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The Fringe Benefits of Being a Medical Article Reviewer

A piece concerning an interesting study came across my desk recently. Titled “Cumulative Live-Birth Rates after In Vitro Fertilization,” it was authored by Beth A. Malizia, M.D., Michele R. Hacker, Sc.D., M.S.P.H., and Alan S. Penzias, M.D.—and was the most fascinating story about IVF I’d seen in a long time.

You can also download the article here.

A large East Coast program was able to review 14,248 cycles over six years and find that the cumulative live-birth rate after six cycles was between 65% and 86% for women under 35, whereas with women over 40, the rate was between 23% and 42%.

The science is good and the large numbers reassure us that IVF continues to work even after a 5th failed cycle. I recommended it for publication and it was released on January 15, 2009.

For me, the best part about having reviewed this article is feeling comforted that our numbers are much better than those quoted in the study! And as a physician, I’m thankful that we have chosen to keep our practice small enough that we get to know each patient individually, have the time to talk to each one at length, and are able to provide individualize care.

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