Sergio Oehninger

Rated 7.3
Strongly recommend: 53%Neutral: 11%Don't recommend: 36%7.3
53% strongly recommend
17 reviews
Humanity
7.2
7.2
Humanity

Ratings of 1 mean patients felt this doctor treated them as "a number."

Ratings of 10 mean patients felt this doctor treated them as "a human."

Communication
7.8
7.8
Communication

Ratings of 1 mean poor communication.

Ratings of 10 mean excellent communication.

Frequency Seen
6.5
6.5
Frequency Seen

Ratings of 1 mean patients only saw this doctor once or twice during treatment.

Ratings of 10 mean patients saw this doctor at every appointment.

Responsiveness
6.4
OK
Responsiveness

Scale is "poor, ok, good, excellent" and measures how responsive a care team was when patients needed to speak to them.

Education

Medical School
Universidad de la Rep├║blica
Residency
EVMA
Fellowship
Eastern Virginia Jones

How Doctor Communicates

doctor, nurse available by email
doctor, nurse available by directline
doctor, nurse available by directline
doctor available by personal cell phone
doctor available by personal cell phone

3 patient reviews filtered by:

Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2015 - 2018, Unsuccessful
8
9
Age 35 - 38
3 IUI
Male Factor
PCOS
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Unexplained
European
Income $100K - $199K
Engineer
1st of 2 Docs
Neutral
Strongly Recommends
Unsuccessful
Dr. O [Oehninger] has a long history of success in the field, and decades of experience which began working directly under the doctor who pioneered IVF in the US. He excells at giving informed, detailed comparisons between different established treatment options.... Between attempts, he was very hands-off. We had to initiate the next step on our own when some encouragement would have been helpful. When we had consultations to determine the next course of actions, he didn't always seem as familiar with our treatment history as I would have liked.
The clinic [Jones Institute] has been doing this longer than any other in the country. Framed photos of annual Mother's Day picnics with families the clinic has assisted are inspiring at first, but more painful to see after years without success.... Payment was easy, and the clinic-provided installment billing plan for big-ticket fertility treatment was helpful... Unfortunately the clinic insists on useing a "Patient Portal" system which is a gatekeeper to communication with doctors and nurses. The only effective way to communicate in real time is in person at an appointment. T
How was your experience with Sergio Oehninger at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine?
Dr. O has a long history of success in the field, and decades of experience which began working directly under the doctor who pioneered IVF in the US. He excells at giving informed, detailed comparisons between different established treatment options. Our discussions led us first to try 4 rounds of IUI, the first 3 each leading to a very early miscarriage, and the last failing to develop a viable egg. Between attempts, he was very hands-off. We had to initiate the next step on our own when some encouragement would have been helpful. When we had consultations to determine the next course of actions, he didn't always seem as familiar with our treatment history as I would have liked. After the unsuccessful IUIs, we asked again about the clinic's donor embryo program which had been briefly discussed in our first visit, and decided it was the next best step. After being matched with a frozen embryo suprisingly quickly and completing other prequisites of the program, Dr. O implanted the one embryo which survived the thaw. The first couple weeks of pregnancy progressed normally, but after some minor bleeding we were brought in for an early ultrasound and the dosage of progesterone injections was doubled as a precaution. However, there was additional bleeding and discharge a couple weeks later, and another ultrasound showed the pregnancy was lost. At that point, Dr. O was careful not to give us any false hope as we scheduled addtional follow-ups. However, he did not prepare us for the extremely unpleasant and painful side effects of the medications to induce completion of the miscarriage. That experience culminated in a 2am emergency room visit, narcotics to manage the pain, and another ultrasound the next morning when the clinic was open. After this last visit, Dr. O retired and we expect to be transferred to one of his colleagues, most of whom we met at one point or another.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Sergio Oehninger at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine?
Not applicable since he is now retired.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Sergio Oehninger at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine?
Dr. O was friendly and offered encouragment when the facts and odds supported it. He also kept a professional distance, but some difficult news was relayed in an abrupt manner which made it more difficult to hear.
Describe the protocols Sergio Oehninger used in your cycles at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine and their degree of success.
We tried 4 rounds of IUI, the first 3 each leading to a very early miscarriage, and the last failing to develop a viable egg. Since my wife has never had regular cycles, medication was needed to trigger it each time. Each time there were one or two visits to ultrasound the ovaries and measure follicles before a viable one was identified and our IUI was scheduled. Semen analysis showed slightly low count each time but good motility. Every completed IUI let to a positive home pregnancy test, followed within days by a negative test. Due to the repeated failures of IUI, we decided that implanting a donated embryo was the next best option. After being matched with a frozen embryo suprisingly quickly and completing other prequisites of the program, Dr. O implanted the one embryo which survived the thaw. The first couple weeks of pregnancy progressed normally, but after some minor bleeding we were brought in for an early ultrasound and the dosage of progesterone injections was doubled as a precaution. However, there was additional bleeding and discharge a couple weeks later, and another ultrasound showed the pregnancy was lost. At that point, Dr. O was careful not to give us any false hope as we scheduled addtional follow-ups. However, he did not prepare us for the extremely unpleasant and painful side effects of the medications to induce completion of the miscarriage. That experience culminated in a 2am emergency room visit, narcotics to manage the pain, and another ultrasound the next morning when the clinic was open. After this last visit, Dr. O retired and we expect to be transferred to one of his colleagues, most of whom we met at one point or another.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine.
