Describe your experience with Fertility Specialists of Texas.
I don't think any clinic is perfect, and this one is no exception. At one point, I found myself being repeatedly put on hold for 20 minutes. But I complained and was put through to the office manager, and that never happened again. Occasionally, the nurses can get overwhelmed and you can fall through the cracks - you don't get timely information or you realize something in your protocol isn't accurate. That is certainly the exception, not the norm. Overall, the staff was really good. But you definitely have to take an active role in your own care and stay on top of things. I also had multiple wonky billing issues - At one point I found I had a credit by happenstance. It was a total fluke I found out about it, and yet every appointment I had to keep telling them I didn't owe anything. I don't know how often they reconcile their books, but when they do, they aren't good about informing the patients. I also had a few surprise bills where "all-inclusive" packages didn't include a few things that weren't disclosed. I will say that these are all minor issues that popped up. In the year and a half I've been going to the clinic, almost everything went smoothly, and when it didn't the clinic was usually apologetic and wanted to make things right. There are some staff members that are absolutely awesome so I just made sure to use those people as my points of contact!
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
Dr. Goldstein has a huge heart. He takes the time to see his patients directly even when it's not necessary. You can tell it's so important to him that patients end up with a take-home baby. His personality is a little different - but it's because he's so smart and thinking all the time - but the warmth that comes through from his is evident.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
Jeanette - a nurse and the surrogacy coordinator - is the absolute best. She's smart, responsive, and compassionate. Her information was always timely and accurate. I can't say enough good things about her.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
- Provided conflicting information
How was your experience with Jerald Goldstein?
Dr. Goldstein is very smart and thinks about multiple things at once. That can come across as scatter-brained and can make it difficult to pin him down to get answers. BUT if you're patient with him about getting all the answers, he will take the time to get you all the information you need. He truly wants his patients to have all the information, and he's even made time to see me when I didn't have an appointment. He is such a cheerleader for you and isn't afraid of changing course if something is working. He will also take into account the patient's preference. For example, my surrogate had used a medication before that she liked. He typically doesn't prescribe it but since she had had no issues with it before, he didn't mind including it in her protocol this time. He's truly interested in making his practice better. I had switched from another doctor in the practice - one that I was very unhappy with. That doctor had a very warm personality but failed on multiple fronts. Dr. Goldstein really wanted to take the time to understand what I was unhappy about. He even spent time going over his colleague's protocol and told me what he would have done differently. There was no defensiveness on his part, even though he practiced with the other doctor, which I really appreciated. I finally feel very confident in our choice of fertility specialist.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Jerald Goldstein?
He's brilliant. But you have to be patient/persistent in getting answers to your questions because he can get lost on tangents. But you won't regret choosing him as your doctor.
Describe the protocols Jerald Goldstein used in your cycles and their degree of success.
I had two egg retrieval cycles with my prior RE, who practices with Goldstein. The first cycle ended with no healthy embryos. The second cycle ended with only two. The only difference in medication in the two cycles was the addition of human growth hormone and the upping the dosage of Menopur by quite a bit. When Dr. Goldstein looked at the results and the protocol prescribed by his colleague, he said that he would have significantly changed my medications because it was clear that my body didn't respond to them the first round. I felt like Dr. Goldstein had a lot more tools in his toolbox to choose from than did my prior doctor.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Jerald Goldstein.
Our egg retrievals were part insurance, part out of pocket. I'm honestly not sure we saved any money by using insurance because our portion was so high. Cash pay might have been cheaper.
We are now using a gestational carrier. It is $5000 per FET cycle. That doesn't include her initial medical clearance or her medications. That does include a surrogacy coordination fee, which some clinics charge separately. I've been very happy with the surrogacy coordinator there. She's the best.