Sunday, February 20, 2011
Why don't you have a copy of your IVF medical records ?
I see patients who have done IVF cycles in other clinics all the time. How they responded in the earlier IVF treatment cycle provides me with valuable information, based on which I can tailor a better treatment protocol for them.
One of the basic questions I ask them is - Please tell me more details about your earlier IVF cycles . What were the meds which were used for superovulation ? What was the dose used ? How many follicles did you grow ? How many eggs were collected ? What was the E2 ( estradiol) level in the blood ? How many embryos were transferred ? What was the embryo quality ? DO YOU HAVE PHOTOS OF YOUR EMBRYOS ? What was the endometrial thickness ?
Can you please show me the printed treatment summary from your IVF clinic ?
Many of them look at me blankly. ( I am sure some of them wonder why I expect them to know all this - after all, they are just patients, and not doctors ! )
Others get defensive and say -
" The doctor did not tell us anything. "
" The clinic does not provide medical records. "
" They keep a copy of the medical treatment and do not give the patient anything at all."
Now I think that any clinic which does not routinely give the patient a treatment summary of their IVF cycle at the end of the treatment is a bad clinic . However, while the absence of the medical treatment summary reflects badly on the doctor who provided the treatment, it is also a reflection of the fact that the patient has been a bad patient as well !
" The doctor did not give me a copy of the records " is not a good answer. Getting a copy of your medical treatment details is not only your right, it's your responsibility as well ! And if you do not assert your responsibility, then you are as much to blame as the doctor is !
It takes two to tango - and while you cannot change someone esle's behaviour, you can change your own ! Start off from the first visit by observing what happens in the clinic. Does the doctor give you a copy of your consultation sheet ? your lab tests ? Do other patients have their records with them ? Ask at the first visit itself what the clinic policy is about medical documentation.
If your doctor refuses to give you your records after your treatment is over ( because he does not want you to go to another doctor), then you need to become assertive ! Ask for a copy of your medical records - and make this request in writing, with a copy to the Administrator of the Hospital. If you do not get a reply, then ask your lawyer to write the letter for you - I can guarantee this will produce results !