How was your experience with William Schoolcraft?
The experience of being Dr. Schoolcraft’s patient isn’t what might be expected as the patient of an assigned doctor. I had almost no interaction with him outside of a ~15 minute phone call that felt more like a business development get-you-in-the-door call than anything specifically related to my chart or my care. In that meeting he pitched that the CCRM lab would have significantly better results than my previous clinic, but that proved to not be the case.
In a much later phone call about starting a second cycle, I spent $250 for the call, which lasted under 5 minutes because he admitted he had not looked my chart and therefore didn’t have much to say.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of William Schoolcraft?
If you go to Dr. Schoolcraft you must be prepared to have almost zero interaction with him. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to have some strategy conversations with him, but in my experience I spoke with him on the consultation call, and saw him once for a few minutes, but had no interaction with him from that point on (he didn’t do my retrieval, wasn’t there for complications after retrieval, and never did a debrief to discuss the disappointing results of the cycle).
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
I definitely felt like a number. Even just calling and trying to get ahold of a human on the phone you’ll get that sense -- it was standard to spend 20 minutes on hold just to eventually leave a voice mail message that you hoped would get answered in the next 24 hours. There are some medical facilities that have high volume, but still manage to get you where you need to go quickly (usually to a real human who sees your chart and can answer a question or direct you where you need to go), but this wasn’t the case here.
Some of the systems they had in place seemed designed to overlook individuals. For example, before my cycle started my nurse coordinator had a medical issue that meant she wouldn’t be working for the entirety of my cycle. That wouldn’t have been problematic, but the CCRM policy was to not assign a new nurse coordinator, and just let me rely on whichever nurse was around to answer questions. This inevitably meant things fell through the cracks -- I complained and they did give me a new primary nurse, but the fact that it’s set up this way is telling.
Describe the protocols William Schoolcraft used in your cycles and their degree of success.
Cycle before stimulation, both partners did doxycycline 2x per day for 10 days. Used home ovulation predictor kits, 10 days after LH surge was detected in the kits started Vivelle 0.1 mg patches every other day, Day 11 post LH surge started Cetrotide 0.25 mg until Day 13 after surge.
At start of stim cycle, began with 2 vials of Menopur in morning and 300 units Gonal-F + Dexamethasone in evening. Believe dosage was increased significantly but can’t find specifics.
Believe trigger was 2500 hCG & 0.8mL of Lupron twice.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
I started off with a great nurse, but unfortunately she had a medical issue and had to take a leave. After that I got bounced around to a few different nurses, and eventually ended up having most of my care handled by Jill Radke. The experience was mediocre. I often found it very difficult to get in touch with someone from the nursing staff, which led to concrete issues. For example, a nurse is supposed to call you in the afternoon after testing to give you an updated stimulation protocol. On more than one occasion I had that call not come through, and when I tried to call back I couldn’t reach someone. I eventually would speak with someone after hours who didn’t have access to my electronic medical record from her home, so just told me to inject whatever I injected the night before. Given the amount we were paying and the importance of the cycle, this obviously didn’t feel like good care.
During the pre and post operation experience at retrieval I had very bad nursing experiences. There were several issues, a few examples of which: they said they would send me home with antibiotics which they did not, and they sent me home with incorrect discharge instructions that resulted in a later complication.
The biggest problem I ran into with the nursing team came post op (I’ll cover it in the clinic experience section).
Describe your experience with CCRM Colorado.
They might have a great lab, but if the systems aren’t in place to make sure that patients can smoothly and safely make it through a cycle that’s a big problem. In my experience I found it did not seem that there was real oversight over my case or case management, both from a macro level and at a detailed level. I experienced several issues of clinic disorganization that were not only stressful but had the potential to impact my cycle. A small example was slipping through the cracks and never hearing protocol updates, then not being able to reach someone to give me accurate stimulation protocol information.
The biggest issue I encountered was with a post-retrieval complication. I had very severe symptoms and was not seen by a doctor. I was seen by a nurse who did not consult my chart (which would, in retrospect, have given her real clues as to what was going on). They very flippantly treated me as if all women must just be a little crazy post retrieval and didn’t take my concerns seriously, which led to a dangerous situation and eventual hospitalization.
Describe the costs associated with your care under William Schoolcraft.
Not including testing and medications (which added up to several thousand dollars), total due to the clinic at the time of starting medications was $22,435. I didn’t realize at the time that this included the fees for a transfer even though we weren’t planning on an immediate transfer.
2014 “IVF cycle package”: $13,480
PGS chromosomal screening for 4 embryos: $6,875
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
- Failed to consider drug intolerance