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August's RE of the Month: Mark P. Trolice
Mark P. Trolice, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., F.A.C.S., F.A.C.E.
Director, Fertility C.A.R.E.
Founder, Fertile Dreams
Winter Park, Florida
At FertilityAuthority we love docs who not only “talk the talk” but also “walk the walk.” Dr. Mark Trolice does just that. He’s put an amazing amount of time and energy into “lowering the emotional and financial barriers to IVF,” promoting adoption as a family building option and working to “remove the stigma of any form of family building.” We’d like to recognize him as our RE of the Month for August 2009.
In 2004, Dr. Trolice founded Fertile Dreams, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping educate patients about infertility and providing hope as well as financial assistance to those longing to become parents. Fertile Dreams has since given away $150,000 in grants for IVF procedures to patients all over the country. Its “fertility scholarships” are awarded to patients who demonstrate financial need and whose insurance doesn’t cover IVF treatment. Recipients can use the grants to cover the costs of IVF (monitoring, blood work, ultrasounds, anesthesia, retrieval, fertilization and culture of the egg, transfer, etc.) at the program of their choice at any clinic in the continental United States.
Fertile Dreams awards at least three (and sometimes more) $10,000 grants a year, a service more important than ever in a struggling economy. This year, Trolice says Fertile Dreams received 300 grant applications and the number of applicants “has doubled every year.” It is the only grant that Trolice knows of “that is completely free to apply.”
Caring for the Whole Individual
Dr. Trolice is also the Founder and Director of Fertility C.A.R.E. in Winter Park, Florida, a privately-owned fertility practice. A believer in the benefits of treating infertility from a “whole” perspective, Trolice uses Eastern philosophies to assist Western medicines. Many mind-body techniques are incorporated into his practice. For example, during implantation at Fertility C.A.R.E. , an acupuncturist will be with you pre- and post-op in the embryo transfer room. “If you look at medical literature, acupuncture can increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries,” says Trolice.
Trolice has the needs and emotions of the patient in mind. “Fertility C.A.R.E. is designed to be a comfort zone, not a place of heightened anxiety,” he says, “and my goal is for my patients to gain hope from each visit.” Fertility C.A.R.E. even has its own on-site fertility pharmacy, designed to take some of the stress out of the treatment process. “Now patients can walk five steps to get what they need instead of waiting for an overnight Fed Ex” he explains.
“Whenever I see a patient, the first thing I ask her is ‘How are you doing?’” says Trolice, “and sometimes I don’t say another word for the next half hour.” Some patients tell him “they’ve never had another doctor ask them that question.” But to Trolice, “how you’re doing emotionally is as important to me as how you’re doing physically.” His staff, he claims, follows suit, “A non-caring staff can’t make up for a good doctor, and vice versa.”
There is no age cut off at his practice (though he is directed by ASRM’s guidelines). “If a woman in her low 50s is healthy, I will help her have a baby.” Yes, he gets it. “Fertility is the worst disease because holding a child in your arms is the only cure for it,” he says, “Women are reminded every moment that they’re not pushing a stroller and I will do whatever I can to help them”
Perhaps the best evidence that Trolice “walks the walk” is the fact that he and his wife Andrea are the very proud parents of five adopted children, ages five years to one-month old twins! After experiencing 10 years of infertility with “multiple cycles that included both of us having surgeries and many, many complications” they turned to adoption and “have been blessed” with their family.
Because the Trolices have, “always wanted to give back to a field we have gotten so much from,” they recently opened an adoption agency, Angels Among Us, and are looking into opening up “safe homes” for pregnant mothers who are giving their babies up for adoption, women who Trolice calls “heroes.”
Keeping It in Perspective
So Trolice has been there. Extremely knowledgeable and passionate about family building, he says the ability to have hope is essential. “Nobody’s life is what we thought it would be when we were little,” waxes Trolice.
“Your procreative ability doesn’t define you,” he emphasizes, “It’s what you do with your life that does.”
Words to live by, no doubt.
Mark P. Trolice, M.D., FACOG, FACS, FACE is the Director of Fertility C.A.R.E. (Center of Assisted Reproduction & Endocrinology) as well as the Division Director of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility (REI), at Orlando Health in Florida, responsible for the medical education of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) resident physicians and third/fourth year medical students in REI. Additionally, Dr. Trolice is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of OB/GYN at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida State University, and the University of Central Florida.
Dr. Trolice is double Board-certified in REI and OB/GYN, maintains annual voluntary recertification in these specialties and has been awarded the American Medical Association’s “Physicians’ Recognition Award” annually. In May 2005, Dr. Trolice was inducted into the prestigious American College of Endocrinology adding to his unique distinction of also being a fellow in the American College of OB/GYN and the American College of Surgeons. His fellow physicians selected him for Best Doctors in America® 2007, 08, and 09 honoring him as one among the top 5% of doctors in the country.