Friday, December 08, 2017

Why are IVF patients so reluctant to get a second opinion ?

If you are not happy with your IVF doctor, it's very logical that the next step should be to get a second opinion. However, most patients are extremely reluctant to do this .

For one, they have an existing relationship with their doctor , and they feel they will be disloyal and unfaithful to that doctor if they look for a second opinion - especially if they go behind his back ! (  Incidentally, this is not true. Every good doctor will encourage a second opinion because they want their patients to be happy with the care they are providing. They are confident that what they're doing is correct, and are quite pleased to allow another doctor to confirm this fact!) If your doctor doesn't want you to get a second opinion , or blocks you from doing this by refusing to give you your medical records, this in itself is a red flag !

Many patients are worried that the new doctor will make them undergo all the fertility tests all over again . Their experience has been that anytime they go to a new doctor, he badmouths the first doctor , and wants to repeat all the tests all over again,  because he doesn't trust the earlier laboratory. This consumes a lot of time; causes a lot of discomfort; and wastes a lot of money. This is why there is so much inertia, and patients usually prefer sticking to the known devil , rather than look for a new one. After all, what's the certainty that the new doctor will be any better ?

They are also secretly worried that if the new doctor points out that the quality of care their current doctor has offered is sub-par, this will confirm their worst fear - that they have wasted all their time, money and energy - and no one likes having their errors pointed out to them !

Ideally, if you want a second opinion, your doctor should be happy to give you a copy of all your medical records . In fact, he should be quite happy to reach out to the new doctor and help to facilitate the second opinion process , because he knows it's in everyone's best interests. Good doctors are professionals, and they understand that patients have the right to get a second opinion . They know that they are offering high quality treatment, and if the second doctor reinforces that fact, the patient will have even more confidence in them, and the trust will become even stronger.

Please explore the option of getting a second opinion - especially if you think your current IVF doctor is stuck and doesn't know what to do next !

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