How to choose infertility specialist?
Finding the right physician under any circumstances can be a daunting task. A patient who needs help with fertility may be faced with complicated medical decisions. Friends, family, and even the press and the Internet can provide contradictory information, making it extremely important that each patient find the most appropriate physician to advise her, sup-port her and guide her through treatment. The infertility specialist will be responsible for directing medical testing and directing the appropriate treatment. Clearly, finding the right doctor to guide a patient through the process can be difficult.
Many patients will rely on the recommendations of their primary Ob/Gyn, with whom they already have a long relationship and on whom they have come to rely for good medicine and good advice, and others will depend on insurance companies to direct them.
Whether one uses the yellow pages, an Internet search engine, or word of mouth, however, it appears that especially in the field of fertility, not all physicians and practices produce identical results. In fact, the degree of emotional support and likelihood of a successful outcome may be vastly different depending on where one is treated.
Physicians are required to meet standards set by the state in which they practice, but being a physician goes beyond these criteria. A compassionate and caring attitude and an ability to educate the patient in a sensitive manner are essential. Even in a high volume fertility clinic, it is important for each patient to be treated as an individual, have their questions answered, and know that they are being taken care of.
How does one choose a infertility specialist? What should a patient expect from an infertility clinic?
- A patient should always expect to be treated with courtesy and with respect by office staff. A patient should have access to her doctor and nurses, with all of her questions and concerns addressed in a timely and direct manner, especially after the initial consult, when new questions are likely to arise. Emotional support, and, when needed, professional mental health professionals should be available. Medical treatments should be based on science and evidence and the patients’ best interests must always be followed.
- Most importantly, the patient must have confidence in her treatment. Some patients may need multiple attempts at IVF before becoming pregnant, so only reporting outcomes on a per patient basis rather than on a per cycle basis may obscure the duration of treatment and number of treatment cycles. It’s critically important to understand which number is being reported.
- Treatment of infertility can be a frustrating and emotionally challenging experience. By choosing a reliable clinic with a proven track record and good reputation, a patient can be assured that she is receiving the best possible care. Good communication is essential: with clear explanations of the cause of infertility and its treatment and the opportunity to follow up with additional questions when they arise, some of the stress of fertility treatment can be relieved. With confidence in her physician and the clinic, a patient can focus on achieving success.