I'm an IVF specialist , and when our patients get pregnant , they ask us to refer them to an obstetrician. The commonest question is, "Which obstetrician should we go to?" This is completely reasonable - after all , they trust me, and want me to refer them to a good doctor. Now , these obstetricians are my colleagues and friends, but I'm very reluctant to tell them whom to go to.
To get good care from the obstetrician during pregnancy, the most important ingredient is the doctor- patient relationship, and the chemistry between the two should be just right. Rather than give them a name, this is the process I tell them to follow.
"Just assume for a moment that the technical competence of most gynecologists who have the right professional qualification is comparable . The key is that you need to find a doctor whom you feel is right for you. Make a short-list of at least two doctors . You can do this by doing a google search, or asking your friends for recommendations. You then need to interview both these doctors. Pay for a consultation , and then pick which one you prefer . "
Do you like the ambience ? Is it close by ? Is parking easily available ? How communicative is the doctor ? How friendly is the staff ? Do the other patients in the reception area look happy ? How long do they make you wait ? What vibes do you get ? This should give you enough information to be able to pick and choose the one who is right for you."
"If you're still not sure , ask both of them this one question. "Why should I come to you as compared to going to doctor X?" Some doctors may take offense at this question , and that in itself is a red flag. After all , this is a perfectly valid question to ask , and patients do deserve an answer.
A good doctor will be happy to answer, and the right response is, "Yes, Doctor X is a good doctor , and there are lots of other doctors who will also take good care of you. However, I feel this is what makes us better. " This thoughtful response shows that he is mature; will not bad-mouth other doctors ; and is service oriented and keen to have you as a patient. This is the kind of doctor who you are likely to be happy with.
You can use the same framework when you are trying to select the best IVF doctor as well !

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

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