A number of patients who have done IVF at another clinic do come to me for a consultation or treatment. The manner in which they have responded to the treatment they have gone through earlier gives me very valuable information about what the treatment protocol for them should be. When they come in for their consultation, I ask them a number of questions, such as:

  • What were the meds used for superovulation?
  • What dosage had been used?
  • What was the number of follicles you grew?
  • How many eggs had been collected?
  • What was the E2 (estradiol) level in the blood?
  • How many embryos had been transferred?
  • What was the quality of the embryo?
  • Do you have any photos of your embryos?
  • What was the thickness of the endometrium?
  • Can you please show me the printed treatment summary from your IVF clinic?

Read moreWhat can I do if my IVF doctor does not show me photos of my embryos?

When is ask patients all these questions, most of them throw me a very blank look. I know that many wonder how I expect them to know the answers to all these questions – they aren’t doctors now, are they? They are just patients after all. There are some who just get very defensive and say that their doctor didn’t tell them anything and they the clinic didn’t provide any printed records. Some have told me that their clinics kept copies of their records, but that they didn’t give the patient anything.

The only thing that I’d like to say at this point is that any clinic that doesn’t keep their patient in the loop and doesn’t think it necessary to give the patient a summary of their IVF cycle, is definitely a bad clinic. This is something which should be done as a matter of routine. So, while this lapse reflects poorly on the doctor that provided the treatment, it’s also indicative of the fact that the patient hasn’t been particular either.

Read moreWhy don't patients ask for their IVF medical records?  

A matter of ignorance

Saying that the doctor didn’t give you a copy of the records, isn’t really a good answer. It’s your right to get a copy of these records; even more than that, it’s your responsibility too. And if you haven’t got a copy, you are as much at fault as the doctor is. Sure, you can’t change the way someone else behaves or acts, but you do have control over your own actions and behavior. There are some things that have to fall in place, and the things you should be focusing on are:

  • Whether the doctor gives you a copy of your consultation sheet
  • Do you get a copy of all your lab tests?
  • Have you seen all the other patients with their records?
  • When you visit the clinic for the first time, ask what policy they follow with regards to medical documentation
  • If your doctor isn’t willing to give you your medical records once your treatment is over (because he doesn’t want you to consult another doctor or ask for a second opinion), then its time you asserted yourself. It’s important that you give him a written request for a copy of your medical records. A copy should be sent to the hospital administrator as well
  • In case no reply is forthcoming from them, you should ask your lawyer to write the letter on your behalf. This is guaranteed to produce results

Read more-Why do doctors hold on to their patient’s medical records?

Not happy with the attention you are getting from your IVF clinic? Need more information? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you!

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

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