A Day in the Life of a Reproductive Endocrinologist


As a blog novice, I suppose it would be prudent for me to search other sites and determine what the “other guys” are blogging about so I could keep up with the rest of the new generation of doctors.   And all day today, I meant to do that.   But surgery lasted a bit longer than I thought and on my way from surgery to the office, I was stopped by a hospital nurse who had just suffered her 4th miscarriages and wanted to talk about what to do.   After about 20 minutes of consoling and visiting, I made it back to the office (and hopefully can help her in the future). 

My first patient was a long term patient who (over the last 8 years) has done 3 cycles of ovulation meds + IUI (inseminations) and is finally (at the age of 41) ready to talk about IVF.   This 20 minute consult lasted an hour.   There are only so many ways to say – “egg quality can decrease with age”.   It’s also very important during these consults to have a lot of Kleenex and compassion on board, too.  Three of my patients who were scheduled to start IVF today had ovarian cysts present.   This, as some of you know, prevents a good quality stimulation and really inhibits a successful IVF cycle.  So, even though these weren’t scheduled, each of them had to be counseled and then go through a cyst drainage in the office.  Thank God for my efficient staff who helped explain to the other patients I was running a bit behind.  

By 12:15, I was able to get to the hospital for my two HSG tests (to check the uterus and fallopian tubes).  Wow. . . one of them (without any symptoms) had a “double uterus” and will need surgery.    Good think I checked.   I made it back to the office to see my wife who informed me that our “Gift of Hope” program applications were way down.   Those of you who know about Gift of Hope know how much this means to us!   So, I had to stop and make phone calls and emails to the hospital to ensure they would get this taken care of quickly.  What?  Oh yeah, I had a disabled 70 year old wheel chair patient in need of a uterine biopsy (as a favor to my partner who felt like I could do this more easily).   This was all before my 1:00 scheduled patient.  

But by 1:15, I’m back on track.   My consults this afternoon were pretty straightforward – infertility consults, endometriosis consult and a “relatively” young Vietnamese woman with ovarian failure.   I know Spanish pretty well, but my Vietnamese is not so fluent.   I had to be very very patient and explain that her ovaries were no longer functioning and she would need an egg donor.  Her sister in law served as a translator and within an hour or so, she understood her predicament.   I think she has a cousin who will donate eggs for her (but I’m not sure that she said “cousin” – guess I’ll find out).   My nurses are patiently waiting for me to make plans for the other patients who came in today as their labs and ultrasounds have all been completed.   Wow. . . it’s already 5 pm!

By the time we have made all of our phone calls, I realize I never took time to see what the other bloggers blog about.   I figure I’ll just wing it.   Periodically, I’ll tackle a subject in the news (“Octomom”, Preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Gender selection) or respond to any subject you all want me to blog about.   This will be a fun way in what is an exciting way to communicate to my patients and to others what the “fertility journey” is all about.  
Dr. S

A Day in a Life

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