How was your experience with Ellen Wood at IVFMD South Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine?
Her strengths: completely straight shooter, explains everything as many times as you need to understand, answers all the questions you bring to her, will take the time to speak with you the phone or answer your emails if you want to deal with her directly and aren't satisfied with a nurse or coordinator.
Her weaknesses: She could be a little warmer, but her competence and communication is more important to me and outweighs that.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Ellen Wood at IVFMD South Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine?
Write down all of your questions, ask her to slow down and explain something if you don't understand, she will do it. With her and any doctor and staff, pay attention to the details of your treatment. These clinics are busy and things can be missed. I have been the one to follow-up on a lot of the aspects of my treatment. For example: if the doctor mentions a test I should have, I cannot assume that the appointment for that test has been scheduled. Also, I travel for treatments from hours away so I have to make sure that we consolidate tests in as few appointments as possible. They will not remember to do that for you every time and as a new patient it can be frustrating because you don't know what to expect. In subsequent cycles, you should have a better idea of what is involved and make sure that you are paying attention to your treatment and staying on top of everything.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Ellen Wood at IVFMD South Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine?
Dr. Wood is very blunt and and not particularly delicate but that's ok with me, although if I could have a slightly warmer bedside manner it would be nice. However, it's good to have a straight shooter and not be given false expectations. She seems very competent and has always taken the time to answer all of my questions, which I tend to have a lot of. In that way, she makes me feel human. Now, the clinic is very very busy and that has sometimes made me feel like a number. More than a few times I felt like my coordinator couldn't get back to me when I leave voicemails or emails and that makes me feel like a number. I should say though, that when she does get back to me, she's has more of the bedside manner that Dr. Wood maybe lacks although I don't think her information is always totally accurate and thats when I realize I prefer competence to bedside manner. I had one failed cycle last year, a cancelled cycle last month and am in the middle of a new cycle now. I was told my cycle was cancelled over a voicemail on a Sunday evening and I didn't think that was good. The news is too big and upsetting to get without at least a conversation with my coordinator. I have let them know that I was upset about that and they seem to understand, I think the had to do with my determining appointment being over the weekend (which I think they should have made for the next day, a Monday, for that very reason). I think overall, I find that I have to assert myself a lot to make sure I get the attention I need to feel human. I haven't been to another clinic, I imagine you always have to be your own advocate in that way but of course, I don't know.
Describe the protocols Ellen Wood used in your cycles at IVFMD South Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine and their degree of success.
My first treatment protocol was with follistim and menapur to stimulate ovulation. I did not produce lot of eggs and they even almost cancelled my treatment the first cycle but we ended up with 6 eggs from 4 follicles, 4 fertilized and 2 embryos made it to day 5 for transfer. We were more aggressive in the 2nd cycle and used a different protocol to try to get more eggs. We switched to Low Dose Ovidrel and Gonal -f. Dr. Wood explained that different meds could better my cycle or make the outcome worse and everyone responds differently. Unfortunately I was unresponsive and she wonder's if my Gonal-f was compromised somehow (it has to stay at a certain temperature or can be rendered ineffective.) There's no way knowing though. That cycle was cancelled. It is one month later and we are trying again with the same medicines as my first protocol, Menapur and Follistim but she has doubled the doses. Instead of injections only in the morning, I do them in the morning as well as the evening. Hopefully, since I at least responded to those medications before, the bigger dosages will help me produce more eggs.
Describe your experience with your nurse at IVFMD South Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine. (Assigned nurse: Yvonne Martinez)
I've been frustrated with my coordinator. At times I felt she was annoyed with me and all of my questions. I actually ended letting her know I felt that way and she assured me it wasn't the case. She's made a couple mistakes that have upset me. The nurses have all been helpful and compassionate. I should say that Yvonne is also compassionate and I liker her as a person but I feel like I really have to stay on top of her and double check information she gives me. It can be difficult to reach her.
Describe your experience with IVFMD South Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine.
Strengths: they have multiple offices so if you travel you can have make your appointments for blood-work and ultrasounds in a clinic that is the most convenient even if your doctor is out of another clinic. They have an on-call after hours phone line that is responsive, the staff is always kind and professional in their attitudes even if you are upset with them or about something.
Weaknesses: Sometimes one hand doesn't know what the other is doing. I've had a couple incidents where appointments for tests were made in a way that made it difficult for me as someone who travels to them, when those appointments could have been consolidated. Once I was told I could come up for 2 tests and when I got there they told me they never do those tests on the same day. They ended up making an exception but that information hadn't been communicated to me so that I cold plan for it.
There has also been a mistake made with my husband's sperm back up. I actually can't remember exactly but I remember hi being very upset, I think they misplaced paperwork. Also, for day of transfer my husband had to wait a very long time for someone to come and retrieve his sample and he was really worried that it might be damaged from the wait time.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Ellen Wood at IVFMD South Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine.
I don't know specifics, I think I block them out. But everything is very expensive. I do remember thinking on multiple occasions that for the money I am spending I want better communication.
Describe Ellen Wood's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at IVFMD South Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine.
She recommended that we transfer my only 2 embryos as they were untested and I am of "advanced maternal age"
What specific things went wrong at IVFMD South Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine?
- Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
- Lost appointments
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to order appropriate test
- Provided conflicting information