The International IVF Initiative - i3

Session 98: Legacy Part 2

International IVF Initiative

Session 98: Legacy Part 2

Session 98: Legacy Part 2: Recruitment, training, talent management and succession planning.


Wednesday 22nd June 11pm EST, 8pm PST/ Thursday 23rd 4am UK, 8.30am India and 1pm AEST [Note Time]

Description: International IVF Initiative I3- Online Session 97-LEGACY PART 2 June 23, 2022
Course outline/synopsis:

The second part of the webinar topic where embryologists and stake holders in the IVF industry talk about the current need for embryologists globally.
Embryologist moderators Giles Palmer, Keshav Malhotra, Dr. Tony Anderson and Eva Schenkman discussed again recruitment, training and talent management of embryologists, building on the comments of the previous webinar and looking at other markets in the world such as India and Australia.
Elina Roumian spoke on her career path and the current situation of the profession of clinical embryology in Australia while TJ Farnsworth talked about the mobility and the opportunities to relocate for clinical embryologists.

Dani Smale explained the current opportunities open for embryologists by studying in detail the number of vacancies, job descriptions and location of new jobs advertised since the pandemic of 2020.
A video montage of opinions on the state of the profession, the changing role of the embryologist as automation approaches by owners of training academies from around the world was aired.
Debbie Venier explains how to teach to the new generation and the need to prepare trainee embryologists with hands on training, real life skills and improve recruitment in N. America.
Finally, before the round table discussion involving all speakers and moderators with questions from the audience, Dr Joe Conaghan gave an insightful lecture on job interviews, salaries, contracts and non-compete clauses including career tips for younger embryologists.


Giles Palmer, Keshav Malhotra, Dr. Tony Anderson (IVF Academy USA) and Eva Schenkman (ARTLAB) with Dani Smale

Debbie Venier “Bill and Debs excellent adventure”

Elina Roumian “The Australian point of view”

TJ Farnsworth “ Name your place”
Inception Fertility

Various: Training with us!

Dr. Joe Conaghan " The small print: compensation, employment contracts and non-compete clauses"

Round table discussion, Q and A


Debbie started her career as a clinical embryologist in 1994 at Nashville Fertility Center. Subsequently, Debbie started the undergraduate embryology program at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo.

After teaching applied embryology for 10 years, she has placed over 37 clinical embryologists into the field. Her revolutionary course and training program still exists today at Cal Poly. She returned to clinical embryology 10 years ago in San Diego and is currently the Laboratory Supervisor at La Jolla IVF, as well as being a certified technical supervisor by the American Board of Bioanalysts. Her passion and skill lie in teaching embryology and training the next generation. Debbie has been training embryologists in biopsy and ICSI techniques over the last 10 years all over the world. She has been an invited speaker and trainer for companies such as Illumina, Cooper Genomics, Hamilton Thorne, Vitrolife, Southwest Embryology Society, and Eastern Virginia Medical School. She is also a board member for the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society (PCRS), and a committee member for the college of reproductive biology (CRB). When looking for an international expert trainer with the record and reputation to support it, Debbie is the best person to ensure success in her trainees.
Co-Founder of W.E.S.T., World Embryology Skills and Training.



Elina is a Clinical Embryologist currently working for IVFAustralia at the Alexandria Clinic. Her career in the field of embryology started in 2006 after she completed a master’s degree in assisted reproduction from the University of Nottingham. Since then, she has worked in three different countries, Greece, South Africa, and Australia and have been exposed to different cultures, education and training systems and IVF labs. The past two years she is involved with SIRT (Scientists in Assisted Reproductive Technology), a volunteer work related to the field of ART. Her role within SIRT is Education Coordinator and her main responsibility is to create opportunities for scientists to learn and love their profession even more.


Mr. Farnsworth is the CEO and Founder of Inception Fertility.

Mr. Farnsworth and his wife welcomed a baby after a two-year infertility journey, however the process left them frustrated. As a serial entrepreneur, Mr. Farnsworth recognized an opportunity to reshape the industry and improve the patient experience, and he launched Inception in 2014.

Today, Inception is the largest provider of comprehensive fertility clinics and services in North America and one that bridges together the latest science and technologies with a commitment to enhancing the patient experience.

Inception’s family of brands include The Prelude Network™ , the largest provider of comprehensive fertility services in the US; MyEggBank®, one of the largest donor egg banks in North America, and Bundl Fertility™ (Bundl), a multi-cycle fertility service bundling program.
Prior to Inception, Mr. Farnsworth founded SightLine Health in 2005, one of the largest providers of radiation oncology services in the US, with clinical operations in California, Colorado, Kansas, Texas, and Washington. For five consecutive years, SightLine Health was listed on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private companies in the US. In 2010, it was named the fastest-growing company in Houston by the Houston Business Journal and the fourth fastest-growing healthcare company in the US by Inc. Magazine.

