Primary Care for Teens & Young Adults

Parent Q&A

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  • Hi everyone.  I'm looking for a primary care provider for my 18yo son and 22yo daughter -- in theory their pediatrician will still accept them as patients, but they are mortified about the thought of sitting in a pediatrician's office.  They are just hoping to establish care with someone kind and on the younger side.  They have Anthem Blue Cross PPO as their insurance.  Any recommendations for providers in Berkeley/Albany would be highly appreciated!

    I see Dr. Deepika Ram at the Sutter East Bay location in Albany, she is a family doctor so trained in both pediatric and adult medicine. I’m in my late 30s and I would guess she is a few years younger than I am. I’ve only seen her 2 or 3 times but have had a positive experience thus far and she is in network on my Anthem/Blue Cross plan.

    I highly recommend one medical on university. I am a one medical member for many years and they’re my primary doctors. They’re also a peds office, so they see family members of all ages and your kids can feel grown and in control of their own health this way. 

  • I have to choose a new health plan and it’s very stressful. My son has been at Children’s Hospital Oakland for his complex medical care since he was born.  He now is aging out at age 21 (I think anyway 😳😫) and I need to pick a new health plan which includes obviously a primary care and his many multiple specialist. I first really wanted to stay with Ucsf, and use Berkeley Outpatient on San Pablo, but I live in Martinez area annd I’m finding there aren’t very many specialists. Do people have suggestions? So other plans available to me include John Muir network.   This is so harrowing.  For the past two decades all of his doctors could speak to each other and see each other‘s records and refer to each other for questions about my son, etc. sorry to go on and on but this is a huge decision. My son has 12 regular specialists, but primary care and endocrinology and cardiology are my biggest concern.  Thank you in advance for anybody that can help me🤗🤟

    I have Anthem/John Muir HMO and use Berkeley Outpatient. My kid sees an endocrinologist through Children's/UCSF and is in the John Muir group. so no guarantee but John Muir might also contract with the doctors you want to use. I'm so sorry for this headache. Isn't our medical system ridiculous???

    If by "aging out" you mean aging out of coverage by your insurance plan, under federal law -- the Affordable Care Act (thank you President Obama!), he has to be covered until age 26.

    My understanding is that your adult child can remain on your insurance plann until they are 26 years of age, but you'll want to check with your provider to confirm.  At least this would buy you additional time to work all this out. Good luck!

    I’m so sorry, this sound really stressful. If I were making this decision, I would look at a plan/medical group that would allow me to access UCSF or Stanford doctors for my child’s care. I’ve had multiple family members with complicated medical needs and Stanford especially has given us access to amazing specialists (and they communicate with one another). I personally have had great experiences with UCSF—I go into SF for some specialists and see some at the outpatient center you mentioned in Berkeley. 

  • I’m looking for a new primary care physician who works well with 15 year old girls.  Her current doctor has been with her since she was a baby and we feel is more oriented toward little kids.  She talks to her like she is a child and comes off as very pedantic.  Do you have a doctor who creates space for your teen to speak and talks to her in ways that a teen might respond to?  Thanks!

    Jennifer Miller, MD. with E. Bay Pediatrics is a teen specialist.  My daughter goes to her and we both trust her.


    We are very happy with our doctor at Berkeley Pediatrics. She is great with our teenager who likes to be treated age appropriately. Her name is Madeleine Elia. 

    Take Care

  • Hi there.  My young-adult son's Kaiser doctor is leaving his practice, and we are looking for recommendations for a replacement.  My son has been going to Kaiser Pinole (where Dr. Sarin looks like a great option), but we are actually much closer to Berkeley (where the only male M.D. choice seems to be Dr. Oparin, about whom I can't find much information).  We are hoping to find a personable-but-straightforward, knowledgeable, male family-medicine doctor (or internist) who doesn't mind giving reasonable amounts of advice by e-mail, can work with a shy teen who's not eager to talk about medical issues, and is willing to refer things to specialists when necessary.  Also open to other male-M.D. suggestions at Kaiser Berkeley, or to anyone who wants to insist that Dr. Sarin is worth the longish drive.  Thanks!

