Doctor Reviews

I've asked people to send in objective reviews of medical professionals they have encountered at any step in the TTC process. Going with the theme of my original post, reviews were originally grouped into 3 categories- Good, Bad and Ugly. I'm also thinking of adding a category that falls somewhere between good or bad.  If you want to write up people in this category,  If you want to add to this listing, please email me at with your review. 

The Good ones....

Dr. Gabriel Garzo, a RE at Reproductive Partners Medical Group in San Diego, CA USA
I love this practice, overall. The doctors actually do the inseminations themselves!  Their bottom line is just how much they can help their patients and they are genuinely kind on so many different levels. Dr. Garzo listened to my history carefully and ordered that really important test for anti-thyroid antibodies, we would have never caught that problem without that.  I've sent him many papers and he actually takes the effort to read them. The nurse coordinator there who dealt with me (Lindsay Ray) was just wonderful. Lets face it, I'm not the easiest patient to have. Medical practices are not used to having a patient who knows so much and hence demands that they go in so many different directions to investigate all possibilities. She dealt with all my requests for tests, my going off on multiple tangents with amazing patience. She always came through, always tried her best to followup on test results even if it meant staying late. I was very impressed by her professionalism.  Kudos, all the way around.
Submitted by Jay

Dr. Robert Lind, an Endocrinologist with New York University, Manhattan, NY, USA
While most doctors today do pretty much the same things and follow, more or less, similar treatment philosophies, what sets the really good ones apart from the run-of-the-mill ones is an ability to listen to the patient, care for the patient and see them as more than a face in a parade walking in through the door. Another important quality is the keeping up with latest scientific literature, and to be able to judge to objectively. This doctor had the best reviews from the endocrinologists my insurance let me go to, and he more than lived up to them. I went to because I wanted somebody to manage my thyroid during pregnancy. He took an extremely detailed review on my history, covered every single avenue when it came to testing,  and showed that he was extremely well versed with the latest studies and judged them sensibly, and more than anything, was willing to carve up time from his day, to follow up, to listen to me, to accommodate me as a patient. He responds to my emails. This is a very small thing, but its important. Another doctor, an RE, also at NYU, on my emailing him with a question, wrote back, just to tell me to call his office with the very same question, and not email him on the subject(!!!). Doctors and their egos. Dr. Lind is different, he is the best kind of doctor. I recommend him wholeheartedly.    
Submitted by Jay

Dr. Bradley Trivax, an RE at Reproductive Specialists of New York in Brooklyn & Long Island, NY, USA
Went to him over a period of about a year. Completed 5 ICI with a known donor (4 with Clomid & trigger, 1 with injectibles & trigger). I have PCOS and don't ovulate on my own, otherwise I suspect he would've had me do some natural cycles.He was totally fantastic! A warm, humorous bedside manner. We very much partnered in the process. I never felt like he made decisions without explaining them to me... but more often, we made the decisions together.He gave me his personal email address so that I could always contact him with questions, and typically heard back within the hour. When I was in the hospital, we were in frequent communication by email (thank goodness for smart phones!), and then he would call either the hospital staff or my room as needed. I was very much aware of what was going on at all times. For example, when the nurse told me that the residents at the hospital had ordered that a foley (urinary) catheter be inserted into me, I emailed him and said, "no foley!" Ten minutes later, the nurse returned and said the order had been cancelled. Phew!The office was relatively small, so I never felt like a number. I got to know all of the office staff, and they knew me and greeted me by name when I arrived. IUIs and weekday monitoring occur in Brooklyn; weekend monitoring (which I only needed once) and IVF/FET take place in the Long Island office. Luckily it's the first stop off the Long Island Railroad, and very accessible by train. Totally worth the inconvenience. I recommend him without reservation. 
Submitted by Abby

