Saturday, November 13, 2010

Our Obstetrician: Dr. Albert Sassoon…

Dr. Albert K. Sassoon, MD,  266 E 78th St, New York, NY 10075, 212-288-1669

When I first saw those two little pink lines on my home pregnancy test, I quickly made an appointment with my usual ob-gyn. I had only seen her once or twice before for routine visits. She did a quick exam, explained that everything looked normal and before rushing out the door said, “Oh, and congratulations!”.

Like most women, I had looked forward to becoming pregnant my entire life. I felt it should be a special “event” even if a common one in the medical community, but here it felt like a routine– just another medical situation. Later that week I learned, after several calls that were fielded by a receptionist, that my labwork had been lost. To make matters worse, when I went to schedule my next check up, the receptionist scheduled me with different doctor. When I explained to her that I would prefer to see the same doctor each time, she eyed me carefully over the top of her glasses as if I were asking for something special. That did it for me. I knew I had to find a different doctor. Someone with experience, warmth and tact. Someone who specialized in my “routine situation”. 

Enter Dr. Albert Sassoon. From the first phone call I knew he was different. The fact that he was speaking on the phone at all felt like a miracle in the land of Manhattan doctors. He was warm and funny and suggested a meeting so that we could determine if we liked him. “Who knows”, he said, “you might not like me!” But not liking him was already hard to imagine. We went for our trial visit and were invited into his office where he briefed us on his philosophy, experience and fee. All were agreeable and manageable for us so we scheduled the next check up and were happily on our way, breathing sighs of relief. You might think this was just a grand introduction, but it wasn’t. From pregnancy to delivery to postpartum to today, he has always been available by phone, and whenever there was something more personal or complex to discuss we were invited into his office for an non-rushed discussion and a healthy dose of reassurance.

What I like best about Dr. Sassoon is that he is very experienced, very careful, and leaves nothing to chance. If you are the conscientious type and the worrying type (and what pregnant mom isn’t) you are well-paired with a doctor that is a balanced mix of confident and cautious. Dr. Sassoon is confident enough to neutralize your worries but cautious to the point that you know you are in very good hands.

Another benefit of Dr. Sassoon’s 29 years of work in the field is that he referred us to a team of talented experts for everything we needed. He made excellent referrals to Amy Gross at Little Hearts CPR (a fun infant CPR and safety training course for parents and caregivers), Maureen Donohue (a wonderful childbirth educator, who offers private and group classes 917-209-2183), Dr. Joanne Stone (an amazing ultrasound specialist at Mt. Sinai, and co-author of The Pregnancy Bible), and Dr. Annamarie Greco (a warm, knowledgeable pediatrician that met with us in the hospital 2 days after delivery).

Another plus is that Dr. Sassoon’s office is located across the street from Lenox Hill Hospital, the hospital he delivers in. This worked out nicely because on the morning that I went into labor, we were able to visit his office for a quick exam to make sure I was hospital-ready before going to check in. Throughout the delivery he met every moment with precision, confidence and good humor. The circumstances of my pregnancy and delivery were not without any bumps in the road (I don’t think any pregnancy ever is) but his guidance helped us to handle every bump with grace and confidence, and I credit him with bringing our precious little guy into the world safely.

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