How was your experience with Divya Shah at Penn Fertility Care?
I felt comfortable with Dr. Shah immediately and felt like I was in great hands. Most of my reluctance of recommending her would only come from how Penn Medicine is run and my experience with the nurses.
Dr. Shah had a worksheet made up to help guide her conversations with her patients regarding all of the possible causes of infertility and the tests to identify them. It was incredibly thorough and helpful. I have nothing but great things to say about her.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Divya Shah at Penn Fertility Care?
Be aware that Penn Medicine acts a bit like a team and even if Dr. Shah is your primary RE and guiding your care, you will see any of the doctors at a given procedure and no doctor at all during your monitoring.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Divya Shah at Penn Fertility Care?
Dr. Shah is warm, straightforward, and whip-smart. She goes over things in as little or as much detail as you are comfortable with.
Describe the protocols Divya Shah used in your cycles at Penn Fertility Care and their degree of success.
Dr. Shah debated between an antagonist protocol (which she selected) and another type of protocol (not sure what that would have been) based on my DOR diagnosis and relatively young (in infertility world) age. The logic for going with the specific protocol was never relayed to me. Did a natural start, 450 gonal f for days 1-5, then ganarelix was added, and I went to gonal f 300 + menopure 150. I had a dominant follicle by day 7 which they warned me might get me cancelled and by day 9 they cancelled the cycle and converted me to IUI that didn't work.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Penn Fertility Care. (Assigned nurse: Julie Huston)
While I liked the other staff in the clinic, I didn't like either of the main nurses at Penn Radnor, Julie or Beth. Julie was my coordinator and she just doesn't have a lot of patience and was frequently confusing. When I was trying to confirm one set of her instructions early on, she made a snarky remark that she had done this many times. I replied back that I hadn't and wanted to make sure that I understood. She sounds condescending on the phone and ordered medications that I didn't need without warning me that I didn't need to pick them up right away (that they were only "in case of").
I would see Beth sometimes during monitoring and I felt as though she was withholding information (probably bad news). She was not my primary contact, however, so my experience with her was minimal.
Describe your experience with Penn Fertility Care.
The clinic at Radnor is well organized and run. The prices for self-pay patients seem to be more reasonable for everything (treatment and meds) than anywhere else I've researched or read about. It is less busy than the office at 3701 Market and for some things you would still need to go to their University City location, but for monitoring, etc, I was at Radnor.
However, you will rarely see a physician during your actual treatment. All monitoring is coordinated through the nursing staff. You'll have an ultrasound technician do your scans and a tech to do your blood draws. You sometimes can see a nurse or the nurse pratictioner after your monitoring appt, but your nurse will call in the afternoon with an update to your plan.
The entire team including the faculty and the fellows will meet and discuss cases. After a treatment fails, they will discuss recommendations for the next round (I don't know if this is for all cases or just more difficult ones, but it happened for mine without any prompting or request and I got the impression that this is just what they do).
Describe the costs associated with your care under Divya Shah at Penn Fertility Care.
Prices changed July 2016 and I do not know current rates. 6750 covered one retrieval and 2 transfers (1 fresh, 1 frozen or 2 frozen) and ALL embryology, anesthesia, monitoring, bloodwork, mock transfer, etc. Everything. Cancelation before retrieval netted a refund of all but 1500. There were other graduated refunds possible (ie only one transfer, but no embryos to transfer reduced cost to 5000).
1 retrieval and 1 transfer (fresh or frozen) was 5000, but the only refund possible was if your cycle was cancelled before retrieval (cost reduced to $1500). This also included absolutely everything (monitoring, embryology, icsi, bloodwork, education seminar, med training).
What specific things went wrong at Penn Fertility Care?
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Penn Fertility Care.
The fertility information does not go into the online portal (mypennmedicine) and so I had no knowledge of my AMH levels until meeting in person with my RE, despite the fact that all tests for other things (and even things like my HSG) are put into the portal. I also wouldn't have a record of my E2, FSH, etc unless my nurse happened to tell me (or I asked) AND I wrote it down. If you like to know exactly what's going on in your body, like I do, this might bother you. There isn't anything here that is "wrong" per se, it just doesn't mesh with how involved I care to be in my own health and treatment.