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Fertility specialists are physicians who specialize in helping women successfully give birth to babies. The work might entail diagnosing diseases of the reproductive organs, diagnosing disease related to abnormal menses or ovulation, and improving fertility through various means. Fertility specialists might also prescribe fertility medications, do surgery, implement in vitro fertilization or implement other methods in an attempt to help the patient get pregnant. To become a fertility specialist, you generally will need a college degree, a medical degree, and specialized training.
It is helpful to get a college degree in biology, chemistry, or another science-related major if you want to become a fertility specialist. Granted, majoring in a science area is not absolutely necessary. Rather, you could choose any major you wish; however, it helps to major in a science area because there are science courses required as part of the medical school application process. Also, getting high grades in all of your college classes can be helpful because application to medical school is very competitive. High grades will demonstrate to perspective medical schools that you are academically capable of handling the rigors of medical school.
Typically, you will apply to medical school during your last semester in college. Medical school application will involve getting official transcripts of your college course work, getting letters of recommendation from your professors, and taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). For instance, the MCAT assesses your skills in science, problem solving, critical thinking, and writing. Perspective medical schools view the MCAT as being highly predictive of your performance in medical school and that is why it is important to get a good MCAT score.
While in medical school you will earn the Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree. The MD degree will be four years in duration. Earning the MD degree is prerequisite for more specialized work in reproductive medicine that you will do after medical school.
After medical school, there will be several years of residency if you want to become a fertility specialist. The residency will include specialized observation and supervised work in gynecology, infertility medicine, urology, endocrinology, and andrology. Also, there will be a board certification exam on which you will demonstrate your knowledge of medical practice as it pertains to patients with fertility problems.
Upon completion of medical school, residency, and the board certification exam, you will become a fertility specialist. Working as a fertility specialist can be very rewarding work. Granted, things do not always go as planned.
For example, the fertility specialist may oversee fertility treatments that end up not being successful. Under those circumstances, it can be emotionally difficult to give patients the news that fertility treatments have not been successful. Granted, if you have the emotional strength to get through the positive times when patients get pregnant and the difficult times when patients are not able to get pregnant, being a fertility specialist could be a match for your career interests.