How was your experience with Ralf Zimmermann at Columbia University?
He was kind, intelligent, and informative- particularly at the initial consult. However, as time went by I found it more and more difficult as I rarely saw him when at the clinic and had an extremely difficult time reaching him by phone and he never seemed to remember who I was or the details of my case/treatment. On one occasion he forgot to include his DEA number on my prescription causing me to waste extra time as I had to return to the clinic to get a new prescription.
And ultimately I felt he just followed a "one size fits all" approach. I lost my first pregnancy (due to a chromosomal abnormality) which was the result of my second natural cycle IUI (no medication). Despite this, Dr. Zimmermann strongly advised that I take Clomid for any subsequent IUIs. I followed his advice once however, the Clomid caused significant discomfort and did not result in a pregnancy. I then got a second opinion from another reproductive endocrinologist who indicated that would not have been his recommendation due to some adverse effects of Clomid and due to the fact that I had already gotten pregnant with a natural cycle, had no known documented fertility problems and good ovarian reserve. Against Dr. Zimmermann's advice, I decided to go back to a natural cycle (no Clomid) on my next try which resulted in a healthy pregnancy.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Ralf Zimmermann at Columbia University?
You probably have to stay on top of him by calling or going in constantly otherwise things may get missed.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Ralf Zimmermann at Columbia University?
Things began okay- he was warm, informative, and thorough during the initial consult. Unfortunately, as time went on it was clear that he did not remember who I was no matter how many times I called or returned for an appointment. On one occasion he forgot something he had advised and we had discussed directly regarding my course of treatment and on another occasion I discovered (from his nurse) that he had forgotten to tell me about an additional test I needed which nearly interfered with my next planned IUI. He was never rude or impatient but my impression over time was that he couldnt keep track of all his patients and just went with a "one size fits all" type of approach.
Describe the protocols Ralf Zimmermann used in your cycles at Columbia University and their degree of success.
Advised Clomid after a miscarriage even though I had no documented fertility problems and had gotten pregnant on my second natural cycle of IUI because he said that at my age (39) it would improve my chances.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
Some were more informative, friendly and patient than others but all were relatively warm
Describe your experience with Columbia University.
Terribly long wait times, difficulty getting in and out for even just a blood draw. Very difficult to get in touch with doctor by phone, even after days of calling and leaving messages. Didn't like seeing a different doctor every time
Describe the costs associated with your care under Ralf Zimmermann at Columbia University.
Most were covered by my health insurance
What specific things went wrong at Columbia University?
- Failed to order appropriate test
- Failed to send your chart to another clinic
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information