Best Ivf Doctor In Brisbane – Lynn Burmeister’s face is unbelievable. It’s just not the perfect makeup. It’s those blue, doll eyes that don’t give a damn. Her son calls him “game face”. Some of her patients see her as “cold”. And for most of my first interview with Burmeister – one of Australia’s leading IVF doctors – that’s the mask I see. But then, after 97 minutes, the mask suddenly slipped. She talks about Monash IVF, her employer of 17 years. When he left in 2017, the company took Burmeister, its star player, to court to prevent him from competing with it. Former colleagues turned against her.
“The legal case was terrible,” Burmeister says, her pinky fingers tapping wet eyes. Her voice cracks. “I might get a little emotional.”
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We are sitting in its main conference rooms in the upper part of Collins Street, Melbourne. Since opening this clinic – nicknamed the “pink palace” – two years ago, Burmeister, 54, has taken on leading publicly listed IVF clinics, pursued plans for expansion to Sydney and has achieved her ultimate goal: how IVF is done in Australia.
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The pink palace is just one part of her baby-making empire, called No 1 Fertility. A 15-minute walk away in Jolimont, just near the Melbourne Cricket Ground, is the green-themed ‘Emerald City’, where embryos are transferred to patients. There are also blue egg rooms at the nearby Epworth Richmond Hospital. Full IVF service in the regional city of Geelong. and a low-cost egg freezing operation was run out of Epworth Freemasons Hospital in East Melbourne, where it also collects eggs.
But it’s here, in the pink palace, that you’ll see both the unique marketing force of nature that has wings across the industry, and the woman-friendly focus that she says sets her clinics apart.
Crowned Burmeister “Melbourne’s fertility queen” when she became the first doctor in Australia to get a woman pregnant with an ovarian tissue transplant (a year later she helped 48-year-old TV personality Sonia Kruger feeling with a donor egg, which further cemented Burmeister’s star status in the world of fertility).
Other walls have female empowerment quotes: “If at first you don’t succeed, fix your ponytail and try again.” And pink. So much pink: pink poodle figurines, pink pigs, pink pineapples. There are little pink flamingos hiding on it. the coffee tables. There’s also George Clooney, standing over the coffee bar, life-size cardboard, eyes locked over. “When I walk out my door,” says Burmeister, “I can look at handsome George!”
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The reason for this ultra-feminine accessory, says Burmeister – who wears a pair of $950 pink Christian Louboutin pumps under her desk – is to help women reduce the stress of infertility and to relieve the condition. they have
“The IVF industry makes patients feel like they are sick, when they are not sick women.” Lynn Burmeister
“What I want them to think is, ‘Why is that flamingo there?’ or ‘Why is that pineapple there?'” he says. “When people look at beautiful things, it really relaxes them, I think. always telling patients, “Don’t worry about being pregnant. It’s not going to help your attention.”
But more importantly, she does not want to treat her patients in a hospital setting. “The IVF industry makes patients feel like they are sick, when they are not sick women.”
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That’s part of the reason she left Monash: she felt her approach to IVF was too impersonal, and because of the system of sharing patients between doctors, she couldn’t see her patients until the end of treatment. She also felt scorned, bullied and ridiculed.
When she announced in 2017 that she would pursue IVF despite a 12-month non-compete clause in her contract, Monash sued and sought emails and text messages, while some of fellow doctors signed to testify in an affidavit that that was not the truth. a child whisperer he thinks he is.
After a three-day mediation, the case resulted in a confidential out-of-court settlement in which, instead of working anywhere for 12 months, Burmeister was only banned from working within a 50km radius of Melbourne. The doctor looked at a map, set up a clinic in Geelong and hired a luxury taxi company to drive her patients an hour down the Prince’s Highway for treatment and then back to – again.
Burmeister says her clinics are designed to ease the stress of fertility issues: “When people look at beautiful things, it relaxes them. “
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I wonder if she was afraid of breaking her contract with Monash – now a $225 million company, with pockets deep enough to pay corporate lawyers – and then finding herself in competition with and other big players such as Melbourne IVF, which through the$340 million Virtus Health.
“No,” she said sternly. “I intend to take them forward.” I look at her confused. Is she pregnant? How could it beat these established clinics, one of which – Monash – has the legacy of creating the world’s first IVF pregnancy in 1973?
“I’m at 12 per cent [of Victorian egg retrieval], Monash is at 26 per cent and IVF Melbourne is at 41 per cent,” she said, citing the latest figures from the Assisted Reproductive Medicine Authority of Victoria. “I’m the fastest growing clinic in Victoria so I’m on my way. And I’m here to teach them a lesson.”
On 9 June 2017, Monash IVF notified the Australian Stock Exchange. Titled “Departure of Dr. Lynn Burmeister,” the four-paragraph statement advised that the specialist would depart in September. That meant profits would likely fall, he said, from the “high single digits” in the 2019 financial year (so far, according to the ASX, Burmeister’s departure had cost him $12.3 million in future lost input).
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To anyone unfamiliar with the $550 million-a-year fertility industry, this statement may seem strange. At the time, there were more than 29 specialists at Monash IVF in Victoria – how could leaving just one small dent in the bottom?
He wasn’t just a doctor. She was the busiest specialist at Monash IVF, overseeing 1200 IVF cycles a year, a quarter of the company’s Victorian business. And not only was Burmeister gone, she was determined to break the non-compete clauses in her contract. It was a corporate crisis for Monash – albeit a long time coming.
In 1995, when Burmeister was a second-year registrar at Monash Medical Centre, she met Carl Wood, one of the pioneers of IVF. He took her out for coffee and invited her to learn CPR. He fell in love with: science, math, creating hormone “recipes” to stimulate a woman’s ovaries to produce eggs, which are “harvested” and paired with sperm in a laboratory to produce embryos .
In 1997 there was an opening in Monash’s specialist infertility training, a place that only comes every three years. Burmeister was sure she would get it. “Carl Wood loved me,” she says, “me.” But the Monash professors had other plans: they gave the position to another doctor, who had trained in Europe.
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It is indeed possible that the other doctor is the best candidate. But it wasn’t the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last, that the male-dominated IVF industry pitted the ultra-feminine Burmeister like never before.
A few years earlier, she appeared before an all-female panel to interview for the training program with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He was wearing a full pink Moschino suit and had taken some time the previous year to decide whether he wanted to specialize or become a doctor.
They told her that she doesn’t look pregnant, to get a degree. A year later, when the college finally let her in, she showed up to the first day of midwifery training in a miniskirt (in a 2019 interview, Burmeister said her short skirt didn’t stop her from using forceps or a C-section). “better” by all male doctors,” a comment he admits turned up their noses in some in the medical fraternity).
In 1998 she became a fully qualified obstetrician and gynecologist and by 2002 she had completed her qualification in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.
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After being fired from her teaching position, Burmeister convinced leading American IVF doctor Zev Rosenwaks to hire her as a clinical associate in New York, treating clients including singer Celine Dion. When she got home, Monash wanted to send her to regional Victoria.
Frustrated, with “two young children and a well-travelled husband”, she set up a meeting with Monash’s rival, Melbourne IVF, and the word got out to Monash. Burmeister then said that if she wasn’t made a partner, she would leave. Monash agreed to her request in 2002. It was a highly profitable venture: when the company was sold to ABN Amro five years later, Burmeister was paid $3.5 million .
Helping then, 48-year-old TV personality Sonia Kruger (here with her daughter Maggie) feel, gave it another boost.