Young Pastorfide brings life to Victory ART
Dr. Gia Pastorfide looks far too young to be a doctor, but the newest and youngest addition to the fertility specialists in Victory ART Laboratory Philippines is highly educated and experienced in the field — not to mention having been exposed to the world of medicine “since birth,” so to speak.
“I always always wanted to be a doctor,” she shares. As one of the elder twins of the highly successful Pastorfide couple — Dr. Greg, internationally acclaimed ob-gyn, and Dr. Gina, famed dermatologist — Gia would often see the kind of work her parents did, and found it much more fun to play doctor than with dolls.
Her father, who is tagged as the “father of in-vitro fertilization in the Philippines,” is undoubtedly over the moon to have his daughter follow in his footsteps, but being a man of few words, he merely gives a smile and a word — proud — to describe how he feels about it.
But ask him about reproductive health and he will gladly expound.
He can tell you about Victory A.R.T. Laboratory Philippines Inc.(VALPI), which he emphasizes is part of the Hongkong-based Victory Group of A.R.T. Laboratories established in 1998.
VALPI is, of course, “the pioneer IVF laboratory in the Philippines.” It was Dr. Greg who established it and continues to head it as medical director.
After over 10 years, the center is committed to “increasing (the) parenting potential” of its patients, “assisting and providing infertility solutions using state-of-the-art equipment and an ever-growing and adapting medical team,” its website states.
“Trending as one of the pioneer laboratories in the country with over 250 IVF cycles, Victory Philippines offers a decade of sold and innovative ART (assisted reproductive technologies) and genuine patient service,” it further says. Aside from Central Hongkong and Manila, today there are Victory branches in Malaysia and Kowloon in Hongkong.
Located in the heart of Makati City, VALPI has given hope to thousands of couples hoping to conceive and made the dreams of many come true.
Aside from the state-of-the-art fertility treatments and the latest technology for their laboratory, Victory takes pride in its “empathic and caring environment.” Dr. Greg has, over the years, proven that this caring attitude is important and valued among those who place their trust in the medical experts who are there with them “from conception, to the delivery of a healthy baby.”
The VALPI staff, the UP- and Harvard-educated Dr. Greg Pastorfide adds, is made up of “highly trained and dedicated reproductive specialists, embryologists, fertility nurses who understand the challenges that each patient undergoes.”
Such sensitivity to the needs of individual patients has proven to be a significant part of VALPI’s success. One of the issues commonly encountered in out culture, for example, is the hesitation of Filipino husbands to let their wives see a male ob-gyn. Few such scruples have cut into the “40 percent success rate” enjoyed by VALPI, an excellent record by any standard, Pastorfide notes. In other countries, he says, they stop a practice at less than 20 percent success rate.
With the entry of young and forward-thinking Dr. Gia, Dr. Greg hopes to bring further improvements into their practice. One is to “improve protocols” so that costs for those undergoing treatments may lower even more. “With Gia, we can adapt an easier protocol that would make it less expensive though no less effective,” Dr. Greg says.
Another improvement is to introduce new options to potential patients, such as the Frozen Embryo Transfer, wherein women may want to have their eggs frozen in case they are not yet ready to get pregnant.
Dr. Gia says a woman’s chances of conceiving begin to decrease from age 35. Today’s technologies allow women who remain single or are busy with careers to have the chance to get pregnant when they are ready.
Needless to say, the Victory ART assistant medical director will make full use of her vast educational training. She obtained her pre-medical degree of BS Psychology in 2004 from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, graduating magna cum laude, then pursued a medical degree at the University of the Philippines, Manila and graduated in 2008. With a Medicine Degree, she underwent training at the Philippine General Hospital and completed the residency program in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2012.
She then did a one year fellowship training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility with focus on In-Vitro Fertilization and Minimally Invasive Surgery at the National University Hospital, Singapore. She took another one year for a fellowship training in reproductive medicine at the University of Tokyo Hospital.
Dr. Gia’s name, at this point, is already attached with a slew breath-taking credentials including: diplomate of the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, fellow of the Philippine Society of Reproductive Medicine, member of the Philippine Society of Gynecologic Endoscopy and the Philippine Society of Climacteric Medicine. She is also affiliated with the Philippine General Hospital, Makati Medical Center and Cardinal Santos Medical Center. She was recently appointed Clinical Associate Professor in the University of the Philippines College of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Her future, one might say, is fertile with promise.