Doctors for Teens & Young Adults

Parent Q&A

  • Primary Care Doctor for Young Female Adults

    (3 replies)

    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 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.

    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'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.

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Archived Q&A and Reviews

Primary Care Specialties Dental

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

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Pediatricians that parents have recommended for teenagers