    Our longtime family medicine doctor at Kaiser Pinole left recently and my husband switched to Dr. Sarin who has been great. My husband has chronic health issues and has been really happy with Dr. Sarin so far. We are pretty much equidistant to Berkeley or Pinole, though. The nice thing about Pinole is that it is really easy to get to (as long as you aren't going during evening rush hour heading East on 80) and there is always plenty of parking.

    My teenage sons see Dr. Fu at the new KP Berkeley office ( and find him easy to reach and talk to.

    I have had Dr. Oparin as my primary GP doctor at Kaiser for more than 6 years now. He is friendly and gives the needed referrals. For me the referrals have been mainly to physical therapy, which other Kaiser doctors just forego and give me an ibuprofin prescription. I once brought in a list of supplements that I take, which he went over with me and made recommendations (of those to discontinue and those that might be helpful).

    He's older -- maybe 50's or 60's -- so I don't know if he'd be a fit for your son, but is easy to work with and attentive to my concerns. He's not one of those doctors racing out of the exam room in 15 minutes (which I've also had, but not at Kaiser). From USSR originally, though his English shows that he's been here forever.

    Hope this helps.

    Mary E

    In re: Dr. Oparin,

    I should also have said that he's fine with phone visits, emails, etc. His office staff manage the emails but he gives the advice/prescriptions/etc.


  •  Does anyone have recommendations for a gender affirming therapist, clinic or provider for our teen?   The wait time for the Gender Clinic is many months long. Thank you! 

    Hi, you probably already know this, but there are gender clinics at both UCSF/UBCHO and down at Stanford. 

    There is also a brand new organization for parents of gender questioning kids called Genspect ( which may be of interest. I know that I have had a VERY steep learning curve myself as the parent of a gender questioning teenager and have gradually evolved toward more of a gender-exploratory approach. 

    This is a challenging path for the whole family-- good luck. 

    Contact Logan Berrian at The Buncke Clinic in SF. 415-684-5206. He's the clinical director for their gender affirming surgery practice and knows everything.

    Children's hospital in Oakland has a gender clinic. Note this clinic just provided medical care. You need to find a therapist separately. There is a network of therapists that deal with gender issues and they can refer you if one is fully booked. I interviewed several before figuring out who to work with as a parent and learned a lot from all of them. I recommend seeing someone yourself or with your partner/ co-parent if you have one, to work through your own questions and concerns. My kid stayed with a therapist they were already seeing that has knowledge about gender issues. 

    Gender Spectrum has groups for parents and children as well as a wealth of information. 

    There's a lot to learn and gender identity brings up a lot of strong feelings for parents. 

    I wish you well. 

  • Kaiser MD for young adult

    Oct 25, 2020

    I’m looking for recommendations for an Oakland Kaiser doctor for my 18 year old son. He is ready to move on from his pediatrician and I need to change his insurance to my Kaiser coverage. He is healthy but does take meds for ADHD. Open enrollment starts in November with coverage beginning in January. Thank you!

    Hi, don’t have a doctor to recommended, but just wanted to let you know you’ll find your young adult’s ADHD med prescription(s) will be switched to the Psychiatry Dept., so you’ll need both a PCP & Psychiatrist. Oakland Kaiser does this anyway. 

    We like Dr. Alex Fu at Kaiser Oakland - he's family practice, so he sees all ages. He's young, personable and available, and video, phone and in-person consultations have all gone well.

  • My teen daughter has ADHD and does not feel supported by her current pediatrician. Any recommendations for a female pediatrician (preferably based in or near Berkeley) who understands ADHD and its effects on teen decision-making and overall health? We have HealthNet insurance. Thanks.

    Dr. So or Dr. Franks at Berkeley Pediatrics have been great for my teen daughter. I highly recommend them.

    Not sure if insurance will cover this but my 16 yr old son & I see Josephine Lindt a developmental pediatrician on Solano. She’s supportive & helpful.

    My twin daughters have been seeing Dr. Petra Landman since their premie days almost 20 years ago. One of my twins has ADHD. My girls have also seen the other female physician in that practice at 2500 Milvia in Berkeley. Unsure if they accept your insurance since mine’s different. Dr. Landman is excellent and I highly recommend her and her colleagues.

