The work of my life
I have always wanted to invest my energy not in developing a beautiful, attractive, wonderful and intelligent myself, but in creating and refining a beautiful, intelligent and unlike anything business.
A person is judged by his/her deeds: a mother — by her child, a professional — by what he/she has created. I would like to be recognized among other things through a wonderful clinic that makes people happier.
I am not a typical business owner: I do not write business plans and do not relish the expectations of future profits. I just realize that there are people who need help, and I feel and know how I can help them. This gives me strength to dare and create.
My medical expertise lies not only in my role as a doctor. As a doctor, I can certainly put pieces of a complex story together to have a whole picture, build a path and a process, and then lead it towards a result or “carry it myself”, if necessary. But my main role is to bring people together. I remember that for a long time I could not stop using my old Nokia phone, precisely for the reason of “Connecting people” :)
Today, the expertise and goal of many doctors in Russia as well as all over the world is often focused on treating a patient on their own, building a “doctor-patient” relationship. This concentration on each other has its pros and cons. For me, the result of treatment always consists of contributions of many people, where I am one of those who really care about the result of this treatment. I seek and attract the expertise of other specialists who know certain aspects of the medical process better than me, and I can focus their special attention on each patient, motivate them to find a solution that will help the patient as delicately as possible and at the same time within the minimum number of attempts to achieve a long-awaited pregnancy and livebirth. This ability to unite people to help one particular person is of great importance for me.
Apparently, this is the reason why I created the clinic — I wanted more for my patients. And to make it happen I needed a place where I could gather the best specialists and create the best conditions. Now I call this place, our clinic, — “home”.
When I say “team”, I always mean both the clinic staff and the patient. Because the result depends on the willingness of each participant to really get involved in the process and support each other through it. And it is essential that for almost 20 years now, our patients have been sharing this culture of careful interaction in our mutual team and have always come as the most reliable partners in achieving all our common results.
What is help?
I can help my patients because I am driven by sincere love and ability to delve deeply into each patient's story. Here I am helped by a sharp mind, which I inherited from my father, a professor of physics, and by the ability to hear and understand, sometimes even without words, the needs of people, which comes from my mother.
I remember, as a child, if I heard another child crying or a dog whining, then I knew exactly what kind of pain was behind it, and I wondered why my help was useful, but the help of adults was not. Then came the ability to hear the pains and needs of adults.
For example, when working with a patient with infertility, doctors usually focus on her lower pelvis, while her pain is located much higher — in her heart, it hurts right in her soul. And this mental agony often prevents her from making pondered informed decisions about her future and from making the right choice which will allow her to move consistently towards her goal. Therefore, before we start achieving a successful pregnancy for our patient, we help her regain hope, self-love and self-confidence, faith in her body and her good future. It makes our dialogue well-balanced and constructive, and the path to the child becomes harmonious.
For me, the only effective approach to the treatment is to feel, understand and consider the needs of the patient and to put all my mind and soul into finding the solution.
The history of the approach «Live Birth 100% Money Back Guarantee»
After 10 years of working as a fertility specialist, I gained confidence in myself and in the power of reproductive medicine, as well as the understanding that fertility patients might be in so much pain that they tend to underestimate their chances and see their prospects worse than they actually are. For me, the most difficult situations are those when my patient has lost hope and I cannot revive it on my own or with the help of my colleagues. Words cannot express the regret I feel when a woman turns down the opportunity to become a mother when I know the result is just around the corner. When a person comes to us after 10 unsuccessful transfers, it might be extremely difficult to maintain her hope and motivate to move forward using either my own energy and persuasion, or the strength of the whole team.
And along with professionalism and self-confidence, along with the understanding that the loss of hope is the most treacherous enemy of successful IVF, I came to the readiness to take financial responsibility for achieving the result for the patient — the birth of a child. In 2016 I made the decision to give patients the option to get their money back if the baby is not born within a fixed number of attempts.
