How was your experience with Sunita Katari at UPMC Magee?
My heart would like to give my Dr. one review and my head would like to give her another. It is hard for a Dr. to get to know a patient when they are rarely seen by them. In the past year I have maybe seen my Dr. 3 times. However, I have probably visited the clinic sometimes twice a week. The majority of my interactions have been with the nurses and residents. Each time I go to our clinic I am seen by a different person. This was something I did not expect. I had 3 IUI's and they were all performed by different people, to my knowledge none of them were the Doctors in the clinic. I do not have anything negative to say about the individuals I saw for my various testing and procedures other than they were not my doctor. I feel like there should be a little more consistency with who is treating the patient. I had to have a pollup removed from my uterus before I could start my IUI's. My Dr. did not perform that procedure, She made it known that her schedule did not make her available and that a different doctor would need to do it. A Dr. who I had never met until they were wheeling me into surgery. To me, that is a bit odd. Infertility is dealing with emotions, it is dealing with intimate parts of your body and I feel that you should know and trust the person handling them. Dr. Katari did come to visit me and wish me luck before my surgery, which I thought was very nice. However, it is very odd that I am in her care and rarely speak or meet with her. On a phone consultation her and I had she told me that IVF is probably a better option. When I told her that I would like to know why I cannot have children before I consider putting a financial strain on my family because we could not afford such a costly procedure she suggested I get another job so I could afford the procedure. Whether her comment was meant to be helpful or not, it was hurtful and unprofessional. I also do not feel that I have received definitive answers on medical things that were found while doing testing. I think my Dr. could be more descriptive with what they found, such as fibroids, and if they are or are not hindering my ability to carry a child. I feel that a lot of the times I was reeving half answers instead of all possible scenarios. There were days where I really appreciated my doctor and felt I was in the best hands, and there were days where I did not believe that to be true at all. Does that have to do with me thinking emotionally vs. rationally? Maybe. However, I do not know anyone on an infertility journey that is not feeling the same way.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Sunita Katari at UPMC Magee?
Be your own advocate. Be your own voice with your infertility journey and what you are and are not willing or able to do. You are in good hands, however you may struggle from time to time wondering if you are.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Sunita Katari at UPMC Magee?
This is an emotional journey. There are expectations that people have. Some expectations are irrational and some are normal. My last IUI failed last week. I have no reasons as to why this did not work, for I was told this was a great option to do. I have fibroids - a lot of them. When calling to state my last IUI failed, the option they gave me was to make an appointment with the doctor. The earliest appointment they could give me is around mind December. I asked if the Dr. even knew that my procedure did not work, and they basically told me over the phone that no, they do not give them that information. If a Dr. is treating me, and a treatment failed, I feel like they should be the first to know, not the scheduling center. If the Dr. does know that 3 separate IUI's failed and I have a history of fibroids and nothing has been determined as to why an IUI would not work, I would think the Dr. would want to speak with the patient in a timely manner rather than a few months out.
Describe the protocols Sunita Katari used in your cycles at UPMC Magee and their degree of success.
I believe I am diagnosed with unexplained infertility. I am not too sure since I was never told my exact diagnosis. The first year there were many tests. Egg quality, egg count, sperm quality, sperm count, more internal ultrasounds than I have ever experienced in my entire life, so much bloodwork that I actually began producing scar tissue in my arm from the amount of needles. The testing was thorough and necessary. When they said be patient during this journey they were right! I feel that all the testing was done appropriately. If there were negative findings, such as fibroids, we would do another test and another. From the time I met Dr. Katari the goal was to be healthy enough to have an IUI performed. After almost a year we go to that point. We did two u-nmonitored cycles and for the third cycle it was supposed to be monitored. I appreciated that Dr. Katari was trying to save us some money by not doing all monitored cycles and she said that I was ovulating very regular so doing at home testing would be fine. The third cycle she wanted monitored to give us the best chance. My communications for the IUI procedures were with the nurses and residents only. I never saw my Dr. through any of the procedures or testing. After my second IUI failed and I was told to get ready for my 3rd I received a phone call right before I was supposed to start taking the chlomid. It was the Dr. office stating the the Dr. would not like me to do the third IUI this round because she wanted to me have another ultra sound to check my tube stability. This threw me for a loop. I was prepared for another cycle and without much explanation the plans changed from one day to the next. I had to have an ultrasound in a different department, who always had difficulty scheduling me within the correct time period my infertility Dr. needed the apt. to be. When it was time for my third and final IUI I knew that it was supposed to be monitored. When I called to start this cycle I said I was told this cycle was to be monitored and asked for them to explain to me what else needed done. I was received with the response of "this one does not need to be monitored the Dr. said you can do the at home tests". Again, this was frustrating because I am preparing to get ready for our final cycle, and the information I am receiving is different than the information the Dr. had already given me as a game plan. Again, no explanation about the change in plan. I never knew if it was a miscommunication because I am dealing so little with the Dr. or what. I did end up doing a monitored cycle for round 3 but unfortunately it still did not work.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
THEY ARE FANTASTIC.
I have had more interactions with the nurses at the clinic than anyone else. They are organized, they are detailed, and they are compassionate. Every time I had to call the nurse line after a failed IUI when the nurses returned my phone call one of the first things they would always say to me is how sorry they were that it did not work.
Describe your experience with UPMC Magee.
The strengths are they seem to have a great flow with getting people in and out of the waiting room and getting them in and our for their testing. Once you have an appointment you are fine. They know how to assist patients waiting and assist them well. The downside is trying to get an appointment. When you need to see the doctor, you have to wait months for the next appointment. For a new patient waiting to start treatment, I can understand. But for a patient, like myself, who has been going there for over a year, I find it very difficult to understand why I have to wait months at a time to see my Dr.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Sunita Katari at UPMC Magee.
The testing and surgery to remove the pollup was handled by my insurance. The un-monitored first IUI cycle cost approximately $400. That was for the insemination only. The second un-monitored IUI cycle cost approximately $700 because aside from the insemination I also needed blood work done one time because my at home tests were not reading correctly. The monitored cycle I did, which was my last IUI cost approximately $1,300.
What specific things went wrong at UPMC Magee?
- Failed to call with results
Describe the specific things that went wrong at UPMC Magee.
I feel that there needs to be more communication with the Dr. and the patient. I have been fortunate and have never had any serious health issues that I needed to see a specialist. Maybe this is the normal when you are seeing a specialist and I am used to only seeing my primary care physician. I am not sure. However, there were times where I was waiting to hear back regarding test results from my Doctor and I did not receive them. One time I had to call several times regarding a result to see if I needed to do a monitored cycle for an IUI and I only knew a few days before.