A woman using a microscope

Clinical Embryologist field

We accepted our first students in the fall of 2020.

What is a Clinical Embryologist?  

As a Clinical Embryologist, you are an essential member of an IVF team.   

You are responsible for all the laboratory components contributing to the generation and continuing development of healthy embryos that lead to pregnancy.  

You review physician treatment orders, confirm patient reproductive history details and apply best procedures to ensure optimal results. Using your communication skills and empathy, you help patients understand laboratory-related components of their treatment and their potential impact on outcomes.

You work with reproductive tissues, gametes and embryos using specialized equipment, advanced technologies and general protocols applied by CEs world-wide. 

You use your team working skills to help train your colleagues and often conduct research to ensure your laboratory is using the very latest techniques and equipment.  

You typically work in a hospital or fertility clinic. 

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What and how you will learn 

You will complete 9.5 full course equivalents (FCE) over two years.  

In your first year, you will learn core academic competencies required to succeed in the field.  

In your second year, you will complete a mix of academic and practical components and work on your Capstone Project throughout the year. You will also complete ART lab rotations towards the end of your second year.

The Clinical Embryology Skills Development Lab (CEDSL) 

You will complete your practical components in our custom-built dedicated CE Skills Development Laboratory. 

Containing state-of-the-art equipment, you can learn essential skills using animal samples. This allows you to learn techniques and hone your skills before being exposed to live human samples in ART rotations towards the end of the program.

ART rotations take place at:

Q&A with Monica Farag: Clinical Embryologist in training

We speak to Monica Farag, in her second year of the Clinical Embryology field, about what it’s been like to be one of the first students in a pioneering program.
Monica Farag

Read about our program in the UofTMed Magazine

In the summer 'Birth' issue, they talk to 1st-year MHSc Laboratory Medicine student, Emma Campbell, in 'New Beginnings: The birth of a program'.
A circle and a sperm

A simulated teaching environment years in the making gives students a COVID-safe space to learn

Find out more about launching the CESDL
Students talking in a laboratory

Core courses   

You will complete core courses, which all PA and CE students take. These include topics such as: 

  • Cell and Molecular Biology  
  • Biomedical Research Methods  
  • Clinical Laboratory Management  
  • Biomedical Ethics  
  • Biostatistics  

CE specific courses 

You will also take courses specific to your field, which includes: 

  • Advanced Reproductive Physiology  
  • Human Embryology  
  • ART: foundations, applied methods and innovations 
  • Applied ART Laboratory Decision Making  
  • Reproductive Genetics  
  • Current Topics in Causes and Treatment of Infertility  

See Courses overview for full details on the courses. 

Contacts for the CE field 

Beatrice Wong

Beatrice Wong

Program Administrator: ​Clinical and Professional Program Assistant



Heather Shapiro

Dr. Heather Shapiro


Clinical Embryology Field Director and Professor  


Dr. Shaprio's faculty profile

Scot Hamilton

Dr. Scot Hamilton

MSc, PhD  

CE Skills Lab Director and Assistant Professor


Dr. Hamilton's faculty profile

Avrum Gotlieb

Dr. Avrum Gotlieb


Program Director and Professor


Dr. Gotlieb's faculty profile