This is a tremendous infusion of hope even for the most pragmatic mind. Our patients, as a rule, are people who already have had different fertility experiences, and in order to trust the promises and hopes, they need a very strong argument. And I have it: no child in the arms of the patient — no financial result for the clinic. This frees the patient from the burden of doubt: the clinic, she realizes, will do its best and will achieve results for me, and I can finally, on the way to my goal, get into a first class, lean back, doze off and let this train take me to my destination, and I will be glad to travel by this train as I have no energy left, I have already jumped from car to car so many times, missed the train, missed certain stations ... And if suddenly the clinic does not take me to the station "Livebirth", then it will refund me my money for the ticket.
To give the patient such an argument, and to prevent her from getting off the train when the doctors are working to achieve her result, we have built a reliable medical process and created a professional care team. I want the patient to stay on this train not because the contract obliges her to stay (she can terminate the contract unilaterally), but because the doctors need time and mutual peace of mind to take the patient step by step to the "Livebirth" station.
The O.L.G.A. Fertility Clinic
The O.L.G.A. Fertility Clinic is like another child of mine. I, as a mother, do not have the right to say: “I want to do this for my child, but I don’t want to do that.” The clinic is a living being for me, and I am always here to help it: where it gets thin, I become a strengthening layer. When our patients needed another doctor in our team, I started consulting and treating patients; when doctors who were just starting to work in the clinic needed mentors — I took the role of a helping expert; when there was not enough resource for the dialogue in business administrative matters — I was part of the team that built this dialogue; if we open a new direction, I am no longer an attending physician, but a specialist in marketing and promotion.
I can fit into every part of the process because there is almost nothing in my business that I would not be able to do myself. At certain stages of my business development, I not only treated my patients and inspired hope, but also was a receptionist and coordinator, was meeting patients by car at the airport and accompanying them to the hotel, I created websites, I was communicating with patients per emails, giving them honest and simple answers…
I am not the type of a CEO who spends all time sitting in the office, giving orders — I need to try and feel the process, try to rearrange its parts, and determine the optimal result in terms of energy and time consumed. I can't imagine a worse nightmare than involving my team into a pathological process that is too complex or incomplete and therefore makes people go around in circles. I prefer focusing on the creation of the processes myself rather than hiring certain managers, as many chains are too thin, complex, and quite unusual compared to the standard processes for clinics.
The O.L.G.A. Fertility Clinic is also a team of professionals who I am proud of. I am pleased to see engagement and interaction in my team.
Engagement is when everyone is at his/her right place, passionate about work and clearly understands which part of the process he/she should do himself/herself and which parts are done by the colleagues prior to and after it; this makes everyone happy with his/her result, inspired and satisfied.
Interaction is the recognition of the contribution of each team member to the final result and the understanding of the importance of each other on the way to achieving the common goal.
Today we are a wonderful team of more than 100 specialists with high professional skills and big hearts.
Our embryologists and doctors work miracles every day, achieving long-awaited pregnancies and livebirths in patients who have almost completely lost their hope. Our coordinators will provide you with full information about future treatment, answer all your questions by phone and e-mail and will help prepare everything necessary for our fertility specialists to create your individual medical strategy. Our administrators will support you at the stage of arranging your trip to St. Petersburg and back to your home country, and they will also be in touch to answer any question during your entire treatment process. Consultations with our perinatal psychologists will help you to stay in touch with your feelings and understand them to maintain the most resourceful state for moving towards your goal. Our nurses will take care of you during your procedures, medical investigations, and tests.
Even if you are thousands of kilometers away from us, we are always just one email or phone call away!
I am very grateful to every member of my committed team who shares my views and sincerely puts their souls into their work.
My path into the profession
I had two examples of doctors before my eyes. One of them is my grandmother Agnessa Nikolaevna, a gastroenterologist and a very bright, positive, optimistic, friendly person, who had great love for everyone around her. A visit to her department was always a big day for me: there was a lively and warm atmosphere around her, many smiling people who loved to joke and filled the space with lightness and extraordinary energy. My grandmother kept on working even when she was already 70 years old, and people continued to reach out to her. She always told me that the thing that comes first is love. “You have to love people and accept them for who they are,” she taught me. The deep meaning of this statement was not that evident to me when I was choosing a future profession. At that time, I just loved the very image of my grandmother, who had her own secret that allowed her to become an excellent specialist and attract good people. Now her words are more than clear to me ...
