Sunday, January 04, 2009

Thanks for Nothing! A letter to Dr S

My letter to the old clinic. I wanted to start off the year right and let it go so I sent an email to the Clinic.

Dr S, I wanted to send you an email to explain to you things that you may not be aware of. First a little bit about myself. I was a patient at ISIS and at 5 months pregnant I lost my monoamniotic monochorionic twin girls. They were the best thing that has ever happened to me and I was truly devastated and it was too difficult to return to that clinic so my sister who was a patient at Nustar and was successful recommended I come to her clinic the name just changed.. NewLife.. I figured change would be good so I started coming. At first I loved it your team were amazing! The nurses were incredible and the ultrasound techs even remembered your name it didn't feel like coming there was a chore.. there wasn't a very long wait and I really enjoyed my time there. My sister and I would come to our appts together and we both loved it there. Then one day something changed... I still don't know what it was but your team changed. New faces and people that not only didn't know you but made you feel like you were bothering them. They were miserable to deal with and never knew what was going on, you could literally sit there and wait hours for an appt. My frustration grew and grew and I spoke to people in the waiting rooms and they were more frustrated than we were. Eventually I had enough of the waiting and the disapointments to me it was really obvious that whether you are aware of it or not your clinic just isn't the same. I came there in hopes of overcoming my infertilty challenges and finally have a baby but I don't want to go somewhere that makes me feel like I am not wanted. My health took a turn and my kidneys are causing some problems so my doctor told me I had one last chance to try IVF before I am put on medication which will not allow me to get pregnant. Since I was not only not successful at your clinic but felt that I wasn't a priority there I chose to leave and go back to the one place where I was successful. A place where the nurses remember to call you to give you your results, a place where they don't just expect you to know things instead they ask or tell you, a place where they don't make you feel like all they want is your money, a place where they make you feel like they care. Unfortunately my IVF there was unsuccessful but the embryologist asked me to meet with him to discuss what happened so I would know... yet another thing I wasn't offered at Newlife. When I told him that I had IVF done and Newlife he asked me to sign a form so that they could request my file so I could close this chapter of my life and compare the reports to see what was wrong... and more importantly so that I can know why after 10 years of trying to have a baby... MOST OF THOSE AT FERTILITY CLINICS... why I cannot have a baby. THat was several months ago... your office had the audacity to call me and demand money for them to send my doctor... not me but my doctor the file. I argued with them that I cannot understand why I should have to pay for a file and they never called me back. I am very dissapointed.... I have the right as a patient to have a second opinion... ironically you were mine. I cannot have children this is something that I have to accept but what I need to know is why. I need to close this chapter of my life so I can move on. I refuse to pay for a file that I don't even get to have access to, expecially when I feel that you have taken enough of my time and money. Both my sister and I have now left your clinic and I wanted to start this year out right by closing this chapter of my life and letting you know what is happening. Sometimes people don't know what is happening until someone tells them. I hope that sending this will enable you to see what is going on and allow your current and future patients a more enjoyable experience. Especially for the clinic that boasts "Here at NewLife, we are committed to innovation in reproductive care in a compassionate and friendly setting and most of all, we provide hope through individual care"

It is getting harder and harder to hate this man!!!!!! --HIS RESPONSE --

Hi Kelly,

Thanks for taking the time to write this email. I do appreciate feedback because it help us improve, something we strive to do all the time.

Your experience of things changing one day at NewLife is not a figment of your imagination. I looked at your chart. At the time this happened, we had 3 of our receptionists quit all at the same time for personal and family reasons at a time when the ultrasound service provider changed and our patient load also increased. We hired new people but the organization and timeliness were below standard to say the least. Unfortunately all the issues you experienced were as a direct result of these events in our office in Mississauga. Fortunately we have since, corrected all these and we now have a stable and more friendly staff and environment.

The fee of $35.00 my staff asked you to pay to send a copy of the embryology report to ISIS is a nominal fee to cover some of our costs that you probably do not know about. This includes the cost of storing your chart and searching for and retrieving it from storage. Going through the chart and extracting the information you need and faxing it to your Doctor. Usually I have to also look at the chart to give my staff the info you need. This service is not covered by OHIP. ISIS also has the same fee when one of their patients needs to send us chart information. All clinics including your family doctor has the same fee and some clinics charge a much higher fee. You can check these yourself on ISIS website under fees and also under McGill fertility centre under fees.

From the clinical point of view, I looked through your chart to try and help you understand why you have not been successful so far. You did 2 IUI cycles with us and on the third cycle you over stimulated and was given the option of IVF conversion, you had lots of eggs retrieved but the embryo development was not good. You had one embryo at 8 cells grade 2 transferred on day 4. You conceived but ended up with a miscarriage. After that you did not return because of your kidney problem. I am sorry to hear that you did an IVF cycle at ISIS but was not successful. Although I do not know the details of that cycle and whether there was an issue with embryo development also, I would still think that you can conceive with IVF. I do not think you have exhausted all your options as you have mentioned in your email. Even if it turns out to be that you have an oocyte problem, you can conceive with donor eggs which is highly successful. I am not certain however, that this is the case. Based on the info I have in your old chart, I would still be optimistic that you can have a child with your own eggs if we can get better embryos.

I am not up to date on the kidney problem which is important and it may be affected by pregnancy but usually does not have an impact on your ability to get pregnant. Even women with kidney transplants are able to conceive.

Our IVF pregnancy rate has improved drastically since you did your cycle with us, mainly because of new and improved technology in the lab. Also do not forget that this was a conversion and not a standard IVF protocol, where we have much better control on the stimulation. Usually you meet with the embryologist in a normal IVF cycle, in a conversion cycle everything is rushed and you do not get enough information.

I have asked my staff to fax the embryology info to ISIS without charge, but if you wish I can also review the IVF cycle you did at ISIS and tell you my opinion so that you can conceive not "to close the chapter".

All the best for the new year,

Dr S

1 comment:

Kat said...

Well said! Good for you!

Our angels Grace Elizabeth & Anna Marie

Our angels Grace Elizabeth & Anna Marie
Always on our minds, Forever in our hearts (June 28, 2006)