Rosylyn James charts her path in reproductive medicine

Medical student presents at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine conference
December 20, 2018

Rosylyn James, a fourth-year medical student at the Texas A&M College of Medicine, is making ripples in the field of reproductive endocrinology after presenting at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine conference.

At the College of Medicine, every third-year student has an opportunity to evaluate and experience various career paths. While exploring obstetrics and gynecology during her third-year of the program, James found reproductive endocrinology, a subspecialty of obstetrics and gynecology that focuses on the hormones that have to do with reproduction and infertility, particularly interesting.

After reaching out to the clerkship director, James was given a list of reproductive endocrinologists from the Aggie Network that practiced in the Austin area. From that list, James got the contact information for College of Medicine alum Lisa Hansard ’85, ’89, MD, a fertility expert at the Texas Fertility Clinic in Austin and inquired if they had any opportunities. One thing led to another and James started her externship at the Texas Fertility Clinic.

After three-weeks in the clinic, James inquired even further about any research opportunities and Hansard connected her with the clinic’s embryology laboratory, Ovation Fertility. For four weeks, James researched the difference in vitro fertilization pregnancy success rates between two different types of embryo transfers: developing embryos that have left their protective coating and those that have not.

With the help of Hansard and some experts from the laboratory, James then proceeded to write an abstract—a short summary of the research—and submit it to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s Annual Meeting in Denver. The conference regularly hosts over 10,000 attendees, including physicians, scientists, nurses, mental health care professionals and exhibitors.

Her abstract was chosen for an oral presentation during the most prestigious and well-attended session, “Topics of Assisted Reproduction”.

Most presenters were medical school faculty, subspecialists in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, OB-GYNs in fellowship training or PhD embryologists, James was the only medical student to present during the entire conference.

“She absolutely hit it out of the park. She was so poised and confident,” said Hansard. “Her entire audience, in a standing-room-only convention hall that seated 200 people, was unbelievably impressed.”

With the resources provided by the College of Medicine and her steadfast drive to learn, James crafted a truly unique experience designed around her professional interests. “It was a big honor. I was so lucky to have the opportunity,” said James.

Presently, she is applying for OB/GYN residencies and considering practicing as a general OB-GYN, or specializing in either reproductive endocrinology or maternal fetal medicine.

“My time with Texas Fertility Center and Ovation Fertility really increased my interest in reproductive endocrinology,” said James. “It was enlightening to see how in this field it truly takes a team of physicians, nurses, and embryologists/andrologists working together with the patient to achieve such a rewarding outcome.”

— Mary Leigh Meyer