As the oldest division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) in Canada, and home to one of the nation’s first fertility clinics, the REI team at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry has decades of experience maintaining excellence in patient care through world-class innovative research and education.
Drs. Maggie Rebel, Basim Abu Rafea, Jackie Hollett-Caines, Angelos Vilos and George Vilos, along with a number of researchers, basic scientists, subspecialty residents and postgraduate trainees make up the REI unit, a subspecialty program of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, based out of Victoria Hospital.
Being the only fertility clinic in Ontario that is academic and hospital based, they’re faced with unique challenges caring for patients, while researching and teaching.
“Our unit is unique because you don’t see a lot of departments that so heavily involve basic scientists and clinicians in one division,” said Dr. Abu Rafea
On the academic side of the Division, they have routine sessions with students taking place in the clinic, and exposing them to the broad field of REI. They also participate in biannual sessions, further exposing students to different technologies and patient encounters. On the clinical side of the Division, the team carries out assisted reproductive technologies, meets with patients and participates in surgical procedures.
This variation is what the team enjoys most – noting that neither the academic or clinical side of the unit operates the same each day.
While the team may not face the same conditions every day, they agree that one of the most rewarding parts of the job, while sometimes challenging, is helping patients conceive and deliver healthy, happy babies.
“When we’re successful in helping someone start a family we feel like we’ve won – it’s the best part of job,” Dr. Rebel said.
Advancing the quality of care for patients from adolescence to adulthood is at the forefront of the unit, while adding to knowledge translation throughout the field.
“We support the School’s joint mission of excellent clinical care, research and knowledge translation, which is why we’re proud to be part of such an amazing place that is the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry,” Dr. Rebel said.