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Advocacy, Direction & Guidance

Appointments with a fertility doctor can be stressful. Developing a positive, collaborative relationship with your physician is critically important and it is essential that you make the most of every appointment. Given how high the stakes are, it is understandable that patients sometimes become so overwhelmed that they forget to ask important questions and later fail to recall what was said. This can also be an issue for patients when they interact with egg donor agencies, surrogacy agencies, frozen egg banks or frozen sperm banks. The stress often does not end with the first interaction and continues as the process unfolds. At Empowered IVF™ we understand this and provide Advocacy Services throughout your journey to reduce your anxiety and help you walk away from your appointments and your IVF cycle feeling confident, satisfied and in control.

We help you to:

  • Arrange and Prepare For the Initial Consultation With Your Physician
    • Secure an initial consultation as quickly as possible;
    • Properly organize your medical records so that your doctor will be able to review them with ease;
    • Write an effective cover letter to your doctor, which will accompany your records, summarize your history and highlight important details about your case;
    • Prepare for appointments in advance as if they are business meetings by developing a concise "agenda" with topics you wish to cover in order of importance;
    • Formulate a list of important questions to ask for each "agenda" item in order of priority;
    • Understand which questions are appropriate for your doctor and which questions should be reserved for a nurse or other staff member; and
    • Understand what you should be able to reasonably expect from a doctor who is a good communicator.
  • Develop a Positive and Collaborative Relationship With Your Physician
    • Become a concise, confident and articulate communicator when interacting with your doctor at appointments;
    • Establish a mutually respectful and collaborative rapport with your doctor from the outset;
    • Get all of your questions answered in what are often brief appointments;
    • Ask your doctor tough questions without appearing confrontational;
    • Retain all of the information your doctor provides at appointments so that you can review and digest it in the privacy of your home;
    • Seek clarification when you do not understand words, medical terms or concepts the doctor has used;
    • Secure a longer appointment than usual to get detailed answers to complex questions;
    • Get your phone calls returned in between appointments so that you can get answers to questions that cannot wait;
    • Get your doctor to communicate with your other doctors when necessary;
    • Ensure that a doctor with a large practice will remember who you are;
    • Approach your doctor with information found online;
    • Get your doctor's feedback on complimentary or alternative therapies;
    • Leave your appointment with a clear sense of which mutually agreed upon goals are to be accomplished prior to the next visit and an understanding of what will happen next;
    • Improve communication with your doctor if there is a breakdown in communication or a misunderstanding; and
    • Get your nurse to provide personalized assistance in connection with your treatment.
  • Secure a Second Opinion When Necessary
    • Recognize when a second opinion is necessary; and
    • Ask for your records so that you can give them to a doctor who will provide a second opinion, without burning bridges with your original doctor.
  • Resolve Billing Issues
    • Recognize when a billing error has been made; and
    • Work amicably with the Finance Department at the fertility clinic, egg donor agency, surrogacy agency, frozen egg bank or frozen sperm bank where the error occurred to resolve it.
  • Prepare Effectively for Consultations With Egg Donor Agencies, Surrogacy Agencies, Egg Banks and Sperm Banks
    • Understand signs of rigour and professionalism in advance of your first contact;
    • Prepare for your first phone consultations or in person meetings in advance as if they are business meetings by developing a concise "agenda" with topics you wish to cover in order of importance; and
    • Formulate a list of important questions to ask for each "agenda" item in order of priority.

At Empowered IVF™, we also:

  • Participate as Your Advocate During Consultations With Fertility Doctors, Egg Donor Agencies, Surrogacy Agencies, Egg Banks and Sperm Banks and Throughout the Duration of Your Cycle
    • Participate in your consultations and appointments (in person or by conference telephone) to hear firsthand what the doctor / agency / bank has to say, ask questions and advocate on your behalf when necessary, and take detailed notes of what is said;
    • Meet with you following your appointments (in person, by phone or via Skype) to help you analyze your options as you make important decisions about the path you will choose; and
    • Accompany you to the fertility clinic as your cycle unfolds to provide advocacy and support when necessary.
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