Chances are, no embryologist ever said the phrase “when I grow up, I want to be an embryologist” as a child. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, this was a lesser known profession in the work world and one that was completely unknown to children. However, this profession has since also become a vocation. The field of science advances so fast that no one knows what they want to be until they discover what they are able to do for others.
Albert Camus once said that journalism was the most fulfilling profession. According to many embryologists, this was true up until the point in which fertility services appeared in our society, filling millions of homes with love and changing the lives of many.
The embryologist plays one of the most important roles in the assisted reproduction center. Since the beginning of this practice in the 1970’s, many advances have been made in the study of embryos and in the In Vitro Fertilization laboratory.
The role of the embryologist
Embryology is the branch of biology that studies the embryonic development of living beings. Embryologists are therefore professionals who study the embryo's morphology and its evolution until it is transferred to the mother's uterus. Even though this is a field that unites professionals from many different educational backgrounds, most of them come from the area of biology.
Although embryo development begins once the embryo has been fertilized, the embryologists in the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Laboratories initiate their work at a much earlier stage. They are responsible for the vitrification and devitrification processes now that egg freezing has become a common technique in the laboratories. It is therefore of utmost importance that embryologists be trained continuously in the processes, protocols, and techniques of these procedures.
Embryo selection is one of the keys to a successful reproductive treatment. Embryologists are also in charge of classifying the embryos according to their health and their prognosis for implantation, so the embryologist’s role in the planning of the treatment is crucial to achieve pregnancy.
The struggle to be recognized as health care professionals
The embryologists and biologists who work to provide health services in hospitals and clinical environments have been seeking recognition as health care professionals for many years.
ASEBIR, the Spanish Association of Reproductive Biologists and SEF, the Spanish Fertility Society, support and assist their colleagues in this claim before the competent Spanish authorities. They wish to be regarded as what they really are: health personnel collaborating in the same area and whose needs are similar to those of the medical and nursing staff who work for and on behalf of the patient.
Until such recognition is obtained, embryologists' training depends solely on institutions like ours. We try to ensure that the entire group can acquire the necessary knowledge for clinical practice, at all levels.
At IVIRMA Global Education, we are very aware of how important the embryologist's role is in the reproductive treatment. For this reason, we have a training itinerary that includes the introduction as well as the refresher courses on new protocols and techniques, helping the professionals to achieve excellence in their specialty.