Monday, April 29, 2013

Why should I bother to know all this stuff ?

A lot of times when I'm explaining IVF treatment options to patients, I find that their eyes glaze over while I am explaining the intricacies and nuances of IVF treatment. They often seem to wonder - Why you telling me all this ? Why do I have to know all this ? Aren’t you the expert ? Isn't this your job ? I know that you're a good doctor and have faith that you will do the right thing for me, so why are you telling me all this ?

I  can understand why many patients are not very keen on learning all the intricacies about medical treatment - after all, biology was not everyone's favorite subject in school. Some of these concepts can be difficult to understand , and it takes time and energy to figure out what’s happening – and busy patients have other things to do in their life !

I explain to patients that I am not trying to make them IVF specialists, but there are many reasons it is extremely important to know all the ins and outs of your treatment.

For one thing , the success rates with any treatment are never going to be hundred percent. And because the outcome is uncertain , unless patients invest time and energy in understanding the process , they will never have peace of mind that they've given it their best shot .

Equally importantly , not every doctor is necessarily good and competent, which is why you need to do your homework. How do you know whether what your doctor is proposing makes sense or not ? Yes, it's s important to trust your doctor , but you cannot blindly give this away, just because of his reputation or because it's convenient for you to do so .

Also, do remember that even if the doctor is well-meaning, he cannot possibly read your mind . The very fact that there are so many treatment options available in IVF - ranging from basic IVF to donor eggs to embryo adoption to surrogacy , that you must know exactly what your priorities are . If you don't , it's quite likely the doctor may end up overtesting and overtreating you - and this is likely to hurt !

One of the unacknowledged reasons patients would rather remain clueless and not

know all this stuff is because it's very comforting to leave everything in the doctor's hands and let him do what he thinks is best ! If this were a perfect world, where you had the best possible doctor in the world , who would know exactly what was right for you , and if IVF had a 100% success rate, this would be perfectly reasonable . Unfortunately , the real world is far messier. Doctors are not always perfect - and many may have a hidden agenda . This is why it's so important to do your homework for yourself !

1 comment:

  1. Find a doctor who can communicate well and you are comfortable with that doctor. Finding a good doctor is not an easy. Not every doctors are good and bad. Find the doctor who is a trusted person.


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