Frequently Asked Questions
Asked Questions

An embryologist is part of a team of professionals at a fertility clinic that assist patients struggling to achieve pregnancy.  On any given day, an embryologist might perform an egg retrieval, process sperm, check embryo development, perform inseminations, embryo transfers, embryo biopsy, vitrification (freezing), warming, interact with patients, physicians, nurses, process paperwork, enter data, coordinate with team members, troubleshoot problems, perform quality control and laboratory maintenance.  While there are many laboratory tasks each day, the most rewarding part of the job, is meeting with thankful and grateful patients that return with their new babies.

An embryologist needs to have both technical skills and depth of knowledge for the science, as well as a passion for the field of infertility.  A good embryologist will have an understanding of the significant impact they have on helping to create families.  While attention to detail and good hand-eye coordination are crucial, compassion and dedication are essential qualities for an embryologist.

Each day for an embryologist is always different with new challenges.  The technology is ever evolving and the process continues to improve.  Embryologists don’t seem to mind the early hours or the long hours because it is exciting to come into work to see how fertilization went or to see who got pregnant that day.  Knowing that you had a hand in the success of a  pregnancy, and future child is an amazing feeling.

Historically, embryologists were trained on the job or in the animal field but today laboratories are very busy and lack the time necessary to train in a timely manner.   Those that are able to go straight into the lab, have a very difficult and lengthy time getting trained as the staff are too busy to allocate the time.  Currently, there are a couple master’s programs designed to educate scientists in the field of embryology and clinical IVF, however, there is little hands on practice.  The only training center that offers more than one week of training for an embryologist is the World Embryology Skills and Training Center (WEST).   WEST is the only training center that trains scientists (including recent graduates) with no experience wanting to embark on a new career in embryology.

We understand that some students grasp things quicker than others.  This is not a problem as we provide ample access to the laboratory for you to take as much time as needed to practice and hone your skills.  We will provide as much one-on-one assistance as needed until you are competent.  You will also have as much independent time in the lab as you desire.  There is never any pressure to rush or feel like you need to catch up.

All dates are fixed

There is a minimum of 3 students and a maximum of 12 students in each course.

Our goal is to train each embryologist on all types of equipment used in the industry so they are prepared to enter any laboratory fully functional. We have all types of microscopes, incubators, manipulators, vitrification systems, dishware, and disposables.  You will become proficient using all of them.

We understand that money may be a stress and are committed to helping you become an embryologist.   After paying your 50% deposit to secure your spot in the class, we will allow you to pay the remaining 50% over a 10 month period, $1000/month beginning the month your course starts.  Please call Debbie to discuss the options.

Bill and Debbie have a large network of embryologists and lab directors after being in the business for over 55 years combined.  They are committed to helping you find the laboratory that will be a perfect fit for you.  They will assist you in the job search, application and interview process as well as continue to mentor you through your career.  A trained embryologist is a valuable asset and the demand outweighs the supply.  We currently have placed 100% of our trainees within a month of completing the course.

Rooms for short term rent in the San Diego area are often available due to the heavy population of Universities in the area. Most students find a room to rent through AirBnB. Some students choose to rent a house together.  Debbie will connect the students prior to the course to arrange housing if desired.

While International trainees are welcome to train at WEST, we can not offer Visa support other than a letter of invitation to the program.  International students, once trained at WEST, will need to find employment in their home country or obtain the appropriate documents to work in the US.

professional staff
Debbie Venier, MS, TS
Co-Founder / Director of Training
Bill Venier, M.Sc., TS, ELD
Co-Founder / Trainer
Robyn O'Leary, MS, TS (ABB)