When a patient of mine recently moved to California, she asked me to refer her to a specialist who could continue her care. Drs. Vaughn, Hansard, Burger, and I have each noticed that when we provide our patients with a couple of names, they frequently ask us why we chose those particular specialists over many others in the same area. This made us realize that many couples with infertility in Central Texas may be thinking the same thing about TFC – why should they come see us? WHY TFC? In an attempt to answer this question, we wrote an article that you can find on the home page of our website at www.txfertility.com. I have taken the liberty of breaking this article down into smaller blog entries so that patients can read it at their leisure. In this seventh blog, I will tell you a little about our philosophy about giving back to our field in the form of offering educational programs to our colleagues and our patients, several things that make us very different from other doctors who practice infertility.
All of our physicians have been actively involved in medical education, training medical students and residents, since fellowship. After completing their infertility fellowships, Dr. Vaughn served on the faculty at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Dr. Silverberg served on the faculty at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Since 2004, TFC has been responsible for the Reproductive Endocrinology training of OB/GYN residents at Brackenridge Hospital sponsored by the University of Texas – first from the Galveston branch and now from Southwestern Medical School. As part of their education, we have a second year resident assisting us in the office and in the operating room every day.
The TFC physicians host continuing medical education programs for the OB/GYNs in Austin at least four times per year, where we discuss the latest advances in the treatment of infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, reproductive surgery, and in vitro fertilization. We also founded the Texas ART Society in 1991. Originally composed of the physicians who perform IVF in Texas and started as a way to share information between our practices, this society has now grown to include physicians, embryologists, nurses, mental health professionals, and practice administrators from around the country. Our annual meeting, the Southwest Fertility Forum, features expert speakers from around the country and attracts hundreds of attendees for a weekend focused on improving the success of IVF.
Most importantly, we host monthly educational seminars for our patients. Our IVF orientation is very well attended, and offers our patients the opportunity to learn about ovarian stimulation protocols, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer from our physicians, and laboratory procedures including ICSI, laser-assisted embryo hatching, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis from our embryologists. Our Fertility 101 seminars provide new and future patients with information about the basic causes, evaluation, and treatment of infertility. Again, only TFC provides resident training, continuing medical education for Central Texas OB/GYNs, a nationally renowned IVF meeting, and this level of education for our patients.
Stay tuned for this weekly series on Why TFC? Or if you prefer to read the article in its entirety, please visit