The second important example for me is my grandfather, Yevsey Abramovich. He died when I was one year old, but I heard many stories about him that filled me with admiration. He served as a military doctor during World War II and later worked as a hospital surgeon. When he died, the line of people walking behind his coffin was endless ...
Inspired by these examples, in 1996 I came to St. Petersburg and first entered the State Medical University named after I.I. Mechnikov. After the first year of studies, I transferred to the Medical Faculty of St. Petersburg State University. It was a paradise for future young scientists and doctors, meticulously created by a member of the Academy of Sciences Dr Yuri Natochin. There were only 33 people on the course, and each student received a completely incredible individual approach from the best professors of St. Petersburg State University. Here I realized that an individual approach is everything!
When I came to the clinical departments, I realized that much of what we heard during lectures and dreamed about was not possible to implement in Russian hospitals in the late 90s. The lack of medicines and equipment for the treatment of a number of diseases, quite miserable salaries of doctors and other medical staff seemed to leave no hope for both the doctor and the patient. There was despair and pain, an understanding of the naked truth. Then, in my 4th year of studies, I realized that for me it is extremely important not to make money, but to achieve successful result of treatment for my patients as soon as possible and to see their happy eyes. If there is not enough medicine and equipment, then I will work with my heart, head and hands: so I chose obstetrics.
After completing my internship, I received a DAAD scholarship and went to continue my residency in Germany. Here, by the will of fate, I ended up in the IVF department at the University of Kiel. The German healthcare reform of 2004 was approaching, and the waiting areas of German IVF centers were bursting with patients who wanted to start the program before the reform came in force. In this case, they would have received 4 IVF cycles for free (and starting from 2004 they had to pay 50% of the cost of 4 IVF cycles on their own). Two weeks after my arrival, my future teacher, Dr. Andreas Schmutzler, handed me 3 kilos of primary patient records and told me to start with patients’ appointments. I spoke fluent German. Since then, the whole year I was coming to my hostel only to sleep, and spent the rest of the time at the department. The year passed quickly, I learned a lot and helped a lot, and the clinic extended my contract for another 2 years. But ... love intervened, and my future husband took me back to St. Petersburg. We have been together for 19 years now, we have two wonderful children, and we are still in love with each other)).
I am glad that now I have a very conscious interest in my beautiful family, and I need them more and more. Unfortunately, when my sons were small, I traveled the world a lot, consulting patients and solving business issues. Now I rarely leave St. Petersburg, and mostly work from home, so my kids can always come to me, and I can always listen to them. It is very important.
I want to be helpful to my kids at any moment. But at the same time, I do not want them to need me permanently. If my son has left for 2 weeks and is not calling, then I am satisfied: for me this means that he is doing well, and I can just watch from the side. But when they might need me, I want to be there for them and be able to help...
My conscious interest also relates to my love of travel. Both a flight to Cape Verde and a boat trip along the rivers and canals of St. Petersburg in good weather will be wonderful and delightful journeys for me. My awareness now consists in my decision to take not only my body but also my mind with me when I travel long and short distances, unlike when it was the last 20 years when I traveled everywhere with a laptop and my thoughts exclusively with my patients, which brought me to the situation that many episodes of my life I can remember only from the stories of people who were with me during that time. I neglected the importance of being emotionally involved in my own life. Now I want to absorb all the impressions around me, to see and remember my life and my loved ones in every detail ...
2002 — graduated with honors from the Saint Petersburg State University, Faculty of General Medicine (my first university degree).
2002 — graduated with honors from the Saint Petersburg State University, Faculty of English Philology and Translation (my second university degree)
2003 — Saint Petersburg State University, internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology
2018 — International Association of Postgraduate Education, “Public health and healthcare” (professional certificate is valid until 02.2023)
2019 — International Association of Postgraduate Education, “Obstetrics and Gynecology” (professional certificate is valid until 02.2024)
My work experience
2003–2004 — Kiel's University Hospital for Women named after Christian Albrecht, IVF department, obstetrician-gynecologist (Germany).
2005–2018 — «AVA-Peter» Clinic in St Petersburg, fertility specialist; from 2011 — head of the International department.
Since 2019 I’ve been devoting myself to the patients of the O.L.G.A. Fertility Clinic.