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Charlene Freeman is an embryologist at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. These slides are from a talk she gave at the Careers After Biological Science seminar series at the University of Leicester in February 2011.

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  1. 1. Embryology! An EGG-tremely good idea for a career By Charlene Freeman
  2. 2. A little bit about me… <ul><li>Human Biology A level = B </li></ul><ul><li>Chemistry A level = B </li></ul><ul><li>Photography A level = C </li></ul><ul><li>A/S level English = C </li></ul><ul><li>Dyslexic and dyscalculia </li></ul><ul><li>Degree in Medical Biochemistry Leicester in 2006 = 2.2 </li></ul>
  3. 3. A little bit about me… <ul><li>Took virology, paracytology, immunology and microbiology in my final year </li></ul><ul><li>Final project was lab-based on Streptomyces fradiea </li></ul><ul><li>Worked 2 summers in a microbiology (Harlan Labs UK) </li></ul><ul><li>Never thought of embryology until May/June 2006!!!! </li></ul>
  4. 4. How did I get into embryology? <ul><li>April/ May/ June 2006 (pre exams) started to look for jobs </li></ul><ul><li>Applied for a few…but then… </li></ul><ul><li>Read a job advert for an embryologist at Leicester Fertility Centre! </li></ul><ul><li>Visited the unit </li></ul><ul><li>Read loads about what embryologists do/current issues </li></ul><ul><li>Went for an interview July 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Started October 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Gained my ACE certificate in July 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Soon to be state registered?!? </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is an embryologist? <ul><li>Clinical scientists </li></ul><ul><li>Range of scientific backgrounds </li></ul><ul><li>Can now be a practitioner, scientist or consultant </li></ul><ul><li>State registered with the Royal College of Pathologists </li></ul><ul><li>Kind & compassionate </li></ul><ul><li>Thorough (slight OCD?) </li></ul><ul><li>Manually dextrous </li></ul>
  6. 6. What does an embryologist do? <ul><li>Put simply, we try our very best to get women pregnant! </li></ul><ul><li>Clinical = </li></ul><ul><li>Egg identification </li></ul><ul><li>Sperm analysis and preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Gamete manipulation </li></ul><ul><li>Embryo creation </li></ul><ul><li>Embryo culture </li></ul><ul><li>Embryo transfer </li></ul><ul><li>Gamete/ embryo freezing and thawing </li></ul><ul><li>Donor and oncology patients </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Patient contact and Counselling </li></ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul><ul><li>Problem solving </li></ul>
  7. 7. What do I do as an embryologist? <ul><li>All this and more!!! </li></ul><ul><li>Give presentations to patients, public and students </li></ul><ul><li>Donor recruitment including advertising </li></ul><ul><li>(hopefully!) ACE Committee member </li></ul><ul><li>HFEA statistics </li></ul><ul><li>Clinical audits </li></ul>
  8. 8. Why do we need embryologists? <ul><li>Currently in the UK 1 in 6 couples suffer from infertility </li></ul><ul><li>Infertility or sub-fertility is classed as a couple ACTIVELY trying for a pregnancy failing to achieve this within 2 years </li></ul><ul><li>Many will need donor sperm, eggs and/or embryos </li></ul><ul><li>On the increase due to higher incidence of childhood cancers, better survival, delaying starting a family, poorer sperm quality and a rise in STD’s </li></ul><ul><li>Main cause: “Unexplained” </li></ul><ul><li>Other causes: “Male factor”, PCOS, Endometriosis, maternal age, raised FHS (including menopause), genetic problems, tubal problems, other medical conditions </li></ul>
  9. 9. How can I become an embryologist? <ul><li>In 2011 the way in which people apply for Healthcare Science jobs such as embryology is changing </li></ul><ul><li>MSC – Modernising Scientific Careers is a UK-wide education and training strategy for the whole healthcare science workforce in the NHS and associated bodies </li></ul><ul><li>Clear career pathways </li></ul><ul><li>More central recruitment </li></ul><ul><li>Allows for degree’s of scientific knowledge </li></ul>
  10. 10. How can I become an embryologist? <ul><li>Associate /Assistant </li></ul><ul><li>Assistants and Associates will undertake task based roles with appropriate supervision. Associates will undertake more advanced and complex tasks. </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) – undergraduate level </li></ul><ul><li>This is a 3 year HEFCE funded BSc (Hons), integrating academic and workplace based elements. Technologically faced set within clinical context. Opportunity to progress to Scientist. </li></ul><ul><li>Scientist Training Programme (STP) – postgraduate entry, pre-registration training </li></ul><ul><li>This is a 3 year workplace-based programme which will comprise separately delivered and awarded academic and workplace-based components leading to an MSc and a Certificate of Achievement. This will be MPET (NHS) funded. </li></ul><ul><li>Higher Specialist Scientific Training (HSST) – doctoral level </li></ul><ul><li>This is a 4/5 year work based training programme similar to the medical consultant training, leading to medical college examinations where these exist and a doctoral award. </li></ul>
  11. 11. How can I become an embryologist?
  12. 12. Advice <ul><li>Get in early – 7/8 embryology posts nation wide </li></ul><ul><li>Read through job adverts carefully </li></ul><ul><li>Read though specifics of the job </li></ul><ul><li>Find an area you love </li></ul><ul><li>Read everything you can about that job/ area </li></ul><ul><li>Visit the place if you can </li></ul><ul><li>Get work experience </li></ul><ul><li>Always have a job </li></ul><ul><li>BE PASSIONATE! </li></ul>
  13. 13. Thanks for listening! Good luck! Any questions or potential donors greatly appreciated!