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Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Fellowship

The goal of the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital is to train subspecialists in obstetrics and gynecology to manage complex clinical problems relating to infertility and reproductive endocrinology with an emphasis on investigating important basic science, translational and clinical research questions in this area.

Overview

The Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) Fellowship accepts one fellow every year, for a three-year training period. The fellowship training is divided equally between clinical and research activities. Formal didactic sessions include enrollment in courses and attendance at weekly rounds and conferences.  The clinical activities take place primarily in Division of Reproductive Medicine and In-Vitro Fertilization in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at  the Massachusetts General Hospital. The basic scientific research activities occur primarily within the Vincent Center for Reproductive Medicine.

Program Objectives

  • To provide the highest quality of clinical care for our patients with reproductive endocrine, infertility and other disorders related to reproductive health
  • To be exemplars of education in academic medicine by being outstanding teachers
  • To train and educate our fellows in clinical care, reproductive surgery, research and teaching and promote excellence in future careers in the specialty
  • To conduct basic and clinical research with the goal of advancing the discipline of reproductive biology and surgery and translating these developments to the clinical arena

Rotations

Year 1

Focus area: Research

The first year is devoted exclusively to research with the faculty of the Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology (VCRB) to learn the basic research skills required to address important issues in reproductive biology.

The first year covers a wide breadth of topics:

  • Investigation in the VCRB covering all facets of reproduction and reproductive endocrinology
  • The utilization of in vitro and in vivo models
  • Practice on a full range of molecular techniques

Notably, fellows are given the opportunity to design, implement, and critically review basic research projects with the potential for relevant clinical applications. In addition, graduate-level courses related to basic or clinical research will be completed.

Year 2

Focus area: Research and clinical practice

During the second year of the REI Fellowship, fellows continue research projects initiated in Year 1, but now will focus on clinical activities.

Second-year fellows will learn to evaluate and treat a variety of medical problems including:

  • Infertility
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Hirsutism
  • Premature ovarian failure
  • Endometriosis
  • Dysfunctional uterine bleeding
  • Issues related to menopause.

Fellows participate daily in the Fertility Center, learning the skills of assisted reproduction including:

  • Transvaginal ultrasonography
  • Gonadotropin management
  • Oocyte retrieval Intrauterine insemination
  • Embryo transfer
  • Office hysteroscopy
  • Sonohysterogram

Fellows observe in the Embryology Laboratory as well, learning gamete biology and handling, including exposure to micromanipulation and attend several weekly clinical conferences.

Year 3

Focus area: Surgical techniques

During the third year of the REI Fellowship, fellows continue ongoing basic and clinical research projects, work in the bimonthly-supervised REI continuity clinic and all assistance with important REI inpatient consults. A major focus of Year 3 is training in surgical techniques critical to the specialty, principally endoscopic procedures including robotic surgery. Hands-on training is provided in the department's simulation center, where box trainers and laparoscopic simulators provide basic skills such as camera control, hand-eye coordination, tissue grasping and suturing skills. Fellow assist with surgical cases several days a week.

In addition, rotations of approximately two months duration will be arranged in related fields:

  • Pediatric endocrinology
  • Medical and neuroendocrinology
  • Male infertility
  • Menopause
  • Genetics

While on each subspecialty rotation, the fellow will participate in relevant conferences, rounds and clinics. The third year also includes directed didactic teaching sessions in endocrine assays and reproductive pathology.

Third-year fellows are expected to assume a leadership role within the program and facilitate communication between the fellows and the rest of the team. Administrative responsibilities include coordinating the call schedule, M&M Grand Rounds and updating the shared Fellow's Drive (network drive) with important dates, call schedules, clinic schedules and any other appropriate educational or clinical items. During candidate interviews, the third-year fellow is responsible for coordinating the presentation, tour and other fellow activities for the day.

Our goal is to evolve the third-year fellow as a junior faculty member of academic practice with progressive responsibility clinically and administratively throughout the three-year fellowship.

