How was your experience with Vicki Schnell at CORM?
She was very personable, but rushed through explanations. Being extra friendly and enthusiastic turned to disappearance once I had my baseline. When I raised concerns with her she had quick irrelevant excuses, like "well that nurse is having a hard time at home, she's going to school and has all these kids," or saying that "well most women are already informed about how to read portal results because they do a lot of research and have support there, but i guess with egg freezing it's not the same." When I mentioned the awful experienced of having a trainee do my baseline ultrasound with no notification and taking forever, she blamed the techs being young and immature, and said she was glad to know this, but when I went in for the next ultrasound the same trainee walked in! I never saw her after initial consultations, and even while she claimed there is always a nurse around to talk to after ultrasounds, there was never anyone. I have no idea why she chose the protocols she did, why she made the one adjustment she made, and what went into any decision, such as timing the trigger shot. She only had me go in twice for monitoring. During the consultation she raved about my AMH and how many follicles I had for my age, and that I wouldn't have to worry about more than one cycle of freezing--so why would it not occur to her to say something when only 6 eggs were responding? I really don't even know if she actually paid any attention, and when I saw her after the retrieval, she was totally oblivious and had to look up my results.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Vicki Schnell at CORM?
Don't go. If you feel anything is a warning signal about her professionalism or preparation, believe your gut. She's nice and personable, but that means nothing in terms of actual outcomes. The moment she brushes off a comment or concern, or rushes through an explanation, you should believe what you heard and leave.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Vicki Schnell at CORM?
At first I felt like a human, but that stopped once I was into the cycle and about to start stimulation. My baseline was done by a trainee without me knowing, then a trainer entering halfway through, not introducing themself, and both talking about technique while taking a really long time as if I wasn't even there, or they weren't using my vagina and ovaries. There was no result communicated, verbally or electronically. Later, once I started stimulation, I never heard from the doctor and never got information about the results of ultrasounds and blood testing--info about sizes were posted on the portal, but I had no understanding of the numbers and they were never explained. There was no nurse or doctor available during my ultrasounds, and only a follow up call from the nurse with instructions, but no info on what was happening with my eggs or what it meant. I asked multiple times by leaving a message with nurse triage (the only way to reach them) about the results, and only once on pressing the issue did the nurse give me a set of numbers (size) that explained nothing. I only went in for monitoring twice. When I called with questions about meds or anything, I'd sometimes get an impatient nurse who said things like "you should know how to mix medications by now"…even though I had been told I'd receive another training before the trigger shot. Another doctor performed the retrieval (expected) and literally stopped in the door for 3 seconds, said hi and asked no questions and offered no info, and I never saw him again. They booked me a follow up with the doc who did the procedure but who wasn't my doctor. When I told them he wasn't my doctor, they booked a followup with my doctor a full 3 weeks later. Because I was experiencing a lot of dizziness a week later, they had me come in early and I told the doctor all my concerns, but then I was referred to a customer care person and never again had any interaction with any doctors. They kept making me repeat all the things that were problematic (agreeing that all of it was problematic), collecting information for "quality control" but in the end did nothing to actually benefit me. Oh, and of course the lack of info about my ultrasound results were suspicious because I expected a much higher number of eggs, so when they saw that wasn't panning out, you'd think they'd tell me something. But since I never saw my Doctor once I'd started stimulation, and she didn't seem to be paying a whole lot of attention to my case, there was never any such information shared with me, or any discussions about what I'd like to do.
Describe the protocols Vicki Schnell used in your cycles at CORM and their degree of success.
There were no rationales offered to me, and no info once I started stimulation. After first ultrasound (I started with 300 units Gonal F), I was to increase gonal f to 450 units daily. Didn't do another ultrasound until the 4th day after that, when I was told to trigger the next day. Met no actual nurses or doctors that whole time. There was no rationale given.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
There was one who was incredibly thorough and kind but I never met her and only communicated with her by Skype and email for information. The ones I dealt with once the cycle started were random and non-communicative, and one was even callous when answering my request for instructions.
Describe your experience with CORM.
You might deal with completely different people each time. It doesn't seem they communicate well amongst themselves, and they definitely don't communicate with you. The doctor is hardly present in the most stressful parts (i.e., the whole cycle). They would claim that "they always" do this or that, but don't. For example, I was given a quick review of how to do the trigger shot with the rest of my medicine training, but told they always go over that before I'd have to do it--never went over it, and I was shamed for calling nurse triage for information. I felt like I was bothering them.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Vicki Schnell at CORM.
$7500 for the egg freezing procedure. $40 for first appt (copay). Some copays on initial testing. Medication was purchased elsewhere.
What specific things went wrong at CORM?
- Lost appointments
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to order appropriate test
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information