    Best wishes. 

  • Hi!  The pediatrician we've had since our son was born is retiring, and we are sad to lose the doctor who has seen our son grow and change over these last ten years.  Now we are looking for a new pediatrician in the Berkeley/Oakland area that we can build a new relationship with, and who can help us navigate these crazy pre-teen and teenage years that he'll be entering.  He's a 5th grader.  Any recommendations warmly accepted! If you and your son love your doctor, please share!  Thanks in advance. 

    Berkeley Pediatric Medical Group.  We love Annemary Franks.  But there is a man there who seems really nice (based on seeing him in the hallways)-Sam something.  Most of the other docs have been really nice there when we have seem them on weekends or when Dr. Franks was on vacation.

    We were in the same situation as you are. My son's pediatrician retired just as my son was hitting adolescence. He was at Berkeley Pediatric - as the other poster is - and transitioned to Dr. Sam Woods. Dr. Woods is EXCELLENT. We've had a lot of ups and downs emotionally, medically and psychologically with our son and Dr. Woods was steady and right there by our side. I can't recommend him highly enough.

    Our son likes Dr. Sam Woods at Berkeley Pediatrics (510-848-2566). He was assigned to him when Dr. James Cuthbertson ("Dr. Jim") retired. I was also a little bit sad at the thought that the doctor who had seen my son when he was little wouldn't see him grow into an adult, but I think the timing was actually good: My son would probably have wanted to move on to a 'grown up' practice -- but he is a teenager, not an adult, plus BP has been *so* much better than any doctor's office my husband and I have been able to find for ourselves.   Dr. Woods talks directly to my son, and he protects his privacy. Per my son's request, I wait in the waiting area when my son is being seen, and Dr. Woods fills me in afterwards on matters I need to know about. When there is something in particular I want to bring to Dr. Woods' attention, I leave a message beforehand, and he calls me back.  This has worked really well, including at times when my son really needed support.

  • Hello, we're looking for a good doctor (preferably female) for a 15 year old girl. Not sure if she would still be at the pediatric location at this age, or if we should just have her see a family doctor. Would love to get some recommendations! 



    My 15 year old daughter sees Dr. Ping Chouw (female) in pediatrics. She's very nice and has been a great doctor. We chose her after picking the brains of her previous (male) pediatrician and various nurses (she decided to change to a female doctor when she hit puberty). And it looks from Dr. Chouw's web page like she is accepting new patients.

    I would recommend Jill Nicole Lederman at Kaiser in Oakland. She is in the Family Medicine Department, so she can see people of all ages. She was my doctor in my 20s at a different practice in SF (in the early 2000s); she saw my brother too. (I was basically an overgrown teenager at that stage in my life.) I just recently  switched to Kaiser, just to see her, and she is truly the best. I think she would be a great doctor for a teenage girl. She will answer any of your questions and advise you on medical issues, without any judgment!

  • We have been with Kaiser for 13 years. Moving to blue shield. Need to quickly find a Pediatrician for 15-yr-old boy. This is a big move for a kid with on-going issues. Prefer North of Berkeley since our lives are basically Crockett to Albany. Thanks,

    Dr. Maria Steelman is an outstanding pediatrician. She is in Lafayette, but she's worth the drive. Kids and parents love her. My 26-year old daughter still says that Dr. Steelman was the best doctor she has ever seen.


    My son was under the care of Dr. Cuthbertson at Berkeley Pediatrics at Walnut and Vine from age 10-15 (he's now almost 17). Dr. Cuthberson just retired and his replacement is an excellent young doctor named Sam Woods. He's been a wonderful doctor for my son who's been dealing with issues around depression and substance use. I can't recommend him more highly. 

    Berkeley Pediatrics in N. Berkeley at 1650 Walnut Street & 510-848-2566. We love Dr. Lang, but all of the doctors and staff are amazing. My 4 boys are ages 22 to 5 and we  have a great relationship with the practice. We’ve had asthma, eczema, sports injuries, auto injuries, sexual wellness and mental health topics, birth abnormalities, lead poisoning, and healthy visits too!  The office is great at everything they do and well informed in case you need a specialist. 

