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Misuse of subspecialist titles

15 January 2020


The College has been made aware of instances of misuse of subspecialist titles.
 
The Medical Board of Australia defines a Specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility as a doctor who holds the dual qualifications of FRANZCOG (Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology) and CREI (Specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility)
 
In recent years, a wide variety of practitioners have begun to advertise their services as “Fertility Specialists”. These include practitioners such as naturopaths, chiropractors and Chinese herbalists (who do not hold medical qualifications), general practitioners and Specialist Obstetricians and Gynaecologists who do not hold a CREI.

This presents difficulty for the general public, who are unable to differentiate practitioners on the basis of their training, knowledge and skills. Furthermore it disenfranchises our CREI subspecialty colleagues who are deserving of their title and post-nominals having undertaken significant extended training.
 
The College advises that the terms “Specialist in Infertility”, “Reproductive Endocrinologist” and “Fertility Specialist” should be used to refer only to FRANZCOG fellows who hold a CREI qualification.

It is important to emphasise that many specialists provide infertility care. FRANZCOG specialists who do not hold a CREI but who treat patients with infertility should instead use the term “Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology” and state “special interest in infertility” or “special interest in fertility” or “extra qualification in infertility” or “extra qualification in fertility”. The extra qualification which is often a Masters of Reproductive Medicine should be cited.
 
Reservation of the use of CREI and associated terms is appropriate, fair and legal and just recognition of our subspecialist colleagues.
 
Please direct enquiries on this matter to Dr Vijay Roach, President RANZCOG, at [email protected]

Editor's note

The below Clarification was published to the RANZCOG website on January 27, 2020. Read it here and below.

Clarification
 
In response to the recent communique Misuse of Subspecialist Titles, the College has received valuable feedback from our members. The College acknowledges that many FRANZCOG practice in infertility and ART. Following consultation with the Chair of the CREI Sub-Speciality Committee, the College has revised this communication:
 
The Medical Board of Australia defines a Specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility as a doctor who holds the dual qualifications of FRANZCOG (Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology) and CREI (Specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility)
 
The College advises that the use of other descriptors should be done in a manner that does not imply a subspecialist qualification or certification.
 
I acknowledge, and apologise for, the fact that this matter has caused distress to some of our members.
 
Please direct any correspondence to [email protected]


 



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