Thursday, May 27, 2021

Why clinicians should not try to do research in their IVF clinics

It's well known that there is lots of stuff we don’t know about IVF. IVF doctors don’t like being ignorant, which is why there is a lot of scientific research going on in order to expand our knowledge-base.

However, our ability to apply this in clinical practice is still fairly limited , and we need to be humble and accept the fact that the areas of medical ignorance in IVF keep on expanding rapidly.

While our desire to reduce the unknowns is well-intended , so we can get more of our patients pregnant , this does not mean that IVF clinics should start doing scientific research .

Not only don’t clinicians have the training or infrastructure to do this properly, it often becomes a distraction for the clinical staff. Often the research is done extremely poor , and the results are unreliable and untrustworthy, because the doctor is often biased . Thus, pharma companies will often pay doctors for enrolling patients for a “clinical trial” which is designed to prove the utility of their latest and most expensive drug, but this is a complete farce. The results are pre-decided, and the data is massaged to suit the funder’s convenience. Most doctors won’t understand the significance of p values even if they came and bit them, but they are happy to play along because they like pretending to be “scientists” – and the financial incentive acts as a sweetener !

The job of the IVF specialist is to get their patients pregnant by applying the latest proven medical research - not actually doing the research . It’s hard to both things at one time ( unless you are in a large academic institute). Randomised controlled clinical trials need a large number of patients to be able to have enough power to test a hypothesis properly, and clinics don’t have these.

It’s unfair on patients when individual IVF clinics start using their patients as guinea pigs . What’s even worse is they add insult to injury by charging them money for doing this , by claiming that they are using “cutting-edge” technology !

Not only are these doctors lying to their patients in order to make more money, it also means that the “ research “ is a sham. Medical Science doesn't advance , because doctors can't learn anything from this kind of anecdotal experience 


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