Almost the entire nursing staff was very friendly, professional, and helpful in person. Their ability to draw blood from a patient with hard-to-find veins (my wife) varied significantly. Blood was drawn at every check-up, and I don't think they got her on the first try more than once or twice out of dozens of visits. Often it took 3 or 4 tries, and switching to less common and more painful areas. One nurse, who unfortunately managed most of our phone and internet communication with the rest of the staff, was much less helpful than anyone else on the staff. Numerous times our messages were relayed with significant delay as well as inaccurately with regard to tone or even content. We dreaded communicating through the clinic's phone or internet "portal" for this specific reason, and feared any complaint would lead to even worse service from the same nurse. Several times I suggested switching our next treatment to different clinic, even though we were quite happy with almost everything else at this one, specifically because of this nurse and the "portal" communication system. Managing prescriptions from local pharmacies was nightmare, due to convoluted preauthorization rules and documents to be routed back through clinic bureaucracy (combined with the fact the insurance covered almost nothing yet they kept trying to get approval). This often delays which sometimes came close to impacting treatment. However, Mandell's mail-order pharmacy (mostly for injections) was incredibly accomodating and easy to work with, aside from the unavoidable requirement to be home when the medicine was delivered.
Describe your experience with Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine.
The clinic has been doing this longer than any other in the country. Framed photos of annual Mother's Day picnics with families the clinic has assisted are inspiring at first, but more painful to see after years without success. But the clinic also partners with Operation Hope/RESOLVE, and connecting to that organization was helpful in finding support and dealing with the heartbreak. Many prescriptions from the clinic get routed and rerouted through a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy. As with every other medical estabilishment we've dealt with, bills and insurance decisions are incomprehensible. Payment was easy, and the clinic-provided installment billing plan for big-ticket fertility treatment was helpful (half up front, rest spread over 6 months with no interest) although there was a glitch with the automatic payment system. Unfortunately the clinic insists on useing a "Patient Portal" system which is a gatekeeper to communication with doctors and nurses. The only effective way to communicate in real time is in person at an appointment. The "portal" system was consistenly an obstruction to communication and care. Eventually we learned what almost everything was routed through one specific nurse assigned to our doctor, and we believe much of the problem was with that individual, but the system itself was flawed in theory and practice. We are hopeful that since our doctor has now retired, we may have a different gatekeeper nurse when we begin treatment with a new doctor.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Sergio Oehninger at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine.
Roughly $15,000 for 4 IUI attempts, donor embryo program and transfer, medication, and associated tests.
Describe Sergio Oehninger's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine.
We were very confused by apparently conflicting information about the number of frozen donated embroys available to us for implantation, and how many survived which stages of the process. This was eventually mostly cleared up, but it took several discussions with different people. However, the clinic policy of not allowing more than two embryos to be implanted was always clear.
What specific things went wrong at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine?
  • Failed to call with results
  • Provided conflicting information
  • Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine.
On a couple occasions were were told to expect a call with test results by a specific time, but did not get it until the next day or until we asked. During the embryo thaw process, we got initially got conflicting information about how many embroys survived, but this was eventually cleared up when we asked and got more detail about the different stages of the thawing and preparation process. At 7 weeks with an implanted embryo, my wife had a suspected miscarriage in the middle of week of vacation in a foreign country. We sent a very detailed description of events and request for guidance to the clinic via the internet based patient portal system, explaining our concerns with the cost and potential outcomes of uninsured medical treatment in a foreign country with a language barrier. We got a response from the nurse through the "patient portal" system telling us to go to an emergency room with no attempt made to address our specific concerns. Because we did not feel that our situation was adequately considered but had no other way to communicate with competent staff at the clinic, we made a very difficult decision do go against this advice and wait until we returned home to address the issue with a visit to the clinic.
8
Doctor
Sergio Oehninger
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
9
Clinic
Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine
Norfolk
