Welcome to a new feature from PREG where our doctor’s weigh in on a variety of fertility related issues designed just for you!
Dr. John E. Nichols, Jr., MD
Medical & Laboratory Director
Dr. Nichols answers questions about his goals, both personal and professional for PREG in 2020
Dr. Nichols, it’s 2020 and we’re wondering what your personal goals are for the year?
“Great question, as I’ve been thinking about that a lot since this is about the time of year when everyone is supposed to start making some New Year’s resolutions to things to correct. For me, I think personally is, certainly for someone my age, trying to become much more healthier and trying to increase my exercise program. I try to do yoga once/week and try to exercise two days per week and I’d like to try to increase that as well as looking into my diet. I’ve really been contemplating more recently about this intermittent fasting diet to try and get my weight down as well as even considering taking out some red meat or maybe not eat as much meat. I don’t think I can go completely vegan as I do like some of that protein, so it’s a tough one and the red meat will be tough to give up, but I do think it is probably better for long term health. As far as personal things I think just working on health as you get to my age it becomes much more important to keep that up.”
Why is personal health and personal goals so important to you?
“I’d like to do this a bit longer and then when I retire to be able to enjoy it. So, I think the working on good health is the big thing personally for me. Other personal things, we like to travel and are thinking about a trip down to Machu Picchu this year and a trip out to see my family next month, so travelling is the other side. So, health and travel and try to enjoy things.”
As a PREG founder what are your goals for PREG in 2020?
“Obviously, professionally we’ve always looked at PREG as a practice to grow; we started this practice with one small office with five employees and now we’re in four offices with at least 60+ employees and we just hired a new doctor last year; we’ll be bringing in another doctor this summer. Part of that is that we’re really trying to expand the practice to be able to provide fertility services to be more convenient for our patients. That’s why we are one of the few mid-sized practices with two full IVF labs. We have the one in Greenville and the one in Columbia.
There is a tremendous need in a rural area like the Carolinas. You look at the city of Atlanta and there’s five to six big IVF practices in the city alone, so you can see the difference in how we have to spread out and reach out to encompass a larger area to get more patients hopefully into treatment so we can help them get the success they want, which is having a family. So, the practice has always been about expanding and delivering care to outlining areas, we cover all the way into North Carolina and Tennessee and of course across the state. We’re looking at expanding our geographical footprint as we add a third doctor to our Columbia office. So, as a professional goal, we want to grow the practice, extend the practice and be able to offer our services to more people in South Carolina, as well as Western NC and Tennessee, and maybe even into Georgia. So, that’s kind of the goals we are setting, and they are big goals and we really want to work towards that, and we’ve been pretty successful as a group with our growth and want to continue that line.”
You talk about the rural economy from our history in South Carolina, so what does it mean to be able to expand and reach into these rural areas?
“Well, I think the biggest thing is that for one, a lot of what we do with infertility treatments unfortunately requires a lot of time and commitment for the couple which means multiple visits to come in and see us. So, with having what we call our satellite offices, it allows us to see patients so they don’t have to travel so far to come in to be seen for what it is generally a quick visit like a quick ultrasound, blood work etc., So often, they have to be here less than 30 minutes, so we work very, very hard to try to provide those services for patients to get them in and out so they are not spending a lot of time here. We are also expanding out offices so they don’t have to travel as much, and we really think that’s important.”
There’s a lot involved in the commitment for fertility isn’t there?
We know the time and effort that has to be put into this, not to mention the financial constraints of all of this, so being able to open this up to service more areas has been a real big focus of our practice. The internet has been a very big growth of our practice and patients appreciate that. It just gives us longer arms to extend out to bring people into what we call the PREG way of doing things, which is really focusing on taking care of the patients and providing the best care possible in the most efficient and cost effective way that we can so it that hopefully gives them the success for building a family. It’s been kind of the mission statement for our practice from the beginning and we want to continue doing so.”
Given the geographic dispersion of South Carolina how far are some of your patients driving to come see you?
‘Well, if you look into Columbia which is our farthest east office, we actually have patients come in from Charleston and patients even come up from Savannah. One of our doctors that we brought in last year, Dr. Fru, is actually from Wilmington, NC and she’s brought down a lot of patients from that area, so we’re getting a lot of patients from NC coming down to Columbia and Greenville. Obviously, we’re covering the upstate and Midlands, so that’s been very good for us. Even then, when you talk about the different areas around Columbia with going down to Aiken, and all the way up to Rock Hill, and even south of Charlotte, we’re pulling patients from there as well. You look at our Greenville office and we’re pulling all the way up into Western NC up into our Asheville. Of course, our Asheville office pulls all the way up into Tennessee. We have patients coming up from Johnson City, and the Tri City area. We even have patients coming even from West Virginia and as far west as Knoxville. We have really pulled from a lot of geographic locations. So, having those patients be able to go to a satellite, can save several hours of driving, and not have to come all the way to Greenville for many of the procedures that we do is really important for us to make this work for them as much as we can and still provide good service to them.”
PREG has offices in Greenville, Spartanburg, Asheville and Columbia. We offer highly personalized fertility care and management. Dr Nichols is based in the Greenville, SC, office. For more information on reproductive options call, or contact us today at 866.725.7734, or online at http://www.pregonline.com/contact-us.php
Dr. John Nichols, Jr., MD