Empowered Choices: The Critical Role of Patient Education in IVF Decision-Making
July 19, 2023

The role of patient education in IVF is crucial but is often misunderstood. When we tell patients to become IVF experts, it's not that you need to learn embryology, or you how to do IVF in their own bedroom! What we mean is that patients need to know just enough about IVF to be able to differentiate between a good IVF doctor and a bad IVF doctor.

The difference between a good patient and a bad patient is their ability to find the right doctor by being able to differentiate between good doctors and bad doctors. The trouble is that there are far more bad doctors than there are good doctors, and sadly, most patients are not well-informed or proactive about selecting doctors. They will end up going to the IVF doctor with the biggest brand name; the fanciest clinic; the one who works in the biggest hospital; the one who charges the most money; or the one whom their family doctor or gynecologist sends them to. Some select the clinic based on someone whom they know and trust who happened to have a baby at that particular clinic.

But these are terrible ways of selecting a doctor. You need to select a doctor based on knowing exactly what the doctor can do for you – and the only way you can know this is by being well-informed about the treatment medical details so that you can identify when a doctor is making tall promises and peddling bullshit because they want you to pay them their fat fees! Yes, there are lots of bad doctors, but the only reason there are so many bad doctors is because there are so many bad patients because these patients allow doctors to get away with all kinds of rubbish. And the reality is that if patients took a little more intelligent interest in their own treatment by investing in information therapy, all bad doctors would get out of business very soon. And this would be very good for good doctors - and very good for patients as well. This is why it's important that patients learn to be proactive and stop thinking of themselves as being dummies.

They need to stop putting doctors on a pedestal. And this means that you need to do your own homework, so you understand what’s happening, and don’t get taken for a ride. No, it’s enough to go to Dr Google, because you'll definitely get lost! What this means is that you need to be able to think critically , and go to reliable websites such as! You may need to do this multiple times , until the medical jargon starts making sense to you, so you will be confident in your ability to differentiate between someone who's selling you a lot of hype and hot air just because they want to make money , or a doctor who has your back and who's willing to tell you the truth and will share realistic expectations with you. There is too much at stake for you not to do this properly.

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.