    I highly recommend Dr. Richard Oken at East Bay Pediatrics.  He has been both of our teenage boys' MD since birth.

    Are you sure you're moving to Blue Shield? Blue Shield is leaving the Bay Area. We like the pediatricians at Berkeley Pediatrics, but that may be too far south for you. They have male pediatricians, which can be kind of hard to find.

  • Need to switch from our pediatrician to a primary care doctor who's very good with young women, especially those lacking some confidence.  Thanks for recommendations in Oakland or Berkeley.  

    I've been thinking about that too, as my daughter is getting close to aging out of pediatrics; I had an appointment for myself last week with Dr. Samara Nebenzahl at Sutter on Milvia and thought she would be really good.

    We love our pediatrician, Sarah Handlesman, with East Bay Pediatrics.  My two boys have been seeing her since they were babies (they are both now preteens) and her interactions with them has changed as they have grown (so they don't feel like they are seeing a "baby doctor.").  I bet she'd be really great with girls, I believe she has 2 daughters approx 9 and 11.

    I would most definitely reach out to some of the wonderful Naturopathic Doctors we have in the area.  Karen Peterson, Aumatma Shah are a couple of names that come to mind.  Cutting edge.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Male Pediatrician for young teen 

Nov 2014

I'm sufficiently dissatisfied with our son's pediatrician since birth that I avoid making appointments (my son: ''he doesn't really listen, but that's ok we don't have to see him very much''). Kid's healthy, but I'm pretty sure my avoidance strategy is sub-optimal. There are so many choices for female pediatricians! We're low-demand and come to appointments with any specific concerns identified. Don't take much time. We just want our son to have at least a decent relationship with his doctor as he enters adolescence. He's embarrassed by so many things, I really think a male doctor would be preferable.

Here are our considerations:

Oakland or Berkeley would be great, but we'd be willing to travel (healthy kid, laid back parents equals not many appointments). Ideally, we're looking for a younger, male pediatrician (non-Kaiser). I've read the recommendations and there are a couple of grandfatherly pediatricians who sound great -- two concerns, I don't want them to retire in the next 5 years and there's the relatability issue. Looking for recommendations other than Gary Bean or Michael Usem. Should we consider a general practitioner? My understanding is that adolescent medicine is really a specialty not so well suited to GPs, but again, healthy kid. Thanks for insight, BPNers

My son loved Dr. Myles Abbott at East Bay Pediatrics. (My son is an adult now, so he doesn't go to that practice anymore.) Dr. Abbott saw my son from the time he was 10 through high school graduation. He talks to the kids in a friendly, direct manner and engages them regarding their health. He is older and has a wealth of experience but isn't the least bit jaded and seems delighted to see his patients at every visit. We saw him at the Orinda office, but I'm pretty sure he is in the Berkeley office on Regent Street, too. Love that Dr. Abbott

Primary Care Physician for Older Teen

Oct 2012

My son is no longer comfortable with the pediatrician so we are looking for a primary care physician (GP, internist, or other, but we are not Kaiser members) who relates well to young adults. The practices of both my doctor and my husband's doctor don't seem to have many younger patients. Since my son has developed a bit of wariness towards Western medicine, we'd prefer someone who is aware of and open to (but does not primarily practice) less invasive/non-pharmaceutical medicine; preferably Berkeley/North Oakland. Thanks for any any recommendations. moving on from the pediatrician

Our family goes to North Oakland Family Practice and have for over 20 years. There are all ages of patients. The ''main'' doctor is John Good and he, and probably some of the other doctors, is very supportive of eastern medicine. He'll explain the pros and cons of certain issues, but is completely open and encouraging of the patient to make her/his own decisions. I really can't recommend them enough. Good luck. ~ Laurel

Doctor for 21-year-old young female

Aug 2011

I am looking for recommendations for a ''hip'' younger doctor for my 21-year-old daughter in the Berkeley/Oakland area. I am looking for a general practitioner. My daughter no longer wants to see her pediatrician because she feels the doctor doesn't understand some of the physical & mental problems young people now have, e.g. pain in her hands due to using cell phone since she was in 8th grade (texting, etc.). She currently has pain in her hands and wrists at the tender young age of 21, and her pediatrician dismissed it saying she was ''too young'' to have this problem. My daughter is a pretty sophisticated, independent young woman who grew up in Berkeley, attended Berkeley High and recently graduated from college after studying overseas for half a year. I have not been able to get her to ask her friends for recommendations, so I thought I'd try this site. I will also post on the Parents of Teens site. Thank you for any recommendations anyone can give.

