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Fertility Doctor of the Month: Benjamin Gocial, MD
Benjamin Gocial, Main Line Fertility
Recently, a patient nominated Dr. Benjamin Gocial, a fertility doctor with Main Line Fertility, as Doctor of the Month. The patient praised Dr. Gocial and his team for their personalized care, knowledge and thorough treatment. She’s so confident and impressed with the level of service and care, that should her current IVF cycle not be successful, she would continue treatment with Dr. Gocial.
FertilityAuthority is pleased to honor Dr. Gocial as Doctor of the Month.
Gocial, who’s been a reproductive endocrinologist for 28 years, was genuinely pleased with that feedback. During a recent conversation, the doctor said that compassionate, individualized care is his goal, and a major component of his treatment philosophy. The other component? Maximum quality care. “We are all believers of practicing state of the art care in what we do. The status quo is not good enough. We want to be doing whatever can be done as well as it can be done,” Gocial says. He illustrates with this example. A woman he was a resident with came to him as a patient; her practice didn’t offer elective single embryo transfer with IVF, and she recognized the difficulties of a multiple pregnancy. “Our lab spares no expense in terms of training our staff so that whatever can be done, we will do. So if somebody wants an elective single embryo transfer, they can get it here and they’ll get it with results as good as anyone else’s. If someone has a single gene defect, we can do the diagnosis. It’s more than just IVF; we’ll do any ramification or variation that you need. And we’ll do it well with the compassionate delivery. That to me is what it’s all about,” Gocial says.
When Gocial was a senior resident at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, and intrigued professionally and academically by the field, he also had a very close relative going through infertility. Today, he has two teenage children as a result of fertility treatment. “I don’t think anything has made me more acutely aware of what my patients are going through, more than that personal experience,” Gocial says.
He had been reviewing the fertility practice’s 2011 numbers right before we spoke, and said that they had done approximately 463 cycles last year. When asked what the practice looked like, outside of IVF, he said, “If there’s anything available out there that we’re not doing, I’d be upset.” That incorporates some of the more recent treatment options, including egg freezing, trophoblastic biopsies instead of day-3 biopsies for single gene defect, and chromosomal analysis and PGS (preimplantation genetic screening). Dr. Gocial says that some believe that in the future PGS will be a more frequent indication for IVF than infertility. “That’s a dramatic statement. I’m not at all sure I believe that, but it’s a reflection of the capabilities that the labs now have. It’s a treatment path that has value and that’s the take-home message to me.”
Dr. Gocial is also on the AD hoc editorial review panel for the medical journal of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL), and is an experienced surgeon. Today, not all doctors in his field are well trained in the fine points or the specialty points of laparoscopic surgery, he says. He categorized the surgeries he does as “uterine sparing procedures.” That is mostly myomectomies – removing fibroids, either laparoscopically with robotic assistance, or hysteroscopically. He also repairs uterine abnormalities, such as uterine septums or scarring. “Sometimes people go right to IVF, but without the advantage of repairing other things like getting rid of a hydrosalpinx, or getting rid of fibroids, because the doctor might not be comfortable doing them,” he says.
“If there’s a new advantage to patient care, I want to learn it, I want to do it, and I want to do it well. And throughout the years I’ve always been lucky enough to be able to do those things and to be able to teach them,” Gocial says. I went to Temple medical school and one of the principles we had there is ‘see one, do one, teach one.’ And I’m in a firm believer in the teaching end of that. You can never learn as much as when you show someone how to do something.”
FertilityAuthority is pleased to honor Dr. Gocial as Doctor of the Month. His passion and compassion are evident, as are his high standards for providing quality care.