“I want the holiday card with three of you on it” is what I tell my infertile patients at our first meeting in the office. Even if that visit occurs in February. In fact, this sums up much of what I think about infertility care:
- The solution to infertility is a path that may take time to travel.
- I will travel the path with them.
- When all is said and done, I want what they want: a child for them.
- They are part of The Turek Clinic family and not just clients.
It works. This holiday season, we received hundreds of cards, enough to fill a wall in the Clinic. And the notes that accompanied them were fabulous. One man apologized that he was remiss in getting a semen analysis done after his vasectomy reversal, but after receiving this card with a new baby in it, he knew that I would understand why. Another wrote that although he didn’t expect me to remember helping him back in 2001, looking at his son often reminds him of how lucky he was to have met me. Just as satisfying, the address on that envelope read “ The Turek Clinic Family.”
The paths that couples take to conceive are many and varied. They are influenced by wishes and dreams, strongly held beliefs, and the realities of age, timing and finances. Regardless, I do not tell couples which path to take, but after presenting them with all options, walk with them on the path that they choose.
This is a different kind of care as it encourages healthy, informed patient decisions. It is also empowering to couples because, whether they know it or not, they are best suited to make decisions about their lives. And couples want to make the best decisions, but the lack of accurate and helpful information about choices often hinders this process. I have found that this approach creates enormously and mutually strong and satisfying bonds with patients in a currently fragmented health care system. Reading a few Yelp reviews will convince you of this.
I don’t know who said this but it fits the bill here: “Good friends are like stars…. You don’t always see them, but you know they are always there.” Receiving so many holiday cards at The Turek Clinic is a magnificent reminder of this.