Dr. Samuel Soliman, a RE at NewLife Fertility Centre, Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
I have had nothing but positive experiences, not only with Dr Soliman, but with everyone I encountered at the clinic. Admittedly, their Mississauga Site has a much less personal feel than the Burlington Site I frequented since the Mississauga Site deals with a much higher volume of clients. At the Burlington Site, the entire staff seemed genuinely emotionally invested in my success, from the nurses, sonographer, right down to the receptionist. On that horrible day when my ultrasound showed an empty gestational sac, Melissa (Nurse) & Shelley (Sonographer) both did the best they could to comfort me & explain what had happened & why. Melissa even took the time later that afternoon & in the days that followed to call & check on me to see how I was holding up.Dr. Soliman was also amazing during this horrible experience. Even though he’s extremely busy & only in the Burlington office once per week with clients scheduled back to back, he insisted on seeing me that very next day. When I arrived at the clinic, he took me directly into his office, I didn’t have to wait at all. Dr. Soliman started by expressing his sincere regret for my loss & inquired how I was holding up. He was genuinely concerned for my emotional state & offered any assistance I felt I needed. Only then did he move on to the technical & scientific side of things explaining to me what had happened, probable whys, what would happen next, what I could expect & what my options were for moving forward.
My experience with Dr Soliman & his Burlington staff has been nothing but positive.
Submitted by Tiara

 Dr. Christopher Stine, an RE at The Women's Clinic in Springfield, MO, USA
He looked at my diagnosis, sorta laughed, and asked me if I trusted him. He changed my complete outlook on PCOS, and of the 5 cycles we did with him over seven months, we got pregnant 4 times. During my treatment, he did extensive 'specialized testing', and found some underlying issues, which were the cause of our miscarriages. He and his staff had such compassion as we struggled with the decision to continue or stop treatment. I respect that he took every concern of mine seriously. I would get a comment on my blog (about some rare condition), and he always responded "Ok, lets check that out". Every time it came back negative, but the fact that he was willing to do the testing to ease my mind. I was diagnosed with the MTHFR gene mutation, and he asked me how 'in depth' I wanted to treat it. I guess there is an acceptable range of treatment from just extra folic acid and baby aspirin, to daily injections of a blood thinner. My husband and I decided to do the most extreme, as long as there wasn't any lasting effects/damage, and Dr. Stine completely supported that. I have had several friends go there as well, and they have glowing reviews of him too! So though, a year later, we still don't have a baby, it was not for lack of trying or knowledge on his part. I know I've said it, but his compassion is amazing, he completely understood that after 6 losses total, we just couldn't do it anymore emotionally. On our last visit, he told us to "go adopt our baby, love on them for a year, and then come back". And we will.
Submitted by Jenn

Dr. Scott Roseff, an RE at the South Florida Institute of Reproductive Medicine in Miami, FL, USA
We originally found Scott Roseff through a community fertility forum that he personally moderated.  He freely answered numerous questions for strangers across the U.S. and world, myself included.  I was impressed with his knowledge but also his dedication to helping strangers from whom he'd never profit.  I was dissatisfied with our current RE at the time and I lamented that Dr. Roseff wasn't closer... then I did some googling and realized that he was actually only an hour away!  Needless to say we switched immediately and never regretted it. 
 I would always take expertise and competence over charisma, but Roseff had all of the above.  There was never a sense that you were being hurried out of his office and we always exchanged hugs before and after our meetings.  He was never arrogant or condescending.  What impressed me most was not just the fact that he'd call you personally when there was good news, but he would also call you personally when there was bad news (rather than shuffle the unpleasant responsibility to a nurse).  I felt bad about him taking us on as patients since our fertility problems for our youth were a bit profound (didn't want to ruin his high success rate) but he was very determined to see us succeed.
We did two IVF cycles with Roseff, the first of which was a miscarriage and the second of which succeeded.  The office within which Roseff works has numerous locations in South Florida and has among the highest success rates in the state.  Though our experience was good, it was not perfect.  While the staff was always friendly,  they did make a few plunders along the way which resulted in a 6 hour emergency drive on my part down to a specialty pharmacy in Miami.

