Describe your experience with Northwell Health (formerly North Shore Long Island Jewish).
I won't say that it was 100% bad, obviously, but I had so, so many negative experiences there. Overall, there's a widespread customer service issue at that clinic. Some of it is rudeness. Some of it is unprofessionalism.
I had a doctor say something really insensitive to me there, and I felt really lousy when that happened. (The story: I wasn't responding well to the IVF medication, so they kept upping my dose, and I was getting nervous if the cycle would be a bust. So the doctor walks into the room and says to me "boy, aren't you on a lot of medication?!" Why would he say that to me?? Duh, I was on a lot of medication. But it's just not something you say to someone who is stressed out and hormonal and worried they will never be able to have children.)
I also had a hell of a time when I needed to transfer my records. I needed to transfer them twice because I kept moving to new states (and thus new clinics). Every time, it was like pulling teeth to get my records. One time, someone in the office went on vacation, and my records request just sat there on their desk. No one dealt with it. Another time, the records were in a storage facility, and - oops! - the courier forgot to get my records. But, seriously, it was like that over and over and over. Transfering records and transporting embryos was a huge project, like a part-time job, to deal with this clinic. It got so messed up that I wasn't sure if the transport was going to happen. I just can't emphasize enough how bad their office is run. I have called and yelled at the office manager at least a couple of times.
It's just such a shame. They gave me an amazing gift, which was having my children. But I just have such negative memories of that clinic. It's like, it's bad enough to go through infertility, but then to also deal with rude/unprofessional people. I wish I could say they have changed since I was a patient there 6 years ago, but I know from dealing with them more recently (for transferring records and transporting embryos), that they still have major issues over there.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
She was open to my concerns, and addressed them. We had an informative IVF consultation with her where she answered our questions.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
They taught me how to use the medications, which was fine.
Carol (I think her name was) gave me a calendar of the treatment plan, but she explained it to me one week off from what it actually ended up being. I think she was confused. But it was an unfortunate mistake because I ended up scheduling work stuff on what ended up being the wrong week, and later had to cancel my work stuff. (Pretty inconvenient.)
Many of the nurses were nice, but some were not nice. For example, I was once at a satellite clinic in Forest Hills and needed to give a urine sample. They asked me to bring it into the waiting area and wait in line. That seemed embarrassing to me - to hold my cup of pee in front of everyone - so I tried to give it to them via a side door. They refused. They made me hold my cup of pee in the waiting area, waiting in line.
I was also livid with the nurse Carol when I tried to request my records and transport my embryos (this was years later, when I lived elsewhere). She kept messing up. Like she would e-mail me to the wrong e-mail address. I would call her and she wouldn't call me back, assuming that things worked themselves out. Really unprofessional. Not detail-oriented at all. Meanwhile, I was really stressed out that my embryos wouldn't end up getting transported properly, in time for my cycle. Such a frustrating experience.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Failed to send your chart to another clinic
How was your experience with Mary Rausch?
She is a good doctor - sensitive to my concerns, answered my questions. I feel that she was frank in giving me the likelihood that various procedures would work. The issue was that I didn't see her very often. It was much more often other doctors in the practice.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Mary Rausch?
You need to be open to seeing the other doctors most of the time.
Describe the protocols Mary Rausch used in your cycles and their degree of success.
I had had 2 IUI's (after 2 previous IUI's elsewhere), all unmedicated. We tried Clomid for IUI's, but we cancelled the cycles because I responded to Clomid too much for me to feel comfortable (I didn't want multiples). We reduced the Clomid dose and I still responded too much. So we opted to then move to single embryo transfer IVF. I was lucky to get pregnant on my first cycle.