It is becoming increasingly frequent for infertile couples to resort to medically assisted reproduction technology. Couples turning to infertility centers are often under emotional and psychological strain as a result of a long and painful clinical journey that seldom gives the results they hoped for. As for other areas in medicine, in medically assisted reproduction technology settings a need for a patient centered clinical approach has become increasingly important for it considers, as opposed to a disease centered approach, the patients’ illness perception, their values and their treatment’s preferences. The case study described in this article looks at the different levels of complexity of the doctor-patient relationship during the assisted reproductive technology check-ups. The case study shows on one hand the relational complexity of having to deal with patients/couples and their specific illness perceptions; on the other hand it shows the communicative complexity of having to manage multiple communicative flows during the check-ups.
Keywords: Assisted reproductive technology, communicative complexity, infertility, patient centered medicine, triadic medical consultation.