What is an RE?
Many people use the term RE when referring to a fertility doctor, but not everyone knows exactly what those 2 little letters, RE, mean? RE is short for reproductive endocrinology and is actually shortened from the term REI which stands for reproductive endocrinology and infertility. REI is one of 5 recognized sub-specialties of obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN). The other sub-specialties are gynecologic oncology, gynecologic urology, hi-risk obstetrics and family planning. In order to join a sub-specialty, a physician must first complete a 4 year residency in OB/GYN, and then apply to a fellowship. Fellowships are located at large academic medical centers and for REI, there are about 30 positions available across the country per year. The fellowship lasts 3 years and includes a demanding curriculum of surgery, research, teaching and clinical care.
Once the fellowship is completed, about 30% of doctors remain, full-time in academia where they focus on research. The other 70% of doctors focus on clinical care. These are generally the doctors people refer to when they use the term RE. Importantly, any licensed physician can call themselves a fertility specialist only someone who has completed a REI fellowship can be called an RE.
Additionally, 2 years after the completion of fellowship, an RE has the opportunity to undergo a rigorous set of oral and written tests known as the board exam. Only about 2/3rds of REs elect to subject themselves to this test. Of them, the first time pass rate is usually between 50% and 70%. The test represents the pinnacle of sub-specialty training, and for those who pass it, confirms their dedication and expertise in the field.
If you are looking for a fertility specialist, or have questions about fertility, please dont hesitate to call us. One of our 3 Board Certified REs would be happy to speak with you. www.center4fertility.com (818) 881-9800