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Fertility Doctor of the Month: Michael J. Murray, M.D.
Michael J. Murray, MD., Northern California Fertility Medical Center
Dr. Michael J. Murray is a Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist with Northern California Fertility Medical Center, a private fertility practice in Roseville, CA. He is a clinician and a surgeon, and has won several grants and awards for his research. Fertility Authority is pleased to recognize Dr. Murray as Fertility Doctor of the Month.
Attention to Detail
“Our overall philosophy is, what differentiates a good IVF clinic from a highly successful IVF clinic is attention to the details.” Murray says. “Everyone is doing IVF and the basic nuts and bolts are all the same. But the details can make a program change from a 40 percent to a 60 percent pregnancy rate with IVF.”
“We do not have any single set protocol. We individualize our treatment based upon everything we learn about the patient. And if we have known them and have done their [infertility] surgery, we’re going to learn quite a bit more, and then specifically tailor their protocol based on all the data available. One size does not fit all in terms of IVF,” Murray says.
It’s a team approach, according to Murray. Every person on staff the patient interacts with impacts their success: the person who checks the patient in, the nurses that are with them every step of the process and naturally, the physician. The success for the patient is only going to be as good as the weakest link in that whole team, he says.
Surgery and Research
As a resident, his mentors were surgeons, and reproductive endocrinology was a perfect career for him, Murray says, because it combined his love of surgery with clinical practice. That includes laparoscopic surgery - a large part of his practice, surgery for endometriosis, or correcting birth defects of the uterus. “I enjoy the challenge,” Murray says, “And like most surgeons, I enjoy the immediate gratification of fixing something.”
Murray has been actively involved in research, and his grant funding has been related to menopause as well as infertility. In 2010, he worked with Natera, formerly Gene Security Network, to determine the efficacy of day 5 embryo biopsy. Murray says before he could wholeheartedly endorse it, he wanted to get some real data. Like that study, today he is most interested in doing research that will provide answers to the questions that are actually going to affect his clinical practice and help his patients.
Murray is a member of several fertility societies – The American Society of Reproductive Medicine, Bay Area Reproductive Endocrinology Society, Pacific Coast Reproductive Society and Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility - and he is also a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the CME director for the Northern California Ob/Gyn Society. The relationship with the local ob/gyns is important for patient referrals. Additionally, he says, “I can put some cutting-edge technology that they use to help our patients not only get pregnant but have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.” It also allows him to help educate the referring doctors on new cutting edge-technologies available to fertility patients, such as genetic testing thorough PDG and PGS.
A Successful IVF Program
“The biggest compliment is having a great IVF program with great success rates. Another compliment which we value highly is even if a patient goes through an IVF cycle and unfortunately does not get pregnant, but comes back and says ‘I know I didn’t get pregnant and I’m disappointed, but my overall experience through the process is I felt like I was treated very well and you did everything for me.’ I think that’s a true reflection of the practice and what we give to the patients,” Murray says. "I like to tell my patients ‘I can’t guarantee 100 percent that you’re going to get pregnant. But I can guarantee that we’re going to give 100 percent effort to try and help you get pregnant.’”
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