Describe your experience with RMA of New York.
RMA has a good reputation, but they have such a high volume of patients, it's almost impossible to get the fully focused care that you deserve during this process.
The billing department could use improvement with respect to organization and communication. Given the importance of removing stress during fertility treatments, worrying about billing issues is counterproductive to the process. Get to know your billing coordinator and stay on top of them.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
While Dr. Stein is very approachable and willing to answer questions by email, phone or appointment, he does have a very large number of clients (as you would expect from RMA NY). I did not always see him during monitoring and when I did, time was often limited.
Also, while he was very good about tempering expectations, I felt there was a lot of emphasis on only my age and not further exploration of other contributing factors.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
The nursing staff was good. Given the volume of patients, I did not always speak to my primary nurse. I don't even remember her name. They were knowledgeable and responsive but I did not feel like I got focused care.
I was passed between 2 coordinators. So, I never felt that I had direct care as there was always confusion as to which of the 2 should or could respond to me. Again, this took away from focused care.
My best experience was with one of the nurses that drew my blood. Whenever, she was there, she knew my name and expressed compassion. Unfortunately, there were also nurses that drew my blood that were more interested in discussing their weekend plans with other staff than giving me their full attention.
If you go to RMA, make sure they are clear who is your primary nurse and your primary coordinator.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Provided conflicting information
How was your experience with Daniel Stein?
Dr. Stein is an accomplished endocrinologist with a lot of experience. He was referred to me by a few friends / acquaintances who had positive views of him and his practice.
When my first round of IVF did not yield a large number of eggs / embryos, his adjustments for and throughout the second round showed far better results. A third attempt may have been even more promising, but we ultimately chose to move on.
In Dr. Stein's practice, there is not a lot of focus on preparation before cycles or treatment. There was very little advice on nutritional adjustments or supplements. For me, personally, I was looking for more guidance on how to possibly improve my situation from an integrative medicine perspective before jumping into another cycle.
That said, as far as western medicine, I would recommend him to those that are focused on that kind of treatment.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Daniel Stein?
If you have questions, continue to ask them. He can be responsive by email. If not, his office will set up a phone consult.
He is direct and extremely knowledgeable, but I am not sure how much he thinks outside the box.
Describe the protocols Daniel Stein used in your cycles and their degree of success.
In my first IVF cycle, we used the microflare protocol that starts with the birth control pill. Given my work schedule, I was on bcp for a week longer than standard. I had fears that this would over-suppress my ovaries. I wholeheartedly believe that my fears were valid. The amount of eggs retrieved did not match my expectations given antral follicle count from several day 3 observations. Trust your instincts!!
My second IVF cycle, using estrogen priming, yielded far more eggs. However, we opted for PGD and none of our embryos made it to blast even though they made it to day 5. Given my history of miscarriage, it was the right choice to try to test all the embryos at the time. However, for the next cycle, we will try to transfer some fresh embryos.
After speaking to a couple friends that were also patients of Dr. Stein, it seems that we were all started with the microflare protocol. Personally understanding the variations of our circumstances, ages and fertility issues, I am not sure that starting all of us on the same protocol shows much consideration for individual situations. Of course, we don't know if he does this for all patients but it is interesting to note.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments.
Monitoring appointments are only from 7 AM - 9 AM on weekdays. If your monitoring appointment falls on a weekend, you have to go the Eastside office with similar hours.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Daniel Stein.
Standard costs. Other responses here are accurate. Mine were a bit convoluted given he was considered out-of-network for me.