Describe your experience with Harvard Vanguard.
The Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine at Harvard Vanguard is a large practice, with offices in several locations. That contributes to a lot of positives with respect to convenience - generally being able to schedule diagnostics (ultrasounds, labs) and basic procedures (IUIs) at a time and location of your preference. It can, however, at times lead to it feeling a bit like a factory. While my experiences with the medical team have always been positive, I have dealt almost exclusively with the nurses and by phone rather than in person. They have always been warm, professional, and thorough. But if you want a more one on one experience or a lot of time with your physician this may not be the practice for you.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Christine Skiadas at Harvard Vanguard?
All of my interactions with Dr. Skiadas, the nurses, and the medical team have been positive. However, Harvard Vanguard is a big operation and can, at times, feel like a machine. There are definite (for me) upsides to that in terms of ease of scheduling (for US, for IUI, etc.) and convenience of multiple locations. The size also means that you're one of many patients and so for the most part my interactions have not been directly with Dr. Skiadas but rather with the nurses. Personally, that hasn't bothered me. I feel like I have always been able to get questions answered and the team is responsive. And when I have had interactions with Dr. Skiadas she is warm, clear, and straightforward.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
Both Caitlin and Liz are warm and compassionate and great communicators. They have been readily available for consultation and follow up questions.
How was your experience with Christine Skiadas at Harvard Vanguard?
Dr. Skiadas is clearly knowledgeable, compassionate, and understanding. I have chosen to try to become a mother on my own (SMC) and have never felt anything but support from her. Her approach has been clear and honest, and progressive relative to what has happened. Again, while I have primarily interacted with the nurses and other members of the medical team, rather than Dr. Skiadas, that hasn't troubled me and so far the convenience offered by the large practice has been a plus.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Christine Skiadas at Harvard Vanguard?
Because of the nature of the practice, and the opportunities to interact with Dr. Skiadas directly tend to be more limited, I would recommend being prepared to ask all your questions in those consultations if it's important for you to get answers from your RE. The nurses have also been very available to answer questions, but some patients may feel strongly about communicating directly with their physician.
Describe the protocols Christine Skiadas used in your cycles at Harvard Vanguard and their degree of success.
Dr. Skiadas' plan and preference was to do three natural cycles of IUI. The first cycle I did was completely natural and I had a short luteal phase and early period (less than two weeks post-insemination). After that, Dr. Skiadas added a progesterone suppository to the next IUI to help maintain a pregnancy if indeed fertilization and insemination happened. IUI's 2 and 3 were natural, and 2 was with a trigger shot. The 4th was with Clomid and a trigger shot and progesterone, the 5th (due to a cyst being present) was unmedicated but with trigger and progesterone. And the 6th was with Clomid, a trigger shot, and progesterone.
Cycles 1-5 did not produce a pregnancy. I am currently in Cycle 6.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Christine Skiadas at Harvard Vanguard.
To date (after 6 IUIs), I have had to pay a co-pay for IUIs and for the HSG test, as well as a copay for medication (Clomid, progesterone). Labs and ultrasound monitoring were covered by insurance.