After training for two years in Canada, Dr Pierre-Antoine Pradervand, Head Clinician in Fertility Medicine at the CHUV, returned with the intention of sharing his views and his know-how. An account.
What do you remember of your experience at the Centre hospitaliser de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) (Montreal University Hospital Centre)?
At the CHUM, I took part in a particularly intensive training programme, which allowed me to become familiar with all the latest MAR techniques, such as the prolonged cultivation of embryos up to the blastocysts stage, or preimplantation genetic diagnosis and screening. These techniques have only been authorised in Switzerland since 1 September 2017, following the changes in the Reproductive Medicine Act (RMA). I was thus able to benefit from welcome training in advance!
In addition, working in two places also provided me with a substantial volume of cases, in the order of 4000 IVF cycles per year. With this throughput, I quickly developed the expertise that I now want to put to use here in Fertility Medicine at the CHUV.
What status was accorded to you as a "fellow"?
Throughout those two years, I was involved in discussions and asked to give my opinion on proposed treatments, in the same way as the senior doctors or the other doctors in training. Comparing yourself against others allows you to take a new look at yourself and keeps you on your toes all the time. For me, this exchange of experiences was particularly enriching. I loved being constantly challenged!
In your opinion, is that where the strength of this training programme lies?
It is indeed one of the important aspects of the training, but not the only one. The programme is very comprehensive, predefined, structured and internationally recognised (the training is part of the official programme of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada). Fellows find themselves at the centre of a structure where everything is done to ensure they progress. I was also able to extend my experience into the field of surgery related to infertility and general endocrinology.
How do you think you can incorporate your positive experience into fertility medicine at the CHUV?
I want to help set up the new techniques I learned and which the RMA now authorises, notably preimplantation genetic diagnosis and screening. Also, I loved the innovative spirit that reigns in North America. I would like to offer couples the possibility of receiving the most sophisticated IVF techniques available today and which have proved their effectiveness. At the same time, I want to continue to promote certain types of treatmentthat also interest me, such as the preservation of fertility in cases of cancer or for social purposes.
Will you stay in contact with your colleagues in Montreal?
Absolutely! The volume of cases treated at the CHUM represents a real opportunity for study. Several research projects are also being conducted, notably dealing with endometrial fluid or how to optimise the quality-cost ratio of treatments.
Do you recommend a session abroad to your colleagues who specialise in questions of fertility?
Without question. In our practice it is essential to stay open to new possibilities, to accept being faced with other techniques but also with other practices and ways of thinking, in order to forge one's own point of view. In this respect, I am grateful to the CHUV for having given me the opportunity to acquire such a rich experience, and I am delighted to use it to the benefit of couples in Fertility Medicine at the CHUV.
Photo: ©Lauriane Aeby, SAM - CHUV
Text: Gabriella Sconfitti, Communications department - CHUV