Friday, July 31, 2009

Switching RE's

I've been reflecting on our experience with our RE, and have wavered back and forth about switching...although I am always leaning towards leaving. When we made our first appointment back in March, I chose this clinic because it is the only local one. They also have great SART scores and an excellent reputation, so I figured we should start at the "easy" place to go. We said at that time that if we were unhappy there, we would definitely switch even if that meant driving.

I guess we're at that point, and I'm thankful we can leave after having only one cycle invested there.

One thing I do not understand at all is that after having such a TERRIBLE experience there, I discovered that not only to they have "great" scores, they are pretty much the #1 clinic (based on scores) and see LOTS of patients. Their main office is in the Big City 2 hours away from me, and they have multiple satellite offices...including one in my town. How can they be "the best" when we have found them to be disorganized, vague, and difficult to communicate with?

After discovering this, I started to wonder if the problem was me, not the clinic. Maybe I had too high of expectations for them? Maybe I'm just a really stressed out and difficult patient? My FIL started helping me research clinics in the Big City yesterday, and he even pointed out that our current RE appears to be "the best," and if we get pregnant by going to him who cares about bedside manner? And part of me agrees. I want a competent doctor, not necessarily someone who holds my hand. But the issue was not JUST bedside manner, it was lack of attention to me or my cycle, poor communication all around, and not feeling like they proved themselves to be competent. Even if they do have "the best" scores.

Also, I do know that DH and I are not typically the kind of people to complain. I don't like to rock the boat. We tend to stay with the same doctors, insurance agents, etc. We're really not that picky. So I think the fact that DH and I felt so strongly about leaving says a lot and I think we just need to leave.

I started looking at SART scores, and it was fairly discouraging to see that my current RE really does surpass almost all of the MANY clinics in the Big City by far. And IVF is not totally off the table (I think?), so I want to factor SART scores into my decision. How could I leave a clinic with 50+% live births to go to one with 30%? I began to feel stuck.

But then I found one I had overlooked! It has great scores almost equal to the current clinic, and rave reviews on a webboard I looked at (unlike my current RE, which made me feel a little vindicated). Everything on their website sounds like exactly what I am looking for, and I went to bed last night that I had at least found an option.

But, hopefully, I won't need that option! :)

If you have switched RE's, do you have any tips for making the transition as smooth as possible?

Also, if anyone is in the southern part of CA, I would love to hear where you go! Email me at :) Also, if you're anywhere near me it would be so fun to meet a blogging friend someday!


Kelli said...

I hope you don't have to switch RE's either!! When I did, I had my first office print out my records and mail them to me so I could make a copy for myself and then take them to the new office.

I wish I could afford a plane ticket from South Florida to Southern California...I could use a lunch/pedi date with you right about now.

Anonymous said...

You will so want to read my next post!

I am on RE #4!

Melissa said...

i don't have any experience switching RE's but i do know that if you're unhappy with them now, just wait until you do something more than clomid and you have to be there even more....I switched obgyn's while 34 weeks pregnant. i wish that i had switched sooner. Even if they have excellent scores i don't think that you should be telling the nurse/doctor where you are in your cycle or what your issues are, they are PAID to be knowledgeable about that.

my 2 cents.

GAH! i don't live in CA anymore :/ although i do love MN

I hope this cycle works and that you don't have to find a new RE ;)

Caroline said...

Hi Hillary,

I switched REs for pretty much the same reasons that you mentioned. The first RE was nice enough, but difficult to communicate with and we also felt he was too busy to really care whether we fell pregnant or not. In short, I felt like a statistic not a patient.

I decided to go to a "trial" appointment with a new RE before making the decision to change. DH and I discussed the issues we had with the new RE, and felt much more positive with the new RE.

I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad that I changed REs. The new RE made me feel much more relaxed because I knew that she cared and was doing the best to communicate with us and work with us as a team.

So if you have any doubts about your current RE, I would highly recommend booking a trial with a new RE before making a decision. You may find (like me) that you never look back and are so glad that you left.

Good luck with your decision sweetie!

PS As an afterthought, an RE is someone that you may have a long relationship with. Hopefully you will fall pregnant quickly but often it can be a long journey. It is good to find someone early on that you trust and can work well with.

K8e said...

It sounds like switching is a good idea! Your medical team needs to be one you trust and feel like they care about you. I can't think of a more important doctor to feel this way about. I hope you like your new RE!

Amanda said...

I agree that switching was the right thing to do given that total lack of care on their part. And I'm glad that it appears that you've found a really good clinic to switch to.

