Saturday, August 22, 2015

When to ignore your IVF doctor’s advice

Infertile patients are vulnerable , and when they go to an IVF doctor , they expect to get good advice . Traditionally , most patients have blindly followed what the doctor tells them to do . After all , the doctor is the expert , and because he is a trusted professional , all the patient needs to do is to follow his advice,  and they will get a baby ! Thus, most patients will do whatever the doctor orders them to , without asking too many questions . They will follow his orders, whether it’s doing lots of expensive tests, or even undergoing surgery, in order to fulfill their dream of having a baby.

When all goes well , the doctor is a hero, but then the cycle fails ( as it often will), then the doctor is berated. A lot of patients do not trust their doctor. The nexus between the referring family physician and the IVF consultant ; as well as the fact that the IVF specialist is often incentivized by pharma companies to prescribe their brands is now an open secret . Patients are understandably concerned about the quality of the advice which they are getting from their doctor. They worry as to whether their doctor is advising IVF  because it’s in their best interests, or his !

They are worried that the doctor’s hidden financial agenda is contaminating the quality of his
advice . This is especially true when they can see that the doctor doesn't have enough time to listen to them; or they feel that the IVF clinic is run like an assembly line, where all patients are being herded together , using a one size fits all treatment policy.

It’s hard for patients to judge the quality of the doctor’s advice , and this is why they are often confused . A lot of them will then get second opinions , or cross check with other doctors ; or perhaps friends and famiy members who happen to be doctors . Some will spend hours on the net , trying to find out what their options are , so they can make the right decision for themselves .

This is why Information Therapy can play such a stellar role in healing the Indian healthcare ecosystem.  However, this needs to be high quality, reliable, unbiased, updated information , which provides the patient with actionable information , so she can actually make decisions after factoring in her own personal preferences .

Patients need to understand that the doctor’s advise is just one of the many factors which they need to consider when making a decision , and they cannot afford to leave everything up to the doctor. They need to apply their own mind and do some due diligence before making a final decision . There will always be multiple options , and sometimes doctors may be too busy to discuss these with the patient, because they prefer taking a “one size fits all” approach, which makes their life much easier. They end up providing generic generalized advice to all their patients, without tailoring it to their personal circumstances.

Sadly, sometimes patients don't bother to do their homework. They only wake up after their cycle fails, and then when they find out that the quality of advice which they received from their doctor was poor, this causes major heartburn . They lose confidence , not just in their own doctor, but in the entire medical profession , which just makes a bad situation even worse , because they deprive themselves of receive high quality medical treatment at a better IVF clinic.

This doesn’t mean that you have to mistrust your doctor either – it’s just that you need to confirm his advice is right for you.  This is why high quality online information can be so valuable . For one thing , it's in black and white , so patients can read it multiple times, until they understand all the nuances and subtleties. Secondly, the site will explain the reasoning behind whatever options it offers , so patients know what they are doing and why, and can weigh the pros and cons of all options, because information is not censored. Thirdly, these sites respect the patient's intelligence , and help them to make their own decision for themselves. Finally, they don’t do away with the doctor. In fact, they emphasise the key role the doctor plays in the final decision, and encourage patients to discuss the results of their research with their doctor, so they can make a joint decision

Online information therapy complements the role of a good doctor, and patients who do their homework using reliable high quality decision tools will find that they can trust their doctor even more. When they realise that the information which the doctor is providing them with is correct because it fits in with the online information which they have discovered for themselves, they will respect their doctor a lot more, and he will have rightfully earned their confidence.

Patients need to listen to both their heart and their head, and they also need to respect their intelligence so that they'll be able to figure out stuff for themselves , preferably with the assistance of their doctor. Ignorance is not bliss, and knowledge is power when battling with infertility !

Want to make sure you are getting the best possible IVF treatment ? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at so that I can guide you better !

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