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Are you getting the best possible Infertility treatment from your doctor? Changing your infertility doctor is often a challenging task due to the rapport that is already developed with the current doctor.
However, getting a second opinion is recommended; here are some useful tips to evaluate the service you are getting and how to shift to a more efficient solution.
A common problem we have seen is that many infertile patients are very reluctant to change doctors, even when they are unhappy with their present doctor. Often this is because they prefer being passive and refuse to take matters in their own hands - "better the known devil than the unknown one".
Some feel that their present doctor knows all their medical details, even though he may not be very competent, and they do not want to take the time and trouble to explain their problem all over again to a new doctor.
They often don't even have copies of their medical tests and treatments, because many doctors refuse to give these to patients, so as to "hold on" to their patients. Unfortunately, this passive attitude means that you are depriving yourself of getting the best medical care, and reducing your chances of conceiving.
Changing doctors is never easy, because, over a period of time you do build up a personal relationship with your doctor. However, you should consider changing doctors if you feel that :
Many patients are worried that if they go to a new doctor, he will insist on repeating all the tests all over again. While this can be frustrating and expensive, it can be helpful as well, because it allows the doctor to reassess your problem with a fresh perspective.
Please ask your doctor to explain why he needs to repeat the tests, and how this will help in your treatment. If tests have already been done, but are more than a year old, or if they have been done from an unreliable lab, you may need to repeat some of these again.
Many doctors will repeat exactly the same treatment the previous doctor has administered - often because they have nothing better to offer! However, remember that even though you have changed your doctor, you have remained the same - and the purpose of changing doctors should be to allow you to progress further with your treatment.
The Best Line of Action
Get a second opinion - this can never hurt and is always helpful. If you find two experts saying the same thing then you know you are on the right track! If, on the other hand, they disagree, don't get upset - there are few black and white areas in infertility, and doctors often have different ways of treating a particular problem. Ask questions of both of them and then choose the method which appeals to you - it's finally your decision!
When to Find Another Doctor
What if you don't understand what the doctor is saying and are getting confused? This is not your fault. If you do not understand anything the doctor says - ask questions! If you still do not understand the fault is his - he is not explaining in terms which you can follow. Find another doctor!
Remember that you need to ask questions to get answers - your doctor cannot read your mind! But also remember that your doctor does not have all the answers - after all, medicine is still an imperfect science, and your doctor is not a fortune-teller. If he does not know the answer, he should tell you this as well.
The Right Way to Consult
How do we do a consultation in our practice:
Remember that the purpose of a consultation is to get information. If you do your homework before going, you will be able to make better use of your doctor's time, since you can focus on the issues which are important to you. You then need to go home and process this information, so you can decide what to do.
It's very difficult to think straight when you are sitting in front of the doctor, so it's usually a good idea to give yourself enough time to apply your mind and assimilate the information, before making a decision. There is usually no urgency, since infertility treatment is never an emergency. Beware of a doctor who wants you to decide on the spot - it's hard to do so under pressure, and you may end up making a decision in haste, which you may then repent at leisure.