Aside from a few bumps, I would highly recommend Scott Roseff and his office.  
Submitted by Dana

The Bad Ones...
Dr. William Hummel, a RE at San Diego Fertility Center  in San Diego, CA USA
This was, sadly, the first practice I went to. Lets get the minor offences out of the way first- you never see the doctor after the initial consult, and all interactions are through nurse practitioners. The doctors love to delegate everything to somebody else- ultrasounds, IUIs everything short of an egg retrieval is done by nurse practitioners. 
The more major offenses:
Sloppy practices: They do not re-wash thier IUI-ready sperm. Most clinics actually do this, and there is a reason for this, that there could still be prostaglandin contaminants which will make you cramp horribly after an IUI.  After my first IUI, done with this clinic, I was curled up in bed wishing I had a hot water bottle, the pain was fairly bad. My second IUI, done by Dr. Garzo- I was fine all day after.
Utter lack of interest and sheer callousness:
2 weeks after my first miscarriage, I had a query about cycle parameters (estrogen, length of luteal phase etc and corresponding egg quality). It was not a question the nurse could answer, and I asked her to forward to Dr. Hummel. One week later, I get a letter saying basically this." I am a very busy man and do not have have time for such questions. Luckily for you, there are lots of other REs in San Diego, go to one of them." I've saved the letter because I could not believe my eyes, it was incredible. BUT--that was the biggest favor he could have done, I then ended up with Dr. Garzo.
Utter lack of attention to details and incompetence
:  In the initial workup  this clinic had asked for had included a TSH test. That value had come back at 2.74. Now, any RE or OB-GYN worth his salt will know this- a TSH of over 2.5 is not good for pregnancy.  This is a paper that 3 different doctors I've seen have mentioned to me, it is a hall mark study. This practice was either unaware of this paper or ignored my test result - if they had followed up and tested me for anti-thyroid antibodies at that point, who knows, I might have been sitting with a 1 month old baby right now and not writing this sad entry. Ironically, this doctor has written a book on miscarriage and successful pregnancy. Accountability is much called for here.
Submitted by Jay

Dr. Nezaam Zamah, a RE at REI Care in Lee's Summit, MO, USA
I was referred to him after my second miscarriage, and D&C. My OB had a HSG done, and it showed a tube was closed, so I went to Dr. Zamah to do my hystoscope, tubal lavage, and 'endo cleanup'. After I recovered, we did our first cycle with him, on Femera. By this time, we had moved about 3 hours away, and I drove up every other day for an ultrasound to see if I had any folical growth. After FIVE trips, he said the cycle was a bust, we'll try again next time. Because I moved, my health insurance (who pays mileage for dr.'s visits over 60 miles), required me to use a local doctor for three months before I could request to go back to Dr. Zamah. BEST THING EVER. 
Submitted by Jenn

I saw her for 2 medicated IUIs. Both failed. I'm not upset about that, but I am upset at the lack of communication and the fact that both of them should have been stopped BEFORE reaching the IUI part since neither had a snowball's chance of suceeding. I saw her only for the initial consult and then for the actual IUI procedure (which was all of 5 minutes each time), otherwise I was stuck with a PREGNANT nurse. How is that for senstivity? First IUI, my lining was so poor there was no way that the IUI would have worked, but I was never given the numbers until after the fact. Each time I asked the nurse, I was told it was "fine" and I only found out that I had practically nothing there after repeated attempts to get the actual numbers. Second IUI, I had to demand extra estrogen to try to increase my lining - they were going to continue the exact same protocol despite the fact that I had poor lining, low response and developed cysts that benched me for 3 cycles. They left us sitting around for HOURS without telling us that we could have gone to lunch while waiting on the sperm wash, and then when I was asking the nurse about the post wash numbers, she told me to ask the doc, who breezed in said, "just a minute" and got the cath set up and pushed the plunger before telling me the numbers were at 1 mill... and I was soooo mad that she didn't give me the option of at least canceling the IUI itself but I guess she wanted her money more than she cared about a procedure actually working. 
Submitted by Lala

