Before you take that first step and make an appointment with an RE, you might appreciate a preview of what to expect. The following describes this important first visit, which we officially call a New Consultation visit.
In my practice, the couple will sit across from me and we’ll spend about an hour together. Sometimes it’s just the wife who comes by herself and other times, both partners are present. There are several goals to accomplish for this visit:
I get to know the couple. I find out what their daily lives are like, what their priorities are with regards to fertility treatment and what their specific concerns and special needs might be.
The couple gets to know me. They get a feel of my communication style and my philosophies regarding the doctor-patient partnership. Some doctors are very dictatorial, meaning they pretty much call the shots regarding what happens. Generally, my style is different. I like to present options including the pros and cons of each alternative. After going over this in detail, then I’ll reveal which choice I would personally lean towards, but I prefer to let the couple make their own choice. However, it all depends on what the patient’s want. Some patients clearly don’t want to discuss the logic behind each decision, but would rather just leave it all up to me.
I gather all the medical information though questions and answers, as well as via an ultrasound examination plus review of any previous records or test results.
I offer treatment choices. Sometimes, there are a couple choices, all of which are reasonable. Then, as I previously mentioned, we’ll go over the plus’s and minus’s of each route before deciding on the final plan to take. Other times, there’s really only one best plan. In this case, we will spend time going over this process in detail, making sure to tackle all the questions that come up.
In the next post, we’ll describe an example of the paperwork involved in a New Patient Consultation visit.