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2017, Unsuccessful
7
6
Age 33
1 IVF
Male Factor
European
Income $50K - $99K
Only Doc Seen
Neutral
Doesn't Recommend
Unsuccessful
I rarely saw Dr. Oehninger once I started my cycle. Lower level staff or the other REs performed almost all of my monitoring ultrasounds, as well as my egg retrieval and transfer. You don't get to choose who performs your care and it's not consistent...I went into our IVF cycle expecting to be seen by Dr. Oehninger, as our assigned RE. I had really appreciated how much time and information he gave us at our consultation visits and looked forward to him being involved in my care. However, I didn't see him much during the monitoring cycle. Even when I did, a training doctor performed the actual ultrasound.
The Jones Institute is part of EVMS so you can expect extra sets of hands and eyes in the room in most cases...I would've strongly preferred to have received my monitoring results on a regular basis, instead of having to beg for them after the cycle was complete...I was also not pleased at how scarce the embryo development reports were...The nurse who handles blood draws is incredibly sweet. The OR nurses are really wonderful and compassionate, too....
How was your experience with Sergio Oehninger at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine?
I went into our IVF cycle expecting to be seen by Dr. Oehninger, as our assigned RE. I had really appreciated how much time and information he gave us at our consultation visits and looked forward to him being involved in my care. However, I didn't see him much during the monitoring cycle. Even when I did, a training doctor performed the actual ultrasound. The Jones Institute is part of EVMS so you can expect extra sets of hands and eyes in the room in most cases. My egg retrieval and subsequent transfer were both performed by another member of the practice. When my beta was negative, I would've liked to receive a call from Dr. Oehninger since he was my main RE. Instead, the RE who actually performed my transfer called.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Sergio Oehninger at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine?
Do your own research so you can keep up with him in conversations. He won't slow down to explain the basics for you automatically so educate yourself beforehand. Also, be prepared to not see him during your course of treatment as it just depends on the REs schedules.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Sergio Oehninger at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine?
I rarely saw Dr. Oehninger once I started my cycle. Lower level staff or the other REs performed almost all of my monitoring ultrasounds, as well as my egg retrieval and transfer. You don't get to choose who performs your care and it's not consistent.
Describe the protocols Sergio Oehninger used in your cycles at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine and their degree of success.
I was given a standard antagonist protocol following three weeks of birth control. Despite great ultrasound monitoring results leading up to retrieval, the majority of my follicles didn't produce an egg at retrieval.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine.
The nurse who handles blood draws is incredibly sweet. The OR nurses are really wonderful and compassionate, too.
Describe your experience with Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine.
I would've strongly preferred to have received my monitoring results on a regular basis, instead of having to beg for them after the cycle was complete. I kept being told everything was progressing great, but now that I have my blood results on paper, I see that maybe I could've been asking more questions along the way and perhaps our egg retrieval results wouldn't have been so utterly shocking. I think that they have so many patients it's easier for them to just shepherd you through the process and would rather you not have too many details, but I felt a bit like I was naively trusting a process that ended up failing. I was also not pleased at how scarce the embryo development reports were. I would've liked daily communication from the embryologist - but that may be wishful thinking on my part, and just not possible!
Describe the costs associated with your care under Sergio Oehninger at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine.
The baseline package was $11,500. Meds are of course purchased through a third party pharmacy, but the IVF coordinator really helped us out by telling us about a discount program we were able to apply for.
Describe Sergio Oehninger's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine.
Had we had two viable embryos, Dr. O had planned to transfer two.
What specific things went wrong at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine?
  • Lost paperwork
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine.
They're not able to post a lot of results on the online health portal, so be prepared to have to ask for paper copies.
7
Doctor
Sergio Oehninger
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
6
Clinic
Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine
Newport News
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2015 - 2016, Unknown Success
8
10
Age 26 - 27
1 IUI
1 IVF
Donor Sperm
Male Factor
Unexplained
European
Income $100K - $199K
Engineer
Only Doc Seen
Neutral
Strongly Recommends
Success w/ Doc Too early to know
Dr. Oehninger is extremely experienced and intelligent in his field. He is a little rough around the edges as far as bedside manner goes... meaning he is very cut and dry with giving you information and does not sugarcoat it at all. In some instances this worked very well for us because we wanted to get the show on the road but at other times we really kind of needed someone to talk to and we felt rushed. Overall though he is extremely professional, very respectful and you can tell that he truly has our best interest at heart...
This clinic [Jones - Norfolk] is more of a "strictly business" kind of clinic. They are extremely busy and also shortstaffed which makes it difficult to get calls back or information sometimes. Definitely remember that you are your own best advocate. Take the time to research and plan for appointments with questions or concerns ahead of time...The main problem with the Jones Institute is communication...
