Comparisons of Bay Area Kaisers

Questions & Responses:
Seeking Kaiser doctor Oakland or San Leandro(2 responses)
Archived Responses: 

Kaiser Walnut Creek or Richmond?

Jan 2008

I'm seeking general advice about switching to Kaiser Walnut Creek or Richmond. I've had a number of extremely frustrating experiences with Kaiser Oakland, in several different departments (Prenatal, Neurology, Podiatry), that generally relate to administrative incompetence and ineptitude. Today's incident drives me to ask whether anybody had made such a switch from Oakland to Walnut Creek or Richmond, and whether they've found administrative competence to be any better there. I have no problem with the doctors in Oakland, but their good work is constantly undermined by lost appointments, incorrectly booked appointments, misplaced paperwork, unreturned phone calls, and other annoyances that are costing me hours of unremunerated time. A recent visit to Kaiser Sacramento was very eye opening (friendly! clean! competent!) and I'm wondering if I might find the same level of service closer to home at Richmond or Walnut Creek. Patient With No More Patience

A number of years ago I got fed up with Kaiser Oakland too and started looking around at other campuses. I went to Richmond for awhile and like its small town feel, found a great GYN, but couldn't find a primary there I was happy with.

What I've ended up doing is choosing doctors I like at different local facilities- I have a couple of doctors in San Rafael, I followed my GYN from Richmond to Petaluma, I have one doctor in SF, and one at Oakland (who is threatening to leave Kaiser because they overbook her so severely). I fill my prescriptions and do my lab work at Richmond, which is the quickest for me to get to.

I like it this way and find no disadvantages at all over staying with just one facility, but if I were to choose my favorite facility it would be San Rafael- friendliest people, easiest system to deal with, excellent doctors, pleasant environment. It's a very easy drive for me from N. Berkeley, and a much nicer drive than into Oakland. anon

Richmond Kaiser versus Oakland Kaiser ?

Feb 2007

I am just wondering if I should switch my GP to Kaiser Richmond instead of Oakland. Currently I don't have a very good GP in Oakland but I would like to keep my other Doctors. What are actually the pros and cons between Richmond and Oakland Kaiser ? It seems to be less busy in Richmond and it's closer to my home. I went to Oakland because my husband thinks it's better because it has more resources. Since I am not happy with my GP right now I am thinking to switch just my GP to Richmond. Also, can somebody recommend a good GP in Richmond ? I like to have somebody who doesn't rush me and actually listens instead of telling me after 5 minutes it's all in your head. My current Doctor also hates to give out referals and it would be nice to have a Doctor who is more willing to give a referal. anon

Kaiser Richmond is smaller and WAY LESS CROWDED than Oakland. Parking is free. I have never had to wait more than maybe 10 minutes or so...even in emergency. If you need treatment that they don't have there they will send you to Oakland, San Raphael, Vallejo, etc. We've been going there for over 16 years (since I became pregnant with my 16 yo. They have a great women's health unit, breast care unit, ob dept. with some of the greatest, kindest MD's and NP's. As far as their general medical dept. I have looked/asked around for a more wholistic minded MD...the ones that are recommended usually are not taking new patients. I see a NP, Marianna Philippek. She's somewhat wholistic minded, will listen to me, return my calls, give me whatever tests I ask for and discuss things with me....still she leans more toward western med. than I like but it's Kaiser....!!! Like any Kaiser you have to learn how to ''work the system'' sometimes to get what you want. The pediatrics dept. is FABULOUS. I have an eye condition that requires twice a year check ups. I go to Oakland for this because I like the opthalmologists there better than Richmond. Otherwise I think Richmond Kaiser is really good. anon
I had most of my childhood doctor care at Richmond Kaiser and I've had my past few years of care mostly at Oakland. Richmond Kaiser is nicer and less busy than Oakland. The only drawback I found was the sketchy neighborhood you drive through to get there. You can always go to Oakland if you need something they specialize in even if you get your primary care at Richmond.
I really like going to Richmond K. It's way less busy than Oakland. The pediatricians are great and it's relatively easy to get an appt., even same-day. I like my primary MD (Dr. Edson). The one time I went to Oakland's ER it was a zoo, with guerneys in the hall, etc. (I realize it was just one time...). Richmond ER usually is not so busy. Plus, it's less than 10 minutes from my home - main reason I go there. My wife recenly switched from O to R also. Michael

Walnut Creek vs. Oakland - Pedi and Ob/Gyn

November 2001

Does anyone have advice about pediatricians and gynecologists at Kaiser Walnut Creek? Does anyone have advice about whether Kaiser Walnut Creek is better than Kaiser Oakland? Are waiting times different? Sarah

Hi! I just want to say that I think Kaiser Oakland is terrific! My first son (who is 6) was born at the hospital there and I had a good experience. We have a terrific pediatrician there named Dr. Swati Mukerji. She is a senior member of the staff there and my boys like her alot. I used to work in Walnut Creek and had some limited experience with going there. It is a very nice facility, but I would not recommend it over Oakland... especially if you live in the East bay area. I think you will find that the staff at Kaiser Oakland is just great and you will have a good experience there. Linda
I do not have experience with Kaiser Oakland, but I have had a great experience with Kaiser Walnut Creek in Pediatrics (Dr. Hassler is great) and OBGYN (Lanka, Tucker and Probst are all great female MD's). The women's health clinic has some fabulous MD's and specialists. I used their health ed classes during my pregnancy and learned about the other unknowns Kaiser offers, like nurse midwives, lactation consultants and fabulous maternity ward nurses. In Pediatrics, I have never been given stall tactics and been seen quickly for unscheduled appointments by on-call Pediatricians (sick baby). I've heard the WC facility and patient care is better than Oakland. Like any healthcare provider, you have to be assertive in your requests for treatment or specialist referrals and learn to work the system. Allow at least 2 weeks to get in for non urgent appointments. They also have a good website that allows you to request appointments from primary care MD's. NancyD
I have gone to Kaiser Oakland for urgent care with my kids. The doctors and staff also seemed great, although it doesn't seem as warm to me as Walnut Creek.
I live in El Cerrito and have gone to Kaiser Richmond, Oakland, and Walnut Creek. I didn't like the Richmond ob/gyn clinic (but love the pediatric clinic). I found the Oakland clinic was OK, but overwhelming (didn't like the parking, etc.) I started going to Walnut Creek when I was pregnant because I heard they had a progressive maternity ward. I delivered two children there and had surgery there. The wait is good, and the staff is polite. I see Dr. Tucker. She is friendly and smart and answers all my questions in a respectful manner. She did my surgery taking a conservative approach that turned out to be warranted. Also, I saw on Frontline a couple months ago that Kaiser was rated top notch as far as speedy diagnosis and outcome and felt much better about it. It is nonprofit and I've never felt shortchanged. gerry