Family doctors and IVF
The most important role of the family doctor is to understand the basic problem and then refer the couple to the right specialist - the IVF clinic which has the best success rates; and can treat patients well.
In these days of superspecialistion, does the family doctor have a role to play in IVF treatment ? In fact, many infertile couples today will directly go to a gynecologist or an infertility specialist and will bypass the general physician / family doctor altogether.
In countries like the NHS, where GPs act as gatekeepers, patients need a referral from their GP to go to an IVF specialist. This means that they cannot do IVF until their GP is convinced that they need this. However, even in India and the USA, where patients usually pay for their own IVF treatment (fee for service) and can self-refer themselves to an IVF specialist, GPs still have a significant role to play.
A good family doctor will :
Unfortunately, because of the entrenched system of cuts and kick backs, GPs will often refer patients to second class IVF clinics for extraneous financial considerations. This can actually end up hurting you, so make sure you do your own homework when you need to select an IVF clinic !