How was your experience with Deborah Smith at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center?
Dr. Smith seems to be an extremely capable doctor in her ability to parse large amounts of medical history and come to a diagnosis. I felt in good hands as I underwent surgery for a tubal ligation. She was a godsend when I was in recovery after the surgery, and experiencing terrible bladder pain, begging for a catheter. Even though I did not meet the qualifications for a catheter, she understood that I was in extreme pain and allowed for a catheterization. I am grateful for that, as it was a traumatic situation.
However, during my post-op appointment, her bedside manner was completely absent. She performed a pelvic exam so abruptly that I felt violated. Then she proceeded to tell me that I could never again undergo elective anesthesia (something that would be required for an egg retrieval) due to the fact that I'd had a panic attack during the anesthesia for my tubal ligation that she performed. She was unprepared for our meeting and seemed to have no idea how to proceed with me. I came up with some ideas on the spot, despite being in shock, and she seemed somewhat amenable, but ultimately did not lay out a course of action. Nor did she outright say "I won't treat you, better find another clinic". So I ended up just wasting six weeks trying to get her to lay out a course of treatment.
I left the exam room in tears, and was comforted by one of the nurses while standing in the hallway. After a few minutes Dr. Smith interrupted the nurse because it was time for her next appointment. The nurse seemed scared of Dr. Smith, apologized to me, and scurried off. Dr. Smith would not make eye contact with me. I should have just left and never looked back at that point. Since then I have moved on to another clinic, CCRM, where they didn't bat an eye when I gave them details of my anesthesia PTSD reaction, and came up with a treatment plan immediately. I was not made to feel ashamed of my mental health condition, which is as it should be.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Deborah Smith at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center?
Dr. Smith could be a great match for someone who is totally unconcerned with bedside manner or a warm personality. She's all business and can be slightly condescending. But in the end, she is extremely intelligent and clearly good at the medical side of her job, if not the personal side. She clearly runs a tight ship. The nurses seemed a little intimidated by her.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Deborah Smith at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center?
I was a challenging case and felt that the clinic, being small, was not prepared to handle my unique situation. As a result, I lost six weeks trying to make phone contact with them to answer basic questions about whether I would be able to pursue IVF with them. The lack of response lead me to seek treatment elsewhere.
Describe the protocols Deborah Smith used in your cycles at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center and their degree of success.
I did not start an IVF cycle with Dr. Smith. She was not prepared to take on my case due to my PTSD triggered by operating rooms / anesthesia.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
Although I was only with the clinic for a brief time, the nursing staff were all wonderful, especially the one (I forget her name) who comforted me when I was crying in the hallway after a particularly devastating meeting with Dr. Smith.
Describe your experience with Rocky Mountain Fertility Center.
Overall my experience with the clinic was that they were organized and caring of patients. The only weakness as pertains the clinic as a whole would be that if you present a challenging case (such as a mental health situation, as in my case) you may fall through the cracks because, as a small clinic, they probably just won't have the bandwidth for you.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Deborah Smith at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center.
I believe the initial consult was $200 or $250? I don't remember how much the tubal ligation cost, but it was covered by my insurance. I did not go through an IVF cycle.
Describe Deborah Smith's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center.
What specific things went wrong at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center?
- Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center.
They did initially tell me the wrong date for my surgery, but I don't honestly know if the fault was with the hospital scheduling, or the business coordinator who emailed me, or just some miscommunication down the line. Either way, it was a big headache for me to adjust my schedule! That was the only major snafu.