I'd like to recommend my internist, Dr. Monica Eisele-Flint , who's at Associated Internal Medical Group in Oakland. She's young, smart, and has a good bedside manner. I imagine she would be understanding about the texting/pain issue your daughter is having. happy patient

Choosing a doc in Kaiser's Young Adult Clinic

July 2011

Our daughter, soon to turn 18, is about to ''graduate'' from her long-standing pediatrian at Kaiser Oakland. Our doctor has referred us to the Young Adult department and we need to choose a physician from this group, but we are not familiar with anyone and would really appreciate a referral and/or recommendation. Our daughter would prefer a female doc, someone kind, smart, and intuitive like the pediatrician she is leaving. We can certainly go to another Kaiser (Richmond, Walnut Creek) but Oakland is our home base and both of our kids were born there. So that would be best. Thanks!!

Try Antonia Torreblanca (she's young and friendly) or Stephanie Scott (she's probably 40 but very respectful and straightforward). Both Kaiser Oakland. Good luck!

My son, who also just turned 18 and graduated from Oakland Pediatrics, started with Lucy Kalanithi , MD. We met her a couple of weeks ago and both my son and I liked her a lot. You can also go to the Young Adult Kaiser Oakland website (just google it) and see the list of their Oakland doctors. By clicking their names, you can see their photos and read about their background and philosophy. Lexine

My 18 year old son has just started seeing Chantal Morrison at Kaiser Oakland, and we've both had favorable interactions with her. I don't participate in his appointments but arranged to meet her in the reception room after his first appointment. Oops! Just received a note in the mail today from Dr. Chantal Morrison, Kaiser Oakland, that she is moving to Kaiser Walnut Creek, so I don't have a referral for you after all. Sorry! satisfied mom

My son, who just turned 18, was referred to Lucy Kalanithi , MD. We both liked her a lot, so I would give her a try. maris

Kaiser pediatrician for 16 year old boy

Nov 2009

Any recommendations for pediatrician @ Kaiser Oakland for 16 year old male? The mother

My son who is 16 years old, has seen Dr. David Bacchus for about 9 years. He likes him and so do his father and I. He is practical and responsive. He has been there a while now and it might be hard to get on his panel. Susan

Pediatrician for 14 and 18 year old daughters

April 2009

Our pediatrician of many years is retiring, and I am looking for a new doctor for my 14 and 18 year old daughters. I'd love to find someone who is especially good with teenagers, and who takes our insurance (Health Net) and who is in the Berkeley/Albany/El Cerrito area. mg

Our girls are 12 and 16 and see Annemary Franks of Berkeley Pediatrics. She has girls herself and has a great rapport with our kids. There are other female Pediatricians in the practice. They cover for each other. We think every doctor there even the men are very nice. They are on Virginia by Shattuck 510-848-2566 Denise

My daughter (now 18) has been going to Kiwi Pediatrics since birth. She has seen many of the people in the practice, all of whom have been great. Her primary pediatrician there is Dr. Robin Winokur. Robin is friendly, funny,and low-key.

I did interview two other pediatricians before my daughter was born, and chose Kiwi because I really liked Dr. Winokur. Nothing has happened in the past 18 years to make me change my opinion of her, or the practice. We also saw Dr. David Kittams many times. He also is a wonderful pediatrician.

We have HealthNet, so I assume that Kiwi still takes new patients with HealthNet.

The practice has two offices listed below. We go to the one on San Pablo. It's a bare-bones kind of office. It seems like the practice hired more staff, so the last few times we went, my daughter was seen pretty much at the time of her appointment, i.e., no long wait like at many doctor's offices.

