How was your experience with Lawrence Grunfeld at RMA of New York?
Although Dr. Grunfeld is clearly knowledgable and an expert in the field, he does not spend time with his patients or adequately explain risks or even the possibility of success with a procedure. Dr. Grunfeld was overly optimistic that my 2013 egg freezing cycle would yield good results. When the use of those eggs in 2018 was a total failure, he showed little compassion or concern and did not follow up with me and my husband to advice us on next steps. I was shocked that Dr. Grunfeld showed little concern after my husband and I experienced two miscarriages from spontaneous pregnancy *and* a failed egg fertilization cycle in which my 24 eggs yielded 0 embryos that tested PGS normal. It was disheartening that we had to call his office numerous times to get even a short (5-minute) conversation with him and that his response was to simply suggest that we do another fresh IVF cycle. I felt like a number and had no confidence that Dr. Grunfeld really cared whether my husband and I were able to conceive.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Lawrence Grunfeld at RMA of New York?
I would not recommend that any prospective patients seek treatment with Dr. Grunfeld at RMA. I would recommend going to a different clinic. I now see Dr. Samantha Pfeifer at Weil Cornel, and am having a much better experience.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Lawrence Grunfeld at RMA of New York?
Dr. Grunfeld barely spoke to me. In 2013, I froze 24 eggs through one cycle of egg freezing with Dr. Grunfeld. The doctor was pleased with the result and informed me that there was no need to do another freezing cycle. In 2018, my husband and I sought to use the eggs after experiencing two first trimester miscarriages. The egg thawing and fertilization process was largely unsuccessful with only 1 embryo surviving to the 5-day blastocyst stage. That embryo was deemed abnormal through PGS testing. An RMA nurse called me with the results. I was shocked. The nurse was rushed and said that we lost a lot of eggs in the thawing process and the fertilization process, and that we also lost more than normal during the stage of growing embryos to the 5-day blastocyst stage. She offered no explanation why our results were so bad. My husband and I were so upset that we called the clinic three times to arrange for a conversation with Dr. Grunfeld. When we finally spoke to him, the doctor was flip. He said that my eggs (and our resulting embryos) did not do as well as planned, but that these results were statistically possibly and essentially no big deal. Dr. Grunfeld then suggested we simply do another IVF cycle--as if it were no big deal financially, physically, or emotionally. I was disappointed, particularly because Dr. Grunfeld had been so optimistic that securing 24 eggs through a freezing cycle would yield good results. Dr. Grunfeld spoke to me and my husband for only around five minutes. The casualness of his reaction to the fact that my husband and I had two miscarriages (conceived without IVF) and a failure egg freezing/fertilization cycle shocked us. We indicated that we would seek another opinion before determining how to proceed. Neither Dr. Gurnfeld nor his office ever called us back to ask what we wanted to do. The entire interaction with Dr. Grunfeld and RMA left us feeling that the doctor and clinic as a whole only cared about our money--not about delivering health care that would help us conceive.
Describe the protocols Lawrence Grunfeld used in your cycles at RMA of New York and their degree of success.
Dr. Grunfeld gave me gonal F and Follistum for egg stimulation. He also added ganirelex later in the cycle and Ovidrel for trigger.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
The nurses had little interaction with me. They would call each day with my dosage of stimulation drugs. But they did not get to know me or even engage in friendly conversation. I felt like a step in the factory assembly line.
Describe your experience with RMA of New York.
RMA has very good doctors--but the entire approach of the clinic is to do large numbers of IVF and egg freezing cycles without little care for the patient. It is very difficult to arrange for a one-on-one conversation with the doctor or nursing staff. I felt like a number during my egg freezing cycle and when I returned to the clinic to use my frozen eggs -- which did not yield any usable embryos. The clinic is also very challenging to work with concerning billing. Even though my insurance provider covers IVF, RMA required me to pay the clinic directly for certain procedures, which forced me to seek reimbursement from my insurance company. On one occasion, the doctor recommended that I take a certain test; the RMA billing staff indicated that because they could not guarantee that my insurance company (CIGNA) would cover it, I would just have to pay for the cost directly I was disappointed that RMA, as a clinic that works on a daily basis with CIGNA, would not facilitate my access to IVF coverage by discussing my need for this test with the insurance provider. This was just one example of many by which the clinic conveys that all it cares about is your money, rather than whether the services provided yield the patient the best chance at having a healthy, live baby.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Lawrence Grunfeld at RMA of New York.
I paid approximately $11K for egg freezing, $4K in storage fees, $3K in genetic testing for me and my husband, and $3K for egg thawing and PGS testing.
Describe Lawrence Grunfeld's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at RMA of New York.
Dr. Grunfeld prefers SET, which is fine. My husband and I had no normal embryos to transfer.
What specific things went wrong at RMA of New York?