Dr. Ratcliffe believes strongly in multiple embryo transfer. ... She presented as brash and rude but I had been warned about her bedside manner. ... she literally told me a question I asked was "stupid." She told me my eggs "sucked" and there was nothing we could do to improve egg quality. ... With her I transferred three, three and four embryos respectively. I had no idea at the time that this was against industry guidelines.
The office environment [Advanced Fertility Associates] lacks professionalism and delicacy in dealing with sensitive and often overwhelmed patients. I was fearful of making phone calls to otherwise "bothering" the doctor or clinic staff. ... They knew who I was when I walked into the clinic but they just didn't seem to care. ... I was told by my nurse that the remainder of the embryos were frozen on day 3. We were never informed of this.
How was your experience with Jennifer Ratcliffe at Advanced Fertility Associates?
I have put off writing a negative review because I did have success with Dr. Ratcliffe in my first IVF cycle in 2015. She presented as brash and rude but I had been warned about her bedside manner. She was confident in her ability to get us pregnant so we minimized her negative behaviors. During that cycle and subsequent cycles she dismissed my questions and concerns, she literally told me a question I asked was "stupid." She told me my eggs "sucked" and there was nothing we could do to improve egg quality. When I asked her about evidence based suppliments that other clinics were using such as CoQ 10 and DHEA she laughed them off. She did not explain to me that she only does day 3 transfers. When I asked about our embryo grading she told me she doesn't believe in this practice, an embryo is either "good or it isn't." She never gave me a diagnosis. After failed cycles when I asked if we could do things differently she said there was nothing different that could be done. We did not know how many embryos made it to transfer day until the day of transfer while medicated on Valium. We were asked to make decisions about the number of embryos to transfer at that time. While medicated. With her I transferred three, three and four embryos respectively. I had no idea at the time that this was against industry guidelines. Dr. Ratcliffe never called me with results, positive or negative. During each of my embryo transfers and all of my ultrasound appointments she spoke about her personal life, mostly about her cats, sometimes negatively about her daughter and husband. Her mother covers the front desk of the clinic at times, I have watched her yell at her mother and call her stupid. I have witnessed her yell at office staff. She discusses confidential patient/treatment information in the hallway with patients that can be clearly heard in the waiting room. Despite all of these negatives we kept returning to her practice because we had success with her the first time. It wasn't until I began educating myself and working with a fertility coach that I realized it doesn't have to be this way. When I switched clinics I felt a huge amount of relief.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Jennifer Ratcliffe at Advanced Fertility Associates?
Educate yourself about industry standards and best practices and have your questions ready at the time of consultation. Don't be afraid to challenge her and don't accept her opinion as gospel.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Jennifer Ratcliffe at Advanced Fertility Associates?
Dr. Ratcliffe has very poor bed side manner . The office environment lacks professionalism and delicacy in dealing with sensitive and often overwhelmed patients. I was fearful of making phone calls to otherwise "bothering" the doctor or clinic staff. Dr. Ratcliffe never rarely spoke to me about my treatment plan and often dismissed my concerns or questions. They knew who I was when I walked into the clinic but they just didn't seem to care.
Describe the protocols Jennifer Ratcliffe used in your cycles at Advanced Fertility Associates and their degree of success.
Each cycle was an antagonist protocol. She insisted on using birth control to suppress despite my DOR (A diagnosis she never informed me of, I only learned later when I requested and reviewed my records). No information was provided about treatment strategy or reason for the protocol.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Advanced Fertility Associates. (Assigned nurse: Bonnie Day)
In general Bonnie is a nice person. She wasn't great at returning phone calls but was good about responding to emails. There were times I felt she was irritated with my questions or concerns and I frequently felt the need to begin emails to her with "Sorry to bother you." However, Bonnie was by far the most professional person in the practice. The ladies at the front desk are very nice and friendly. The other nurse, I believe her name was Natasha (She never introduced herself to me) was self involved and lacked basic patient care.
Describe your experience with Advanced Fertility Associates.
This is a small, single doctor practice in Santa Rosa. For many years, she was the only clinic in the area. The building is old and drafty, the office decor is seriously outdated and dingy looking. There is little respect or thought given to privacy practices and patient information is openly discussed in hallways or at the front desk where those in the waiting room can hear. The lab facilities are outdated.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Jennifer Ratcliffe at Advanced Fertility Associates.
Retrieval and transfer was approximately $14,000 without medications
Describe Jennifer Ratcliffe's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Advanced Fertility Associates.
Dr. Ratcliffe believes strongly in multiple embryo transfer. The only risk of multiple transfer that was explained to me was the possibility of multiple children. This was done while medicated on Valium.
What specific things went wrong at Advanced Fertility Associates?
- Failed to call with results
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Advanced Fertility Associates.
Our second cycle we transferred three embryos. I believed no other embryos had survived. I received a call from the receptionist informing me of a fee to be paid for storage of an embryo. I asked to speak to the doctor. She informed me that "there was only one and I wasn't sure if it would be worth freezing or not so I let it grow to see if it would make it."
Our third retrieval cycle, fourth transfer, we transferred four (day 3) out of seven embryos. I called the clinic on day 6 to get an update on the embryos we did not transfer because I had not heard from them. I was told by my nurse that the remainder of the embryos were frozen on day 3. We were never informed of this. I assumed they would be grown to blast.
Two months later I received a call from the receptionist apologizing that she was so late collecting the fees for storage and asked me to pay over $1,000 that day over the phone.