Contact info: 1178 San Pablo Ave, Albany - (510) 524-9400 1744 Alcatraz Ave, Berkeley - (510) 652-1720 Janet

My daughter is nearly 18 and she's been seeing Dr. Annemary Franks at Berkeley Pediatrics since she was small. Dr. Franks is knowledgeable, comfortable with all ages and I think, young enough herself to be able to maintain a good camaraderie with teens. My son (nearly 20 now) and daughter both like and respect her. I'm a pediatric nurse and I have a great deal of confidence in her judgment. Marianne

Both of my teen daughters, aged 16 and 19, go to pediatrician Dr. Karin Schiffman in Berkeley on Milvia. They appreciate her very warm,respectful and informative manner. Her office number is 510-854- 0300. karen

Karin Schiffman , 2500 Milvia St, Ste. 102, 845-0300. Fabulous. Love her. I've posted multiple times recommending her--I can't recommend her enough. She just helped us through an extremely scary health issue (requiring a hospital stay) for my 10 year old. She was responsive, thorough, and understanding through it all. My daughters (10 and 13) think she's the best. I agree wholeheartedly. Holly

I would recommend Dr. Maria Steelman . She is terrific with teens!!!! She is in Lafayette. I am in Montclair, but she's worth the drive. Adrienne

Pediatrician in Lafayette/WC for teen daughters

August 2008

I need to find a new pediatrician in the Walnut Creek/Lafayette area who is great with teens. I have 2 girls, 15 and 12. Any recommendations for my area? A.

My daughter (12) wanted to switch from a male to a female doctor, so we saw Julie Herbert at Lamorinda Pediatrics . After her appointment, my daughter wanted to become a pediatrician! Julie is young, hip, and engaged my daughter in discussions about puberty, etc. in a very non-embarrassing manner. Now, we never had any serious issues to discuss with her, but for well-child visits I was very pleased, as was my daughter. Sherry

Kaiser Oakland, Woman Dr. for 18 year old

March 2007

My daughter just turned 18, and was randomly assigned a male primary care physician in adult medicine, which she is not comfortable with. I checked the Kaiser Oakland website; the following 7 female internal medicine/family practice doctors are currently taking new patients, and we would appreciate your sharing any of your experiences with them, positive or negative: Leticia Aguilera-Ledesma, Teri Lynn Alyami, Nora Zehra Emon, Priscilla R.M. Flores, Deborah Ann Greer, Janet Amy Lai, Michelle Shute. Thanks much!

I'm a pediatrician at Kaiser Oakland. There's a clinic that developed in the past few years called the ''Young Adult Clinic''. It's specifically aimed for young adults, age 18-25, going through all the independence/college/work/sexuality etc issues that young adults deal with. It's part of the Dept. of Internal Medicine, but the doctors are very interested in that age group. Once your daughter turns 26 and older, she could continue to stay with that doctor for as long as she has Kaiser. There are a lot of great women docs there. One way to find one she might like is to go to and look who's got an open panel; you could then look at their on-line biography and see if she might be interested. You can get an appt in that department on-line, or just calling the Internal Medicine department and asking for a female doc in the Young Adult Clinic. Anon

Doctor for 16-year-old son who can suggest alternative remedies

March 2007

My son has just turned 16. I want to find a medical doctor for him who can satisfy him, my husband, and me. My son is skeptical of anything that he cannot prove or see for himself. My husband wants a good medical doctor and is OK with traditional Western medicine. I want someone who is sensitive to prevention and the negative side effects of drugs who can suggest alternative remedies--- homeopathics,Chinese herbs,acupuncture or whatever is needed. My insurance company will only pay for a medical doctor and I need that financial arrangement. Please let me know if someone like this exists and is taking new patients in the Berkeley/North Oakland area. Anon

We love Janet Perlman, MD, at Bayside Pediatrics on Telegraph in Oakland (510.452.5234). She's been our 13-year-old son's doctor since he was a toddler. She seems very supportive about alternative approaches, and is a good communicator in our experience. Wendy, Oakland

Primary care physician for gay teen son

Jan 2007

I'm looking for a HealthNet doctor that my gay teen son would feel comfortable talking to. He has a great pediatrician who helped him with other issue.. but now it's time for an adult doctor. The HealthNet site is impossible to get information from -- if you know of any MDs please post. No therapists, counselors, groups etc. Those are easy to find. This is my send post. Thanks! Anonymous

