How was your experience with Sue Ellen Carpenter?
I very much like Dr. Carpenter. She was the first infertility specialist that I ever saw, so I was in a pretty emotionally fragile place going into our first meeting. I felt that she took a lot of time to explain everything that was happening and what our next steps were. I never felt rushed. She seems to genuinely care about her patients. On the visits that I was actually able to see her, she took time to answer every single one of my often very long list of questions.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Sue Ellen Carpenter?
I would suggest someone considering Dr. Carpenter keep in mind that although she is your doctor, you will be spending a somewhat small amount of time with her. Other doctors and staff will be the ones handling many of your procedures, so make sure you are comfortable with feeling like a number during the visits when you do not see Dr. Carpenter.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
I always felt that Dr. Carpenter had a great bedside manner. She took time to explain everything and answer questions. I also felt she genuinely cared about things working out for me. Unfortunately, during most of my appointments I was meeting with other doctors, nurse practitioners, or the nursing staff and I did not feel that many of them saw me as much more than a number. This was one of the reasons that I left ACRM.
Describe the protocols Sue Ellen Carpenter used in your cycles and their degree of success.
I was not ovulating on my own. We did about 4 months of clomid, which did induce ovulation each time but did not result in pregnancy. We then switched to Femara for 2 months, and included 3 IUIs (2 in one cycle) during that time. Both of those months also led to ovulation, but not to pregnancy. We were then discussing IVF, but I switched clinics before beginning that process.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
This was one of my biggest disappointments with ACRM. In an attempt to look super organized, each patient has both a designated nurse and a separate designated patient care coordinator. I was sometimes on the phone with one and rather than just booking the appointment, I had to be transferred to someone else. It seemed a lot of steps were involved to do anything. I also felt that the staff didn't have much compassion. They were very hard to reach. I don't think that I EVER was able to get though to my nurse via phone directly. I always had to leave a voicemail and then she would call back. Yes, it was within the designated "appropriate call back time," but I felt as if they almost had a policy of not answering the phone. The nursing staff who drew blood were cordial, but there were times when I was in the office multiple days in a given week. They never seemed to acknowledge that they knew who I was. We had no relationship and they didn't seem to want to develop one. I do understand that they have a lot of patients, but the lack of warmth left something to be desired. I also had a situation occur where I needed to meet with my doctor to discuss something prior to beginning a cycle. I was scheduled for an appointment and was told I would be meeting with my doctor. At the appointment, my nurse told me that was not the case. I was just having blood work to move forward with the cycle. I was very uncomfortable doing so without consulting my doctor and having some questions answered. Despite the fact that I had had a conversation with both her and with my patient care coordinator earlier in the day and had been told I could see Dr. Carpenter, I was now told that it was not scheduled that way and it was not possible. I was informed Dr. Carpenter was with another patient. I suggested that I would wait until whenever she could see me. I was visibly upset and was now crying, but no compassion was shown and I was told I could not meet with her that day. This left a very bad impression on me of the nurse. I do not blame Dr. Carpenter, as it seemed she was unaware that one of her patients was in a room crying and trying to meet with her.
Describe your experience with ACRM.
This is a big clinic. It's a baby making factory, and as such you will become just one of the patients moving along the conveyer belt. If you are lucky enough to have a doctor as caring as Dr. Carpenter, I would still say that it's not worth it because you will be bounced around to so many other doctors and nurses and your time with "your" doctor will be limited. Many of my tests and procedures were performed by nurse practitioners, not even other doctors. I was displeased about this because I was paying the same regardless of who performed it. So I would have preferred any doctor, if not MY doctor.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Sue Ellen Carpenter.
Nothing was covered by my insurance, so it all seemed very pricey. It was about 2 years ago at this point, so I do not remember exact numbers. The cost of IVF (which I never started at ACRM) was comparable to other locations in Atlanta, but much more expensive than I was able to find out of state.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Lost appointments
- Provided conflicting information