Embryo Transfer Simulator Provides Fellows Practice for over 120 Simulated Transfers and Increases Physician Self-Confidence By 125%

First validation study of its kind shows increased knowledge, cognitive, and technical skills

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) announced today that embryo transfer simulation produced a 125% increase in physician self-confidence. As part of a two-day education course, fellows practiced more than 120 simulated embryo transfers, better equipping them to be confident and competent in the clinical environment. This finding is published in ASRM’s journal, Fertility and Sterility.

ASRM created the simulator course because more than half of Reproductive Endocrine and Infertility (REI) fellows perform fewer than 10 live embryo transfers during their 3 years of subspecialty training, and half of those had never performed an embryo transfer.

The simulator includes different uterine models so that fellows can practice their skills across patient cases of increasing difficulty. Prior to the study, only 20% of fellows reached the proficiency level across all four different uterine models on their first attempt, and by the end of the course all participants reached the objective proficiency benchmark. ASRM requires fellows to reach a cumulative score of over 80% in order to be considered proficient.

“This embryo transfer simulator changes the game ,” said ASRM president Hugh Taylor, M.D. “The economics and risk of learning to transfer embryos while on the job is an outdated model because simulators allow fellows to practice over and over again to reach the necessary competency level before ever working with a patient.”

All fellows in the educational course demonstrated growth in confidence and procedure technique, whether they had already performed live embryo transfers or had little or no experience. The highest improvement was for those in their second year of fellowship who had not previously performed live embryo transfers with a 125% increase in self-confidence. This corresponds to an improvement of 2.48 on a 6-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (not confident) to 6 (expert confidence).

Senior author of the article, Richard H. Reindollar, M.D., notes that, “At ASRM, we’re all about the science, and this study gives us actual data that shows embryo transfer simulators are an important and necessary educational tool for those just entering the field, or who have done only a few transfers in a clinical practice. The time of see one, do one, teach one is gone.”

ASRM worked with VirtaMedEd (Zurich, Switzerland) to create the embryo transfer simulator.

For almost a century, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has been the global leader in multidisciplinary reproductive medicine research, ethical practice, and education. ASRM impacts reproductive care and science worldwide by creating funding opportunities for advancing reproduction research and discovery, by providing evidence-based education and public health information, and by advocating for reproductive health care professionals and the patients they serve. With members in more than 100 countries, the Society is headquartered in Washington, DC, with additional operations in Birmingham, AL.

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