This year, Oakland Magazine chose five outstanding physicians to profile from the list of 251 doctors named the Best in the East Bay. Each one is a recognized leader in his or her field. See the article below:
Eyvazzadeh, 33, has established a solid reputation as a fertility expert and sees patients from the greater Bay Area and beyond. After attending medical school and completing an internship at the University of California, Los Angeles, she completed her residency in obstetrics/gynecology at the Harvard School of Medicine, served as a fellow in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the University of Michigan Medical Center and obtained a master’s in public health from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health.
Did you always want to be a doctor? How did you choose your specialty area?
I’ve known since the age of 3 that I wanted to be a doctor. Both my father and grandfather are OB/GYN physicians, and my grandmother is a midwife. Helping women to conceive is a part of my DNA. My grandfather was considered the premier fertility specialist in Iran and patients used to drive hours to see him for treatments. A few years ago, I was treating a woman in her 30s who was struggling with infertility. After she successfully delivered a baby, she asked if I was related to a Dr. John Eyvazzadeh. I told her that was my grandfather and she told me he had treated her mom for fertility problems in Iran and helped her to conceive my patient. I thought that was a crazy coincidence.
What is your biggest challenge as a reproductive endocrinologist?
It’s always hard explaining to my patients that fertility is one of those things that no matter how hard you try, you may not conceive, and that isn’t your fault. We are conditioned as women to believe that if you work hard enough at something, you will eventually achieve your goals, but fertility isn’t like that. It doesn’t matter how hard you want a baby, or how much money you have, for some women achieving pregnancy with their own eggs isn’t a viable option. I try to give my patients hope and to reassure them that no matter what their condition is, there’s always a solution.
How do you treat the couples that come to you seeking medical treatment for infertility?
I really treat infertility as a disease — I want to know what is causing the disease because if I treat the cause, I treat the problem. For example, if a patient’s husband has a low sperm count, rather than suggesting we do IVF (in vitro fertilization) with ICSI (sperm injected into the egg), I’m going to run tests to find out why the husband’s sperm count is low. He might have a condition such as hypothryoidism that can be treated with pills, allowing the couple to get pregnant naturally rather than undergoing a lot of fertility treatments.
How has your practice changed over the years?
The age of patients attempting to have their first child is the oldest it’s ever been. My average patient is 39 years old. My practice continues to get better as reproductive medicine evolves. In vitro fertilization rates are the highest they have ever been, with success rates improving dramatically in the past 10 years.
What do you like best about your job?
Calling a patient and telling her she’s pregnant is one of the best things about my job. I love updates from my patients about how they are doing in their pregnancy and how their babies are growing. I have patients from all over the Bay Area, other states and even other countries. We offer Skype (a software program that allows users to make phone calls and communicate via the Internet) consults and my goal is to be the doctor that couples come to if they don’t have access to a reproductive endocrinologist in their area.