Meet our Doctors: IVI Spain’s Dr. Anabel Salazar
RMANJ’s merger with IVI in 2017 didn’t just make us the leading infertility clinic in the world, it also connected us with an extended family of innovative doctors. One of those doctors is Anabel Salazar, a reproductive endocrinologist based in IVI Spain’s Malaga clinic. Dr. Salazar visited Basking Ridge in October to meet her American counterparts, share her insights on the future of technology in health care and unveil details about IVI’s new patient app.
Here’s what she said about her visit.
How long have you been with IVI?
Dr. Salazar: I have been with IVI Spain for eleven years, during which I’ve worked at clinics in Madrid, Alicante, Seville, and now at the new clinic in Malaga, near the sea. Malaga is a big tourist city, so we have patients from all over the world.
This was your first trip to the U.S. – did you like it?
Dr. Anabel Salazar: It has always been one of my dreams to work, study or do a fellowship in the U.S., so I was very excited to visit. New York City was amazing! Everything goes fast. I liked the rhythm, the energy, and the strength that you can feel when you are there. I also loved the views from Rockefeller Center. I was happy to visit Philadelphia, where the U.S. constitution was signed, and the best part was Basking Ridge because it allowed me to see how things are done here.
What interested you most about fertility care at RMANJ in Basking Ridge?
Dr. Anabel Salazar: I’ve always been very interested in the day-to-day activities and how they might differ here versus in Spain and the rest of Europe. If we have the same kinds of patients and if the procedures and protocols are similar, what would be different? I thought maybe it would be the doctor-patient relationship, but what I found was that the relationship is very similar here to the way it is in Spain, despite cultural differences. Here and there, doctors are very kind with patients and make them feel as comfortable as possible. That was wonderful to see.
What did you see in Basking Ridge that you might want to bring back to Spain?
Dr. Anabel Salazar: The most surprising element was the morning monitoring, which starts at 6 am in Basking Ridge! Even the busiest clinics in the biggest cities in Spain, like Madrid or Barcelona, where traffic is a problem, start monitoring no earlier than 7:30 am. But I like the idea – early monitoring allows patients to get care without disturbing their work life, so I want to consider that.
The other thing I’d like to bring to Spain is collecting more patient information before the first patient visit. In Basking Ridge, it’s not uncommon for doctors to sit down with a patient and have their bloodwork to reference on that first visit. I want to bring this practice back to Spain. I will ask my nurses to collect more data so that when a patient comes to see me, I can spend more time talking to them and understanding their needs.
Tell us about the technology in health care presentation you gave to a group of local OB-GYNs.
Dr. Anabel Salazar: My presentation focused on an undeniable, and by now not so surprising, truth: that technology, the internet, data, and smart phones are increasingly part of healthcare, and they are here to stay. Now that patients are online and on their phones all the time, they expect their doctors to be there, too. My message was that it is our responsibility as doctors to provide education – and services – online, because this is the future. For example, big data will help to personalize medicine and better identify the right treatments for patients by using genetic biomarkers for specific conditions. The more data we can collect, manage and analyze, the better diagnosis we’ll be able to make.
You also told the OB-GYNs about a new IVI app. How does it help patients?
Dr. Anabel Salazar: Patients can choose their doctor, make their first appointment and input their health information and fertility history in the app. After their first appointment, the app will notify patients of any test results, and, once the treatment starts and the medication plan is available, the app provides videos on how to inject medication and sends reminders about when it’s time to do so. The app also gives patients access to their care team, all their results and photos of their embryos. It even has a payment function that processes payments securely.
What are you most excited about for IVI-RMA Global?
Dr. Anabel Salazar: The most exciting part is to learn from each other. This exchange of ideas is going to lead to big advances in patient care, because together, we can do more. We can have more research, education, innovation and knowledge, which will allow us to focus on improved outcomes for our patients, which is our number one goal.
RMANJ is a worldwide leader in fertility science, committed to advancing the field one healthy baby at a time.
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