How was your experience with Sergio Oehninger at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine?
Dr. Oehninger is extremely experienced and intelligent in his field. He is a little rough around the edges as far as bedside manner goes... meaning he is very cut and dry with giving you information and does not sugarcoat it at all. In some instances this worked very well for us because we wanted to get the show on the road but at other times we really kind of needed someone to talk to and we felt rushed. Overall though he is extremely professional, very respectful and you can tell that he truly has our best interest at heart .
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Sergio Oehninger at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine?
Definitely take his advice because he certainly knows what he's talking about however take the time to prepare for appointments and write your questions down before hand otherwise you may forget with how fast he moves through protocol. Definitely be your own advocate. Lastly, don't take his abruptness to heart. Although he may move through appointments quickly he really does care about your success and will remember your quarks and situation dencently well.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Sergio Oehninger at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine?
I felt like I was treated like a number sometimes because appointments felt really, really rushed. The appointments that I felt like I got the information that I needed were solely because I spent a lot of time prepping for the appointment myself like reading books and articles and coming in with a full list of questions to help guide the conversation. When I didn't do all of this pre-work, The appointments were very quick and my doctor just assumed which way we wanted to go wrote the plan out gave it to us and sent us on our way. I will say, that when our IVF cycle failed and when we were first diagnosed and very motional he did take the time to talk to us and coddle us a bit. I think that he recognizes that this is a very emotional journey for everybody however at the same time he knows that in order to be successful in a lot of cases you must move quickly. I think he also has so much experience specifically with male infertility that he generally knows the best decisions to make and because of that forgets that we've never been through this before so we may need it explained.
Describe the protocols Sergio Oehninger used in your cycles at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine and their degree of success.
We first went to Jones Institute after trying naturally for over a year. The first thing we were instructed to do was a sperm analysis due to the fact that this was cheaper than any female test. That report came back abnormal with extremely low sperm counts and due to the fact that I had regular cycles he encouraged us to move straight forward with IVF. We were unsuccessful and the ratio of eggs retrieved to five day embryo survival was very weak. He noted this in our plan and then encouraged us to save our money and really think hard about sperm donation. We took his advice and started our IUI treatments after that, we got pregnant on the first try. In the process of purchasing donor sperm doctor on anger did a great job referring us to a bank, answering all of our questions, helping us through genetic testing, and giving us advice on the emotional journey of choosing a donor.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine. (Assigned nurse: Heather)
Dr. Oehninger's nurse, Heather, is amazing. Like him, she does not mess around and get straight to the point. However when you're doing 4-5 blood tests a week I appreciated this. She was lighthearted and easy to get along with and really showed compassion when you called in with a concern or question. The IVF Coordinator on the other hand is awful. She is extremely sarcastic and "hands off "so she truly looks at you like a number and nothing else. We had concerns over timing with her and tried to sit down with her to look at the schedule she had given us and she acted like she had absolutely zero time for us. When she was training us on how to do medications she rushed to the entire thing so my husband and I felt very uncomfortable and had to go back to our regular nurse for reassurance and retraining. She was horrible about calling us back so we basically had to harass her just to figure out how our embryos were doing during our IVF cycle. I think if someone came in and just helped her organize her self a little bit more she would be a lot more successful and reputable among patients.
Describe your experience with Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine.
This clinic is more of a "strictly business" kind of clinic. They are extremely busy and also shortstaffed which makes it difficult to get calls back or information sometimes. Definitely remember that you are your own best advocate. Take the time to research and plan for appointments with questions or concerns ahead of time.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Sergio Oehninger at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine.
IVF - $12000 IVF Meds - $4500 IUI - $265 Donor Sperm Storage - ~$300ish per year
What specific things went wrong at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine?
  • Failed to call with results
  • Provided conflicting information
  • Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine.
The main problem with the Jones Institute is communication. It would be very beneficial for them to develop a better "patient introduction" packet or something so patients weren't forced to constantly call and then inevitably wait for return calls on common questions that could easily be listed on a website or in a packet.
8
Doctor
Sergio Oehninger
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
10
Clinic
Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine
Norfolk
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources