryos that will be transferred into the woman's uterus or frozen for future transfers.
Embryologists also may perform embryo biopsies, where a sample is taken to determine whether the embryo is chromosomally normal.
Embryologists also determine which embryos are viable, and which have became arrested in development and no longer have a potential to become a baby after transfer into the uterus.
Embryology practitioners have vastly different trainings and backgrounds. American College of Embryology has established a certification process to differentiate practitioners according to their level of expertise.
The highest level of certification recognized by EMBCOL is Reproductive Embryologist - EMB. Most of the individuals certified at this level have a Doctoral Degree. If they do not, they have vast experience or other credentials that were vetted by EMBCOL and accepted as evidence of their expertise at that level.
A Reproductive Embryologist is someone who contributes to your treatment by providing the Reproductive Endocrinologist (your infertility physician) with an embryology input to select the best strategy for achieving pregnancy.
EMBCOL recommends inquiring about the credentials of the embryology practitioner on staff at the fertility clinic. After all, he/she is the individual who is performing IVF, which is the central and usually most expensive part of the assisted reproduction treatment.
DISCLAIMER: the content of the web sites below has not been reviewed or approved by the American College of Embryology.