Monday, April 10, 2017

How to choose the best doctor


I am an IVF specialist , and when our patients get pregnant , they ask us to refer them to an obstetrician. The commonest question is, "Which obstetrician should we go to?" This is completely reasonable - after all , they trust me, and want me to refer them to a good doctor. Now , these obstetricians are my colleagues and friends, but I'm very reluctant to tell them whom to go to.
To get good care from the obstetrician during pregnancy, the most  important ingredient is the doctor- patient relationship, and the chemistry between the two should be just right. Rather than give them a name, this is the process I tell them to follow.

"Just assume for a moment that the technical competence of most gynecologists who have the right professional qualification is comparable . The key is that you need to find a doctor whom you feel is right for you. Make a short-list of at least two doctors . You can do this by doing a google search, or asking your friends for recommendations.  You then need to interview both these doctors. Pay for a consultation , and then pick which one you prefer . "

Do you like the ambience ? Is it close by ? Is parking easily available ? How communicative is the doctor ? How friendly is the staff ? Do the other patients in the reception area look happy ? How long do they make you wait ? What vibes do you get ? This should give you enough information to be able to pick and choose the one who is right for you."

"If you're still not sure , ask both of them this one question. "Why should I come to you as compared to going to doctor X?" Some doctors may take offense at this question , and that in itself is a red flag. After all , this is a perfectly valid question to ask , and patients do deserve an answer.

A good doctor will be happy to answer, and the right response is, "Yes, Doctor X is a good doctor , and there are lots of other doctors who will also take good care of you. However, I feel this is what makes us better. " This thoughtful response shows that he is mature; will not bad-mouth other doctors ; and is service oriented and keen to have you as a patient. This is the kind of doctor who you are likely to be happy with.

This is exactly the same model you should use when you are looking for the best IVF doctor as well !
Need help in getting pregnant ? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you !





2 comments:

  1. Oh common Dr. Malpani, you are extremely matured but how many doctors can really handle that kind of questions? They might take offence, especially Indian doctors. I am from US and got my treatment at your place and blessed with a healthy baby. I completely trust you and you were the only one in my whole 10yr medical journey who was so patiently responding to all my freaking emails without getting frustrated. Often that is not what I have observed with most of the doctors. They talk we listen is the kind of attitude. In fact even before I chose your clinic, in spite of the fact that we were TTC from 10yrs, I took 4months time to do my research on all reputed clinics within India, I sent similar emails to all the doctors and was weighing how each of them responsed. I looked for negative reviews on every clinic, i went through most of the success stories and was checking who all had emails in it and emailed most of them to see what kind of response I could get from them. So it wasn't a simple decision as I already failed miserably before that too in India and my experience was horrible. So I was in no rush. I wanted my baby but especially going the donor route, I had to be extra cautious to ensure I am putting myself in BEST & SAFE hands.
    But then what you have shared on interviewing the doctors is so correct and I can't agree enough with you on it. I had changed nearly 7 obgyns all along TTC just to pick the right one WHEN i become pregnant and that really helped. In spite of the fact that the hospital was a bit away (i had another hospital nearby just few miles difference), I specifically picked the hospital because of my obgyn. Being compassionate, understanding and spending time and talking to us like we are human beings and not "patients" was her trademark. She was supportive of the whole IVF journey and got all my blood tests and scans done just via emails and never had any consultation. Being in US for more than 15yrs, seeing so many American doctors, I say I am truly blessed. And the patient-doctor chemistry needs time and evaluation by patients for sure. We need to have vested interest and if we find red flags along the way, we should take immediate action instead of adjusting. Ultimately after waiting for such a long time to have a baby, why compromise on obgyn care?
    I did have a disastrous 1st prenatal visit at the same hospital with a nurse practitioner, who unfortunately happened to be an Indian female, who probed on why we went IVF route, gasped at how it failed earlier, was interested in why we started TTC late and for every other sentence she was pointing out that my maternal age was above 35 and was so damn shocked that i went donor route and picked someone so random and didn't even know the details (it was necessary to know the age of the donor and some tests were dependent on my age vs her age etc) and since this is a MAN MADE pregnancy, chances of successful pregnancy is low and just then she confirmed that another Indian patient had bleeding and mostly won't have the baby (when I had bleeding and was worried). WHOA too many terrible things to say. Needless to say I and my husband were totally upset. I raised my voice to the hospital administration and pointed out all that she said and complained against her. This was so inappropriate and she hit on my confidence levels, which were shaked up, but then I was fully trusting Dr. Malpani and also the only support system, GOD as the outcome of how baby looks was totally out of human control. I can't take my eyes of the beautiful baby that we are blessed with today.
    But bottom line, picking the doctor takes hell lot of time and is worthy exercise to be done by all the patients and GO BY YOUR GUT FEELING and VIBES.

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    Replies
    1. If more patients become as well-informed, thoughtful and mature as you are, I am sure lots of doctors will improve as well !

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