How was your experience with Briana Rudick at Columbia University?
Dr Rudick explains everything very plainly and honestly. The longer I worked with her the more I liked her. She continues to have an upbeat outlook even though things did not always go the way we wanted them to, but not so much as to be Pollyanna-ish or falsely optimistic. She is results oriented and always forward moving - don’t expect her to linger on why something didn’t work or to have an incredibly emotional conversation about your disappointment. When a result is less than perfect, she’s looking at what to do to optimize that result, or change course to something better/more effective.
I always felt like she took my questions very seriously and answered them with thought and care, either in person, on the phone, or via email.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Briana Rudick at Columbia University?
When I first met Dr Rudick, I wasn’t 100% sure about her. I felt like she came off as slightly condescending. Working with her longer though I realized that it wasn’t really her talking down to us - getting started with fertility treatments, there is an incredible deluge of information thrown at you. Even if you feel like you’ve done your research and have an idea of how everything works, actually going to the clinic for your consult can be overwhelming. A year later, I am pregnant and love Dr Rudick’s frank and honest approach of laying out all of the information without sugar coating.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Briana Rudick at Columbia University?
Dr Rudick was always quick to answer my questions either over the phone or via secure email. She provided thoughtful responses, and it felt like she always gave me the honest truth, even when it was not what I wanted to hear, in a very informative, but kind manner. I had a complication with my egg retrieval and Dr Rudick (as well as others at Columbia) followed up with extreme concern and care. They corresponded with the ER doctors and with my husband and myself several times a day to check in and make sure I was okay.
Describe the protocols Briana Rudick used in your cycles at Columbia University and their degree of success.
I did four unsuccessful IUI cycles. We wanted to start with the least invasive procedures first, especially since I was working a very high stress job which I didn’t want to combine with IVF. The first two were with Clomid, which I HATED. The second IUI never even came to fruition, as the Clomid gave me a cyst that prevented doing the actual IUI. We did the next two with no drugs, despite the fact that she warned us of a very low (1 - 2%) success rate. This was our choice & she was supportive of it.
After my job ended, we did two rounds of IVF stimulation for frozen transfers. The first one egg retrieval was a disaster - no one’s fault, but I suffered internal bleeding and ended up in the hospital for three days and needing a blood transfusion. Internal bleeding is an uncommon side effect, but known risk of egg retrieval listed on the paperwork that you sign before your surgery. Dr Rudick and the other staff at Columbia were extremely helpful and caring at this time - talking on the phone to my husband and my doctors at the hospital I ended up with to explain and follow up for three days. They were constantly checking in with me to see how I was doing.
After all of that, we only ended up getting one PGS tested normal embryo. Dr Rudick suggested possibly doing another cycle to get more embryos (especially since we hope for another child in the future), as well as specific uterine lining tests if we wanted to move forward with the single good embryo.
We did another round of stimulation, which a slightly different medicine protocol. This one was a breeze & yielded four PGS normal embryos, two of which were seven-day embryos.
Dr Rudick was very flexible with timing and encouraged me to do the transfer once another work project had been completed so that I could take it easy surrounding the transfer. (My work is very intense with long hours & plenty of stress).
It worked & I am currently 8 weeks pregnant! I’m on a progesterone suppository until 10 weeks to further support the pregnancy. We’ve been in for sonograms every weeks for the past three weeks, and are now moving on to a regular midwife practice.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Columbia University. (Assigned nurse: Julissa Mota)
Julissa was lovely and very kind. She would call or email me with results after every test and had a very clear communication style when it came to the intricacies of the IVF stimulation protocol which is quite complicated and nonsensical for a first timer. The two nurses who drawl blood were wonderful. They helped me get over a lifelong fear of needles that I thought would prevent me from doing IVF all-together.
Describe your experience with Columbia University.
Clean, pleasant, and sometimes incredibly crowded in the mornings for monitoring. The front desk staff are very nice. The Nordstrom flagship store just opened in the same building, so the surrounding area/getting into the building has gotten a little crazy, but it’s nothing that your average New Yorker can’t handle.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Columbia University.
They sometimes made specific appointments, but you could also walk in between 7 and 9:30 (if I recall correctly). The mornings were often very busy, a couple of times were standing room only, but I don’t think I ever waited more than twenty minutes for monitoring, especially if I had an appointment.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Briana Rudick at Columbia University.
IUI was completely covered by many insurance, IVF was out of pocket. All in all for two rounds of stimulation and one transfer, it came out to approximately $50,000.
Describe Briana Rudick's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Columbia University.
Columbia has a policy of transferring only one embryo at a time, which was what I wanted anyway.