How was your experience with Nataki Douglas at Columbia University?
I only saw Nataki Douglas at my consultation and the appointment after all tests were complete to go over a treatment plan. I thoroughly enjoyed both these appointments. She took time to explain test results, treatment options, potential risks and it never felt rushed. She is very caring and her conversation didn't feel too stiff or clinical.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Nataki Douglas at Columbia University?
Obviously the doctors can't work 7 days a week for morning monitoring so don't expect her to be there for all your appointments.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Nataki Douglas at Columbia University?
Dr. Douglas is easy to talk to and explains things in great detail. She understands that we have busy lives and wanted to make treatment as easy as possible for us. She seems both "real" and empathetic in her interactions.
Describe the protocols Nataki Douglas used in your cycles at Columbia University and their degree of success.
After trying for a little over a year we decided to seek answers. Due to female cycle irregularity and male low morphology Dr. Douglas suggested clomid with better timed intercourse at home or we could go straight to IUI. Due to the low morphology and the fact that we do have insurance coverage for IUI we decided to do that. I started with 50mg of clomid on cycle days 3-7 with an IUI the day following LH surge.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
I'm a little unsure of the difference between the nursing staff vs. the medical assistants/phlebotomists. I'm fairly confident I've only come in contact with 3 actual nurses. They were all very nice. The medical assistants and phlebotomists are pretty terrible. The call the first name and last initial for you to do blood work. I thought the woman was calling my name so I said are you saying "first last" and she just kept repeating what she was saying and not answering my question. Once we got back there she said "we only say the first name and last name initial" which is totally fine but answer when i tell you my full name. Also, my rubella immunity came back low. I got the booster (and had to sit that cycle out). Two months later they call me back and ask me if I got it. I told them the date I received the booster and said I thought the record should be in my file but could have the doctor's office resend it. Then they went back and forth about whether they needed to draw my blood to test for it again. They were basically asking me if they should. I told them "I got the booster so if I'm not immune at this point there is nothing I can do and I'll have to take my chances. But if you need the blood test for me to continue with my treatment plan then do it." It just felt like they had no idea what was going on. I feel like when you go in you have to already know what should be happening or you might get extra blood drawn or unnecessary ultrasounds. If insurance wasn't covering my treatment I would be really concerned about the confusion if I was the one paying for all these tests.
Describe your experience with Columbia University.
The doctors are one of their strengths. The medical assistants and blood work assistants are a weakness. The front desk staff is pretty friendly, empathetic and helpful although some more than others. One thing I've realized is they have a lot of patients and a lot of people that have done this before but I have to remind them this is my first time with a fertility treatment plan and to explain things a little more. At the initial consultation a nurse explained all the tests I needed to get and she assigned me to a financial counselor. The financial counselor is great- she gets things sent to my insurance for approval right away which I appreciate.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Nataki Douglas at Columbia University.
I think the initial consultation was $550 if not covered by insurance. They were very up front about that. Our insurance covers all treatment associate with IUI but won't for IVF if we get to that point. I would definitely work more closely with the financial counselor if we were paying for treatment to make sure I was getting what I needed for treatment and no additional blood draws or ultrasounds.
What specific things went wrong at Columbia University?
- Lost paperwork
- Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Columbia University.
After being upset that I had to sit a cycle out for my MMR booster I was frustrated when they didn't seem to have the vaccination record my doctor sent over. The front desk said it's best to just bring the hard copy so it can go right into the file because if it's faxed who know what happens to it. I was definitely confused about the climid prescription being sent to my pharmacy. When I hadn't heard anything a few hours after my appointment I assumed they forgot. After calling and talking to a nurse she explained that they had to wait for my blood test results before they could send it. Before my IUI no one mentioned that it's preferable to have a full bladder. So assuming it was like all the ultrasounds I made sure to empty my bladder before my appointment. When you want everything to be as optimal as possible that was annoying.