I'm sorry that you haven't received any responses to your post. Have you considered contacting LYRIC in SF (an organization that works with LGBT teens) or Our Family Coalition (advocacy and support groups for LGBT families)? They may have some leads. Although I am not in the same situation, I am a queer mother with a 1.5 year old son using HealthNet, and we both see Dr. Francine Yep at North Oakland Family Practice. My son has also seen Dr. John Good - they are both compassionate, patient listeners and sensitive to our needs. I love working with both of them. anonymous

Call Roxanne Fiscella in Berkley. She is in Alta Bates Medical Group and takes healthnet. Not sure if she is taking new patients. Her office staff and NPs and PAs are mostly women, but there are lots of male patients. Ms Ida is the main office staff person. Anon

[Editor] See also: Gay Friendly MDs

When to ''graduate'' from the pediatrician?

June 2006

I'm the parent of a 16 year old daughter and I've been wondering whether it's time to switch her from her pediatrician to a physician in my family practice group. Any advice? anonymous

I asked the doctor what she thought as our daughter turned 17. She said that she had one patient still coming there after college; but she says through college or when the ''child/adult'' thought it was time mother of 4

My husband is a pediatrician, thought not in private practice, so his take on it isn't self-interested.

He would ask you to consider: does she like her doctor? Is she comforable with the doctor's gender? Does this doctor or practice seem to be interested in adolescent medicine? Does she have any ongoing problems that would best be managed by the doctor who has cared for her so far?

Adolescent medicine is an area that doctors can study, read journals, on, etc., and most who do so are pediatrians. Most, but not all, pediatricians are comfortable and qualified to do pelvic exams and deal with sexual health issues. If she likes her doctor and her doctor likes caring for teens, then stay. Many kids stay with their pediatricians until they leave for college.

What we did was change our son to a ''boy doctor'' in the same practice when he was about 10. Our daughter stayed with the woman doctor we had been using. Then, these two veteran doctors both retired, and our kids were assigned to young, somewhat hip doctors, each of their gender. It's really been perfect; during the little kid stage, we had someone very experienced to ask about things, then, when what mattered more was the kids relationship with their doctor, they got younger people who they felt more comfortable talking with not a doctor, but...

I'd wait 'til they're 18. They're still kids and pediatricians are experienced with adolescents. A Pediatrician would be a better fit for an adolescent than a physician who sees adults. Even 19 year olds are still adolescents. Even though most kids see adult physicians starting at 18, they're still dealing with hormones, emotional ups/downs, acne, etc. Also, I think, personally, it's nice for them to have that reassuring tie to their childhood doctor and clinic (they're basically a big kid, not an adult) , and not thrust into the adult clinic, where they might have worries or ill-at-ease issues. And for you, as the parent, you'll feel more comfortable talking to your child's longtime pediatrician about any dope- smoking, weight-gaining/losing, issues with an expert in adolescence than with a doctor that isn't so sensitive to the pressures/problems of adolescents. Mother of ''big kids''

Not sure what your concern is, exactly, about your 16 y.o. and the pediatrician, but I'd say let your daughter make the decision. I loved my pediatrician -- he knew me before chicken pox, and was still the one I turned to for advice and care when I was 18! Good pediatricians are well versed in working with infants, teens, and everyone in between. My 15 y.o. daughter's pediatrician at Kaiser Richmond is wonderful. My daughter knows that she can call or e-mail her doctor without me and I feel good knowing that she can trust her doctor and has a safe, nonparental person she can confide in if she needs to. So ask your daughter --if she's happy with her pediatrician, don't change Anon Mom

My daughter at around 14 said she was tired of the environment at the pediatrician's office; lots of babies and little children running around, and she also felt she was being treated like a younger child by the pediatrician. So, we switched to a family practitioner and all's been well. I would ask your daughter how she feels about it. I think if the relationship is good and the pediatrician is still helpful, why change? But let her make the choice, it's her body and her relationship anon

Older reviews for Doctors

Pediatricians that parents have recommended for teenagers