Describe your experience with University Hospitals Fertility Center.
On paper, this clinic is highly reputable. The facility is clean. They struggle with organization, and communication is not their strong suit consistently. I would argue communication with patients and communication amongst the medical team is lacking. I also would've thought that in the aftermath of the freezer malfunction they would try to quickly improve their service delivery from all angles, but this hasn't happened. Again, I strongly encourage you to be an advocate for yourself from day one and keep good notes.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with James Goldfarb at University Hospitals Fertility Center?
My answer varies a bit depending on the situation. When I first met Dr. Goldfarb it seemed he saw me as a human. I initially underwent two rounds of egg freezing for fertility preservation. I saw him a few years later to attempt IUI, but I was interacting with the nurses more than the doctor. I began to feel more like a number because the team was rather unorganized and didn't take the time to prepare or review my chart prior to meeting with me and as a result this led to a number of issues. Issues such as making assumptions about me that were not true, confusion about what treatments and procedures I was to have, or had already had, and many miscommunications as well as no communication.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
Nurses in this practice change like the weather. They are not always organized and often communicated differing information. I ended up requesting that I be assigned a primary nurse, which worked for a little while. This is challenging because most of the nurses are not there every day so you're bound to see a few nurses. You also have to stay on top of them because as I mentioned, the primary nurse assignment worked for a bit, but then it reverted to the multiple different nurses again. I often wonder if the caseload is not manageable for the staff they have and perhaps that is why there is disorganization and a lack of, or poor communication. Given these items, I felt more like a number as the nurses often struggled to remember things about me or my cycle between appointments.
What specific things went wrong at University Hospitals Fertility Center?
- Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
- Lost appointments
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
- Lost or damaged samples
How was your experience with James Goldfarb at University Hospitals Fertility Center?
Dr. Goldfarb is an extremely experienced reproductive endocrinologist. I felt at times early in my treatment with him that he would talk as though I knew and understood everything related to fertility treatment, which was not the case. I wasn't overly troubled by this initially because I was freezing my eggs for fertility preservation and not actively trying to conceive. I'm also not afraid to speak up for myself so I was able to ask questions if need be. Then, about 5 years after my initial experience with him, there was a freezer malfunction in the lab where my eggs were stored and all of my eggs were destroyed. Following said disaster my interactions with Dr. Goldfarb changed. Given the sensitive nature of the fertility process, my assumption and expectation was that the treating physician would be sensitive and supportive. Then after the freezer malfunction, which made an already sensitive process exponentially more sensitive and emotional, I naively thought my doctor would bend over backwards for me, making sure to handle my case with kid gloves. Unfortunately, this did not happen. I felt I was offered empty apologies, conflicting information and to make matters worse, the doctor regularly told me stories about himself or his family members in an attempt to make me feel better. Clearly his attempts went terribly wrong. To give you an example, after losing my eggs I was told there was a waitlist to start another round of egg freezing. This didn't sit well with me because I felt I would lose more time having to wait. When I expressed my frustration to Dr. Goldfarb he said he completely understood and then proceeded to tell me he had been scheduled for a procedure once that had to be cancelled unexpectedly. This example was not helpful to me. He turned what was a very horrible situation for me, about himself and did nothing to validate my feelings or advocate for me. Furthermore, this happened on more than one occasion. I found his approach to be unsympathetic, minimizing my experience.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of James Goldfarb at University Hospitals Fertility Center?
Know what you need from your physician and be a strong advocate for yourself.
Describe the protocols James Goldfarb used in your cycles at University Hospitals Fertility Center and their degree of success.
My protocol never changed under Dr. Goldfarb's care. I was on Follistim, Menopur and Ganirelix, with the hcg trigger. All doses were the maximum that could be prescribed. Of note, I have not been diagnosed with fertility issues thus far. I have undergone fertility preservation and two non-medicated iui's. When I presented to re-do my egg freezing after the disaster, my protocol did not change despite being 5 years older. It's my understanding that this group of physicians prefers to keep the protocol the same if the patient has responded well previously.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at University Hospitals Fertility Center.
This clinic has monitoring hours, but the nurse will ask you what time you want to come in. Even though you select a time, they still take you first come first serve. It is my understanding that they are starting to give actual appointments now. During one of my recent cycles I arrived for monitoring on two occasions and was told I didn't have an appointment. The ultrasound tech, Carmella is fantastic and I've no trouble with the phlebotomist either.
Describe the costs associated with your care under James Goldfarb at University Hospitals Fertility Center.
The medications were expensive. If I remember correctly, around $5,000 or so. I do have a fertility benefit under my insurance although it is limited. Nevertheless it has been an expensive endeavor. Sorry I don't have more specifics on cost. Storage fees were $400/yr.