Thursday, July 01, 2010

" Doctor, what makes you better than the other IVF doctors ?"

Sachin smilingImage via Wikipedia

" Doctor, what makes you better than the other IVF doctors ?" Lots of patients ask us this question. The assertive ones do so point-blank, while most are much more tactful !

This is a reasonable question, since selecting the right IVF clinic is a major decision, which involves a lot of soul-searching and thought.

Saying " Because we are the best" really doesn't help - I am sure all doctors think they are the best !

So what makes us better ?

It's true that the basic principles of IVF treatment remain the same in all clinics. Patients are the same all over the world, as are doctors - and we all read the same medical textbooks and medical journals; and use the same drugs and medical equipment !

So what makes some doctors better than others ?

All cricketers use the same bat to hit the ball with, but not all cricketers are going to be as good as Sachin Tendulkar ! And while Sachin cannot hit a century in every match he plays, the chances of his doing so are far better than for most other batsmen !

But while it's easy to to keep track of a batsman's scores, how does one track the "goodness" of a doctor ? This is always a difficult question to answer, because so much of what makes a good doctor good is so intangible ! While we can judge clinical competence ( perhaps by IVF fertilisation rates and embryo implantation rates), how does one rate bedside manner ?

Patients needs to use a combination of criteria ; and to score these, so they can find the doctor who is right for them. There is no shortcut, but choosing a doctor simply because your family physician or GYN sent you to him is not always a good choice ! ( Your GYN may have a hidden agenda when he chooses to send you to a particular IVF clinic, so be careful !)

In the end , a lot depends upon your gut feel and intuition , so trust this. It's worth spending time and energy searching and researching the right IVF clinic, because so much depends upon this decision. Doing your homework will help you make a well-informed choice; will give you peace of mind you did your best; and also help you evaluate the treatment you receive more critically !



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