Open Letter

Fellow reproductive laboratory practitioner,

 

 

It is an open secret that reproductive laboratory practitioners are becoming marginalized in the field that they were instrumental to create. The situation has become so bad that some embryologists are embarrassed to admit they are an embryologist because this profession has lost its meaning: anyone who walks into IVF laboratory is becoming an embryologist.

 

Even though many are certified as laboratory managers, the management position does not substitute for professional degree. Moreover, the lack of professional differentiation within the discipline prevents embryology from becoming a specialty, dilutes the value of education, impedes the incentive for professional growth, and makes it impossible to assure the minimum standard of quality of care provided by reproductive laboratory personnel.

 

This situation is the result of the inability of reproductive laboratory practitioners to assert their professional interests within other organizations.  After years of trying, many of us have come to the realization that only our own, independent association can truly stand behind our interests as a professional group; this led to the creation of the American College of Embryology. 

 

We find ourselves in the situation similar to that of pathologists some years back. This is what Robert P. Buckwald, MD (president of NY state society of pathologists) had to say:

 

"My career has allowed me to work closely with many distinguished pathologists all of whom realized that, as a group and as individuals, we must participate in the molding, shaping and direction of our profession. Herb Lansky, Paul Bachner, Sheldon Taubman and David Tiersten taught me the nonscientific aspects of pathology, the economics and the politics. They correctly believed that if we didn't become involved and guide the profession, non pathologists would very willingly take over completely." (Paul Bachner is the former president of CAP)

 

The College outlines on its web site both its mission and plan for molding a diverse group of individuals into a professional force.

 

The American College of Embryology is not an elitist organization of Ph.D.s. In fact we have more non-Ph.D. members than Ph.D.s.

 

However, everyone needs to recognize the reality of the value of education. It would not be in anyone’s best interest if everyone called himself a doctor.  The concern is not the skills required to do a specific procedure; instead it is about specialized expertise based on educational level.

 

Furthermore, as in any profession, there are technical and non-technical professional capacities, which have to be recognized with the respective level of certification.

The College examination should not be looked at as an attempt to impose one more hassle on an already busy community. This is a necessary step in creating our profession and elevating its prestige, because, unlike other medical specialties, we all have very different educational backgrounds and the exam is the only way to assure a uniformed level of relevant knowledge within respective level of certification.

 

In general, during “grand-fathering” period, the vast majority of current reproductive laboratory professionals with almost any level of education, will be able to qualify for one or another level of board examination, subject to application review by education and practice committee: http://www.embcol.org/acce

 

The College is also working on creating an embryology/andrology residency program.

 

We urge you to join the College and take the future of our profession into our own hands.  www.embcol.org

 

 

 

 

Dmitri Dozortsev,

 

Ashok Agarwal,

 

Peter Nagy,

 

Doris Baker,

 

Denny Sakkas,

 

Ryuzo Yanagimachi,

 

Iqbal Khan,

 

Bhushan K. Gangrad,

 

Klaus Wiemer,

 

Michael Vernon,

 

Michael Stahler,

 

Gianpiero Palermo,

 

Christopher De Jonge

 

You may become active in the College by becoming a member, http://embcol.org/node/25 or joining one of the committees by emailing to contact@embcol.org

 

General inquires must be emailed to contact@embcol.org

 

Please note that College will primarily use its own newsletter for communication and therefore we are asking you to forward this email to others who may be interested to receive it.