In addition to his active role as Founder and CEO of Inception, Mr. Farnsworth sits on the board of directors of CureDuchenne, a non-profit dedicated to finding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In 2011, Mr. Farnsworth was named one of Houston’s 40 under 40 and was awarded the 2014 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Healthcare award.


Dr. Conaghan has over three decades of experience in human embryology and is best known for his studies on embryo culture and metabolism. He trained in Embryology and Andrology at the Hammersmith Hospital in London and graduated with a PhD in human embryology from the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at the University of London. He’s a Board-Certified High-complexity Clinical Laboratory Director in the disciplines of Embryology and Andrology. In 1995, Dr. Conaghan moved from London to San Francisco where he served as the IVF laboratory director at UCSF for 5 years. He then moved to Pacific Fertility Center where he has been the director for 20 years. He is big advocate for eSET in IVF, and therefore for high standards for culturing and vitrifying embryos. Dr. Conaghan ensures the highest quality of patient care with state-of-the-art-facilities and an experienced team of embryologists, and is committed to continuing education for IVF lab professionals. He lives in Half Moon Bay with his wife and 3 children..


Giles is a clinical embryologist, skilled in laboratory, business, and quality management. After graduating in Genetics at Leeds University, UK he worked as are search officer at London's Hammersmith Hospital's acclaimed IVF unit working with Professors Lord Winston and Alan Handyside. In the following years he worked as laboratory manager and clinic director in IVF clinics in Greece while consulting in several countries including Iceland, Nigeria, and the Balkan states. His research collaboration with St. Sophia' s Children's Hospital (Athens University) resulted in the first births in Greece following embryo-biopsy and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. He has published in leading scientific journals on a variety of topics including pre-implantation genetic testing for Cystic Fibrosis and B-thalassaemia, Morpho-kinetics, and Quality Management. He is a certified HCPC clinical scientist in the UK and has been accredited with Senior Embryologist Status by ESHRE. More recently, Giles, has become a consultant for IVF clinics, Institute of Life, Athens and Nordica Fertility Centre in Lagos and product developer in a wide range of areas within the industry. He is honorary lecturer at the University of Bristol MSc Reproduction and Development where he teaches quality management and careers advise.
He is the executive director for this non profit global educational project in Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), the International IVF Initiative.


Keshav Malhotra holds a masters degree in Clinical Embryology from Monash university Australia and is one of the few ESHRE certified Clinical Embryologists in INDIA. He is the Lab Director of Rainbow IVF and now the Director of Malhotra Embryology Training Academy. Dr. Malhotra is the Second Vice Chairman of Embryology for ISAR(Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction) and Co chair of SIG Embryology for ASPIRE (Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproduction), he is also on the board of ISPAT(Indian Society for Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy). He has worked on Key projects pertaining to Embryology in the country like the Occupational Standard for Embryologists (Healthcare Sector Skill Council India-2018) and the ISAR - Embryology Consensus 2019. He was recently selected as one of the ESHRE 5 for the year 2021. He has also been recognised as the Budding Embryologist of the Year by Economic Times INDIA -2019.


Dr. Tony Anderson completed his Masters in Clinical Embryology studies at Leeds University, Leeds England under the direction of Professor Alan Handyside and Helen Picton. Tony’s studies focused on cryopreservation and non-invasive methods of predicting euploidy in early embryos. Tony completed his doctoral studies at a Nova Southeastern University, a private university in South Florida.
His studies included comparison of cryopreservation methods of oocytes and pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) of embryos for optimized outcomes.
Founder of IVF ACADEMY USA and Embryo Director IVF Academy


Eva Schenkman, CLT (NY) TS (ABB), MS, PhD (cand), has been an Embryologist since 1992. She completed her undergraduate in Animal Science at Cornell University, where she trained with Robert H Foote, an early pioneer whose research led to in vitro fertilization in agricultural livestock, animal cloning and the discovery that female mammals are born with a finite inventory of eggs. She obtained her MS from Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in Embryology and Andrology and is currently working on her PhD in Reproductive Clinical Laboratory Science at EVMS. She holds an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Clinical Bioethics from Hofstra University and is licensed as a Technical Supervisor by the American Board of Bioanalysis as a Clinical Laboratory Technologist by the NYS DOH. She is affiliated with Mellowood Medical as a Business and Scientific Consultant for their EMR IDEAS, the World’s Premier provider of Fertility Clinic Management Software. As President of ARTLAB Consulting, she provides IVF laboratory services, teaching and training to IVF clinics and IVF workshops around the world.


After completing an MSc in Clinical Embryology at Oxford University, I started training as an embryologist at CARE Fertility London. At CARE, I undertook several small research projects, including looking at the environmental impact of IVF, mainly plastic use. These ideas have followed me to different clinics where I suggest various combinations of consumables or procedural changes to limit the volume of plastic used. Additionally, I have been fortunate to present my research as posters at Fertility. In 2021, I left full-time employment to become a locum embryologist, and I love travelling to different clinics and seeing how they work. I am at the start of my career, and I am excited to see that people are working together to make this industry more sustainable.


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