Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) is one of four subspecialty fellowships for advanced training after completion of a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Formal certification for this training in Reproductive Medicine is under the aegis of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Inc. and is achieved after completion of an accredited three- year fellowship program and subsequent passing of a written and, finally, an oral examination. The Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (SREI), the national Society of Board Certified REIs, has as major missions the support of programs involved in the selection, clinical and research training and networking of fellows. It is within this framework tht the present competing renewal application is submitted. Fellowship programs are academically rigorous and require a major commitment to research. This is the only formalized time during the training of Obstetrician/Gynecologists that such a rigorous commitment to an academic research exercise is required. More importantly, this is the only time when physicians in training have the opportunity to develop a lasting interest (and hopefully a passion) for research. This is the sole window through which the pipeline of academic reproductive medicine specialists can be kept open. As we are currently witnessing unprecedented advances in the research aspects of the field, the time is RIGHT and the time is NOW to continue training promising physician scientists in reproductive medicine. The objective of the present proposal is to seek continued funding for a required two year training period in research for three fellows per year who are involved in meritorious research during their respective Board- approved fellowship training at EIGHT participating institutions recognized for their outstanding track record of training and research in reproductive medicine. It is anticipated that such support will continue to contribute to the early development of physician scientists and clinical investigators in the field of Reproductive Medicine and will better prepare fellows to enter the pipeline of NIH funded positions in the Reproductive Scientists Development Program (RSDP) and the Women's Reproductive Health Research Career Development initiatives (WRHR and BIRCWH). Of the first 15 graduates (through June 2010) of this novel program, 12 entered and remain in academic positions, 9 funded by institutional (WRHR, BIRCWH) and individual K grants, 3 of them now funded by R21 grants and one by an RO1. It is the Steering Committee's hope that the study section will recognize both the importance and early success of this unique research training initiative and decide to continue with funding of the program.
The National Training Program in Reproductive Medicine is designed to train reproductive endocrinology and infertility fellows at leading institutions in the United States in state-of-the-art laboratory and clinical research methodologies to address issues of male and female fertility and diseases that influence conception and normal development of the embryo and fetus. The overall goal is to train clinicians to become physician- scientists in order to develop ways to improve reproductive health.
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