Facilities and Faculty

The Fertility Center at Mass General is located on the tenth floor of the Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, New England's largest ambulatory care center. The building includes state-of-the art facilities to house the entire  Reproductive Medicine and IVF Unit. The Reproductive Medicine and IVF Division provides fertility services in an environment that was specially designed to ensure couples the most modern technology and the utmost in comfort, convenience and confidentiality. It encompasses 10,254 square feet with a state-of-the-art embryology laboratory, private offices for physicians and dedicated workspace for nursing staff. It also features fully equipped procedure and recovery rooms that offers couples greater intimacy and privacy.  The space promotes continuity of care and supports our goal of delivering individualized patient care.

Collaborating with us in the delivery of care are Mass General anesthesiologists who attend all IVF procedures and Cori Tanrikut, MD, a Mass General urologist who specializes in male factor infertility. She provides reproductive urology expertise to the division as a full-time REI faculty member and trains fellows in male infertility including the third year fellow during a two-month rotation.

Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology

The Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology (VCRB) laboratories are located on the ninth floor of the Their Building. The VCRB facility encompasses approximately 8,200 sq/ft. This space includes the VCRB administration, conference room, faculty offices and research lab. The space has been completely renovated and the laboratory itself has been equipped with state of the art research equipment.

Fellowship Faculty

The principal faculty for the REI Fellowship are:

Research Experience

Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology

The Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology (VCRB) is a state-of-the-art research facility that was developed in 1995 to serve as a nucleus of scientific endeavors of the Department. Since its inception, the Center has been successfully nurtured into the Department’s cornerstone for research related to reproductive and women’s health issues. This accomplishment, along with the preexisting strength and research found in other divisions within our Department has combined to make our research enterprise a critical and accomplished component of the REI Fellowship training program educational goals of basic and translational research of our fellows and their future academic careers. Our overall research mission is to overcome infertility, improve healthcare both for non-pregnant and pregnant women, and ease the menopausal transition in women, with basic, translational, and clinical research.

VCRB Clinical Fellows Research Program

Bo R. Rueda, MD, director of the VCRB, developed a Clinical Fellows Research Program in 2001 within the VCRB under the guidance of Isaac Schiff, MD, chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, to provide clinicians an opportunity to develop their academic/research skills. The VCRB provides a unique environment that exposes clinicians to an integrated clinical and basic research program. There are numerous projects ongoing within the VCRB with emphasis on ovarian and uterine cancer, fetal/maternal interactions, menopause, infertility and ovarian cell signaling. Our goal is to provide each Clinical Research Fellow with the opportunity to design, implement and critically review basic research projects on clinically important topics.

Moreover, we encourage all Fellows to present their findings at local and international scientific meetings. While the Fellows are encouraged to be involved in multiple projects, each Fellow has his/her own unique project designed to generate a publication, which will be defended at the end of the Fellowship period. All Clinical Research Fellows work side by side with visiting scientists, Postdoctoral Fellows and students who are here to gain further knowledge in basic and clinical sciences related to reproduction.

In addition to their education in concepts, experimental design and laboratory techniques all Fellows are provided with weekly lectures designed to enhance their understanding of molecular biological techniques and their application to clinical practice. Moreover, they attend weekly laboratory meetings to discuss the projects they are directly involved in as well as the projects of others in the lab. These same meetings include oral presentations by all members involved that cover a variety of topics, such as new techniques or ideas, journal articles, or current conceptual paradigms related to work ongoing in the VCRB.

How to Apply

All graduates of U.S. accredited or osteopathic medical schools that have completed a four-year residency in an ACGME-accredited residency in obstetrics and gynecology are invited to apply. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents in good standing in the community in order to be considered for fellowship. The REI Fellowship Program is a member of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) and complies with and follows the NRMP guidelines. Applicants must register with the NRMP.

Applications are accepted through the ERAS. In addition, we require submission of our internal application, which may be obtained by emailing our program coordinator, Amy Ribak (aribak@partners.org).

Application deadline: 1st Monday in June for the fellowship commencing the following year on July 1
Fellowship interviews: Conducted during the following August (dates will be announced each year).

Contact

General Inquiries

Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center
55 Fruit Street, Suite Yawkey 10A
Boston, MA 02114
Telephone: 617-726-6942
Fax: 617-724-8882

Fellowship Program Director

Thomas Toth, MD
tltoth@partners.org

Amy Ribak
aribak@partners.org

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