Expectations From Your Clinic – Tell Me Yours!

By on January 24, 2010

Part of what I do for recipient parents other than provide support, and education is listen.

I listen to them tell me what their clinic does and what they don’t do. I listen to them when they share something great, sad or when they have to vent.

In some cases when am asked by the recipient I will be their liaison, advocate, or voice when they feel they aren’t being listened or validated by their clinic.

Most importantly I remind the patient that they their clinics are service providers and should be their partners in having a baby.

What are your expectations from your clinic?

I know mine are pretty simple —

When I register with a clinic I expect them to send for my medical records not me. Switching care providers is never an easy thing and leaving may be uncomfortable. I don’t feel like I have to give my former clinic a laundry list of reasons why I am switching clinics — especially if my experience with them hasn’t been positive.

I expect my clinic to stay on time unless there is some sort of emergency. If my clinic is going to bill me $185.00 for a late or missed appointment then I think I should have the right to bill my clinic my hourly rate when they make me wait due to poor scheduling.

I expect my physician to listen to me when I talk and answer my questions appropriately. I expect my doctor to partner with me. I don’t expect him to rush in, spend all of 10 minutes with me, five of those minutes with my legs in stirrups looking at my uterus on an ultrasound, and then rushing out the door.

I expect my clinic and their schedulers to be smart enough not to schedule my baseline scan the same time as my egg donors. We are under enough stress, I am sure so are our egg donors. The last thing I need is to be in a waiting room and seeing my egg donor on the other side of the room. Awkward!!!

I expect my clinic to find a local monitoring clinic in my area, especially if I am traveling out of state. Please don’t tell me you don’t have enough time or there isn’t enough staff. I haven’t paid you 30+k to hear that. It’s the least you can do.

I expect my clinic’s nursing staff to be kind, courteous, and relay my messages to my doctor in a timely manner. AND — please don’t answer for my doctor. Let him or her make a decision.

If I need to talk to my doctor I expect him to return my telephone calls within 24 hours. My time is just as valuable as his. That means if I have to call the on call doctor after hours that my call be taken seriously.

If I need to speak to my nurse or the egg donor coordinator about a question or concern I expect again to have my telephone calls returned within 24 hours.

I also expect the billing department to do it’s job, provide me with detailed billing statements and be polite when I call and ask for clarification. I also expect consistency in charges. It shouldn’t cost me 400 dollars one time for a baseline ultrasound and 500 dollars the next time without a clear explanation.

In return, I will arrive on time for my appointments. I will be mindful that my doctor has other patients to see during the day besides myself — and in doing so I will make sure my questions are brief and to the point. I will follow my treatment to the letter. I will not self medicate, nor will I change or manipulate my treatment to suit myself. I will not call the clinic 20 times a day and behave as though every call is life or death and an emergency when clearly it’s not. I also will not call the on call doctor in the middle of the night 10 times because I am spotting. I will have listened to my doctor when he shared with me that spotting does sometimes happen and it’s something that can wait until the morning to call about. I will not inundate the clinic staff with 10 emails a day inquiring as to my donors status or if she has remembered to take her daily stim medication.

If there is anything I don’t understand I will as the clinic for clarification — I won’t run to the Internet and pretend to be a doctor, nurse, or embryologist. I will recognize that while the Internet is a great tool my doctor knows my body and my medical situation better than Dr. Google ever will.

I will pay my bill on time, and not have the attitude “I have my baby, I don’t have to pay my bill, what are they doing to do come take my child from me?”

Tell me what are your expectations of your clinic? What do you like about your clinic? Or what would like to see happen differently?

Marna Gatlin

1 Comment
  1. Reply


    March 24, 2010

    I’d like to simply add:

    I expect my clinic to consider what is best for ME and if unsure to ask me. They do not know my financial/emotional situation.

    I expect my clinic to partner with me to develop a treatment plan that makes sense for the clinic and for me. Decisions on what grade of embryos should be frozen, what protocols should be used, should genetic testing be performed even if insurance might not cover. These are conversations to have – not something the doctor or clinic should dictate. If there is strict policies the clinic will honor regardless of client requests, I expect my clinic to be upfront about those policies prior to commitment of funds by me for treatment.

    To be honest, I haven’t yet found the clinic that matches all of my expectations. 😉 But I’m working with the ones that are out there.



Portland, OR

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