With your new clinic, I would highly recommend turning into 'rock the boat' kind of patients if you don't feel your needs are being met. If you're not happy, say something, loudly, to anyone who will listen. It also helps to learn as much about how your clinic operates as you can. This will help you to navigate the waters more smoothly and anticipate possible problems ahead of time. You'll need to know things like: How many RE's, will I work with the same RE or will they switch off, what about nurses and blood draws, hours, get to know the receptionists and the ultrasound techs... you can learn a lot from these people. Understand how a clinic 'works' will help you to feel more in control. I think starting with any clinic where the dr doesn't know you/your body/your needs makes for a difficult time and hopefully you can overcome this quickly with your next clinic and have more positive experiences.

Anyhow, I hope this cycle works and you can cancel your next appointment.

Erica said...

:( I'm all the way on the east coast. NJ actually. Too bad, I would have loved to have met you IRL.

Okay, so here's my assvice on switching RE's. First, if you get pregnant this cycle you might want to stay with them for the remaining 4 weeks. Usually RE's offices let you go by 8-10 weeks along. If you don't happen to get pregnant this cycle, my advice is to switch. I was terrified to do so because I started to get comfortable with my RE and my nurse, even though they sucked beyond anything I'll be able to explain. But the bottom line was: their incompetence with the entire process was slowly killing my hope and sanity. Sure they had good SART numbers, but they lacked what I needed most due to my personality. I needed an RE who took the time to know me, understand how AWFUL this was for me and my DH, and who realized that the only option for me was to become a mother. Period. We found another place with great SART numbers, but smaller. Loved it. They saved me. Everyone in the office knew my freaking name and asked, genuinely, how I was each time I walked through the door. My first RE was a big Philadelphia hospital. They SUCKED! So, trust your instincts. I truly hope you don't need to switch 'cause you get a BFP, but if the stars don't align here, give yourself the best shot you can at another place. Oh, and if you want a head start (just in case) ask your current RE's office to get you a copy of all medical records and tests. That can take up to a few weeks, but you may get it sooner if you're a good negotiator. :)

Good luck!!! And thanks for the love on my most recent post. I'm feeling better today.

A said...

I hope you don't have to worry about switching, either! I don't have any experience with switching RE's, but it seems like you got some great advice above. Praying for you!!

Jess said...

It isn't you or your husband! From what I see from your blog, you are a sweetheart! It is the clinic, they stink in my opinion! Go with your gut. I have seen 3 other OB's until I found my current wonderful doctor. These are people who you have to feel comfortable with. My last OB came highly recommended by 4 of my friends, but I couldn't stand him nor did I think he gave me the care that I deserved.

Nichole said...

Personally, I think you should change RE's. If you had such a bad experience with them last time, I think it is definitely time to move on. I wish I would have changed Gyn's a LONG time ago! I wasted so much time there and was so stressed out. It was such a relief to walk out of that office and know that was the last time I would ever have to endure their crap.
Hang in there! I hope you find the perfect RE for you!

ryanandjoesmom said...

Finally catching up and your last few posts have been breaking my heart. Nobody, especially a medical professional where you are putting your complete trust, should be treating you how you and your husband are being treated. I pray that this IUI takes for you and you won't have to worry about switching, but if not, sounds like it is time that will listen to you and not treat you like an inconvenience. Hang in there and try to stay positive. I know how hard it is.

ryanandjoesmom said...

typed too fast, what i meant to say was that it is time 'to find an RE' that will listen to you and treat you correctly.

Sumer said...

Hey Hillary!! Check out my blog - I tagged you for an award!! One Lovely Blog Award!! I follow your blog and think it is awesome! I should be starting my IVF cycle in September and am glad I found others out there to find comfort in.


Infertility is Hard said...

My advice about the switching RE's, is that if you are going to do it, do it as soon as possible. I waited too long into the process before I took action, and by then, I'd already invested so much money into my RE that it would have been financially devastating to switch.

Good luck with your decision. Thinking of you and praying for you during this 2ww. :-D

Courtney said...

Good luck! I hope you won't need the new RE's office, but if you do I hope it's a smooth transition.

P.S. You have an award on my blog!

The Wife said...

If you're hesitant at all, you should switch. Before I switched I remember thinking "I'll give RE#1 one last chance, 1 more cycle." and in the end all it did was waste time. After switching I just felt more relaxed about what was going on. And that in and of itself helps as well.

April said...

i hate moving in general. i can't imagine that it's easy, but it HAS to be easier than packing up all of your stuff, right? i think that you just ask your current office to copy everything and you take it to the new place. don't even have to hire movers.

and i totally agree with everything that everyone else said. you will be spending a ton of time and money with these people, you should feel like they are working for you, not like you are a bother!


Mrs. Hammer said...

I have no advice on switching RE's nor live anywhere near CA but you will be in my prayers as you make this decision. :)

One Who Understands said...

I think you need to go with your gut. If you want to switch do it. Hopefully this cycle was the one and you wont even have to consider it.

I live in Central CA. Want to come up for a visit?!? The next time I visit my aunt in Nipomo I am going to hit you up. Would be so fun to meet someone who gets all of this junk.