How to evaluate docs and clinics:It is very difficult for the average patient to judge the competency of doctors or the overall quality of medical services at any given clinic. We can't review every abortion clinic and every abortion doctor and, even if we could, there just isn't enough information to accurately rate each. What we offer here is our opinion on some things that you can look for that may help you distinguish between the good and the ugly up front.
Always make sure your doctor is going to be an abortion specialist; if not a gynecologist, he or she should have at least 5 years experience as a full-time abortion doctor. Never choose a clinic with part-time doctors.
What to look for:
Abortion clinics come in all shapes and all sizes in all parts of the world. When you look for help with an unwanted pregnancy, you want a lot of things you probably aren't even thinking of. We mean, you probably take a lot for granted with regard to the abilities of the abortion doctors, confidentiality, safety, care and access. These are not things to be taken for granted. You do have to look closely at the clinic and doctors and compare.
The Questions for Clinic and the Doctors:
Is the clinic part of a chain?
If it is, make sure to find out how many offices (clinic locations) they have and where. Ask all the rest of the questions. Large chains sometimes have a greater tendency to use part-time doctors and even doctors who are not gynecologists who have little abortion training. They may also use pricing structures that are not clearly stated on first request so you end up paying a lot more than you are first quoted. Some chains are well managed and focused on patient care. Unfortunately, many are not owned by doctors. Those tend to hire doctors at the cheapest rate. You sometimes have to ask a lot of questions and the answers aren't always clear. If you have doubts or feel that the answers are not straight forward and clearly stated, go somewhere else.
What about the doctor?
You do have to ask! Is he or she a gynecologist? If not, is he or she an abortion specialist. (that means several years specializing in abortion procedures and thousands of procedures worth of experience including familiarity with the procedures in the book, Surgical Abortion). If they aren't at least at this level, you don't have to ask anything more. Find another option, even if you have to travel. Does the doctor specialize in abortion? How many has she/he done? Look for an abortion specialist who is a gynecologist who has done thousands or at least hundreds in the last year. Has the doctor read Surgical Abortion by Eugene Glick, M.D., M.P.H. and does the doctor follow the most modern procedure including the use of medications?
Obviously, the doctor you are looking for is a full-time abortion specialist. It is preferred that he or she be certified by the National Abortion Federation. As for "board certification" (in gynecology), it really doesn't matter much. Medical board certification is a very political process with little objective criteria. As a result, a board certified doctor may get along well with other doctors an the hospital, but may not even be average in the field. A doctor who speaks out on important medical and patient issues may have problems getting board certification even though he or she may be an outstanding physician. Politics play too important a role in board certification -- would you want your representative in congress to be your physician?
Evaluate the answers
Pay close attention to what the clinic's staff say when they answer your questions. If you ask if the doctor who will see you is a gynecologist and they answer with something like, "Oh, our doctors are really good... experienced.... highly trained..." you are not getting straight answers. If you ask about cost and they quote you $350 and you ask about medications and they tell you that's extra, they are not being up-front and honest. If you ask about the abortion pill and they tell you it is just as good and safe as a surgical abortion, you probably don't want them taking care of you.
The point is, any reputable clinic or doctor's office should give you all the information freely and openly right away. That's how they can best help you make a decision. If they feed you the information little by little or only when you ask, you will never know what you missed until you realize you made a mistake. Demand all the information and the full cost up front or find another clinic.