Jim Toner, MD PhD, Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine (ACRM), Atlanta GA, USA- I am single, using frozen sperm so my very first ttc attempt was with an RE (I was 34, with extremely regular cycles, regular postivie opks and nothing in my history to suggest I was infertile).  At first, I tried to justify the upfront expense and aggressive approach as the best way to get me pregnant quickly, but in retrospect I really resent the unrealistic expectations he put in my head and the fact that he started pushing for IVF before any test or any attempt at getting pregnant.  I tried very hard to like this guy, but he knows what treatment he is going to recommend for you before he runs any of the $3,000 worth of tests he requires before he will treat you.  Regardless of the results of the tests he will not deviate from his original proposed plan and regardless of the result of the treatments, he will not be flexible about the treatment plan.  He told me during my initial consultation that he would do three IUIs with letrozole then he recommended that I go to IVF.  He seemed to think I was a better candidate for egg freezing than for getting pregnant.  He ignored my elevated TSH results but later conceded when I questioned him (after having gotten a second opinion) that they were not in fact "within normal range" as I had originally been told.  After 2 failed treatments wherein the letrozole seemed to be having no effect he flat out rejected my requests to consider adding a trigger shot or doing back to back IUIs to increase my chances of better timing.  He would not consider injectables for IUIs (despite the fact that the letrozole failed to produce more than one follicle).  When I teared up a little (in frustration from his not being flexible about back to backs or adding a trigger shot), he suggested I go to the support group because "it's hard to go through this alone"- I may be unpartnered, but I am not alone and the last thing I need after just 2 attempts to get pregnant (which is meant, apparently, that I only had one attempt left before they try to extort IVF money- is to be lumped in  with couples who've been trying for years with free spern).  There were also billing issues I won't get into, because that isn't where my major grievances lie.  This guy may be fine for IVF or egg freezing which he seems to think are far more interesting, but he has no interest at all in making IUI work and seems to require timing that makes no sense at all.  Bottomline: Dr. Tomer (and perhaps all of ACRM) requires a MASSIVE amount of tests which have no impact on the recommendations he makes, ignores tests that are outside of recommended range and tells patients that they are infact "within normal range", is inflexible in his treatment recommendations and push even patients with no history of infertility to do IVF very, very quickly.      
submitted by Meredith

Dr. Aniruddha Malpani, an RE at the Malpani Fertiliy Clinic in Mumbai, India
Although I ended up having a baby ( a result of an IVF cycle where I designed my own protocol from start to finish), every time I trusted this doctor and went with his flow, I paid very badly for it.  My first IVF where I trusted him to design the protocol ended very badly with a horrible response, and going through a surrogacy managed by him was one of the most tension-fraught experiences of my life, and my daughter was born with a respiratory infection that resulted in a 4-day NICU stay and one week of IV antibiotics. His behavior was also far from professional and was frankly jaw-dropping: he refused my requests to transfer my embryos and sperm to another clinic, and instead demanded that I pay him storage fees for continued storage, or he would destroy them (No, I am not making this up). Four embryos and two of my vials of donor sperm have now been destroyed.

I have written about my experiences in detail here, and offer alternatives fertility treatments in Mumbai.
Submitted by Jay

The Ugly ones.... 

Dr. Andrew Hull  a Perinatologist at UCSD's Repromed Division, San Diego, CA, USA
This was the perinatologist who saw me during my second pregnancy. I was actually first struck by both his and his colleague (Dr. Maryam Tarsa's) brusqueness and shortness, but that is ok.  It would be icing on the cake if you were kind and interested in me as a patient but that is not really a requirement. Why he is on this list is because of what happened after we found out my baby's heart had just stopped. After the initial shock, during which utterly no kindness or empathy was show- he told me (or rather confirmed to me) that my baby no longer had a heartbeat, like he was commenting on the weather.  Five minutes later, after it had sunk in, I was just standing there saying F___ no, this cannot be happening again. At this point he stops me and says, " Please do not swear in my presence". To this, I replied something to the tune of, my baby just died, what do you mean I cannot swear right now? The words 'I don't care' were left unsaid, but he just repeated- "please don't swear again'. Don't know what to say about this guy, you can only shake your head.
Submitted by Jay