In India though the trend is changing, patients still go to doctors believing they are Gods.
The assumption is that patients themselves are not aware about their body and Doctors have some super power with which they are able to reverse a particular condition, or lessen the pain. What’s more sad is, these patients are very educated and successful in their career, but refuse to read and learn about their health issues.
Most of the times patients go to a particular doctor only because they know that doctor (either through their family or friend). This combined with their reluctance to ask questions, they BLINDLY follow the doctor’s advice.
With increased awareness and articles like this, now patients need to learn to get EMPOWERED. It’s their body, it’s their right to know, ask questions to doctors, and make an informed decision of how to proceed with the treatment.
Today’s article is inline with the same subject of how to choose or change your fertility specialist. There are these following questions that you should ask yourself and if you answer most of them as ‘often’, you should go ahead with either a second opinion or best, change your doctor.
Does your doctor give you enough time to discuss, consult and answer your queries? Obviously not hundreds of them, but initially in start of the treatment, patients often have many queries to understand the process. As the treatment moves ahead, usually the questions reduces as the patient now understands the procedure better.
Does the doctor discusses each report with you, or they are for the doctor only? It is important that the patient has paid money for the tests recommended by the same doctor, doctor at least should spend time with the patient explaining why that test was required and what is the outcome and how does it impact the treatment further.
- Medical File
Does the doctor demand that they keep the file with them or wants you to have a copy or the file with you?. In my experience, I have seen some doctors being very shy and conservative and do not want patients to take the reports with them. They either fear they go to another doctor or underestimate patient knowledge to comprehend them. Either reason is not a justification for doctor to keep the reports.
- Rationalization of treatment options
No one treatment can ever be the only option for any couple. If your doctor insists there are no options but one, think twice. Criteria like cost, availability of procedure or technology, doctors expertise, limitation of one of the partners, etc will decide the different treatment options that can be considered.
Does the doctor show you on the scan machine the number of follicles.? It is important that you ask and seek information regarding the number of follicles you make on each side. Corroborate this with number of embryos and you would be able to judge if you got a fair treatment. Usually follicle to embryo ratio should be more than 70% and in good clinics even higher.
- Embryo details
This probably becomes the key area in IVF treatments. Earlier, doctors would never share the details of the embryos with patient. With increasing transparency and patient right, it is imperative to share every detail of embryo (quality, grade, numbers, etc.).
- Possible outcomes
There are varied outcomes of a standard treatment option. You need to be aware of the possibilities, the success rate, ratio of failure, and probable complications. If doctor starts behaving like God, and expects you to absorb and suffer with good and bad outcomes, it’s time to run.
Does your doctor give your name to other patients or other patients names to you for reference? It is indeed a good sign if the doctor is able to share the details, that shows patient doctor confidence. Legally, remember the doctor cannot share or give your details to anyone without the patient’s consent.
- Patient reviews
Go online, read about the doctor. Stick out to read negative reviews. These are the areas where you could find out if your concerns match with the one other patients are also upset.
So whatever reasons you may choose, do not let yourself or your spouse or your treatment be affected due to the notions, beliefs our friends and family may have set in. Do not let fears and conservative attitude affect the treatment outcomes.
Be rational, be right, seek right, and get what you pay for.