Advice about Kaiser Oakland

Parent Q&A

Kaiser Oakland Doctors Oct 25, 2020 (3 responses below)
Kaiser Oakland vs Richmond Aug 22, 2018 (7 responses below)
Kaiser Oakland vs. Kaiser Pinole and Doctor recommendations Jan 4, 2018 (5 responses below)
Seeking Kaiser Doctor -- Oakland or San Leandro? Dec 18, 2016 (2 responses below)
Colonoscopy at Kaiser Oakland Dec 12, 2016 (6 responses below)
  • Kaiser Oakland Doctors

    (3 replies)


    We have just relocated to the Grand Lake/Piedmont area of Oakland, we have Kaiser Permanente insurance and are looking for recommendations for a family care doctor, a mental health counselor and a gynecologist.

    If you have personal experience and can make a recommendation for any of those that would be so helpful! 

    Thank you!


    RE: Kaiser Oakland Doctors ()

    Hi! Welcome to the area :) My ob-gyn is wonderful and I really highly recommend her: Angela Shay Lee. 

    RE: Kaiser Oakland Doctors ()

    I had Renée Perry as an OBGYN for years and enjoyed her. She was always personable and friendly. She helped me through an ectopic pregnancy which was tough for me, so I’m grateful to her for that. 

    RE: Kaiser Oakland Doctors ()

    I recommend Nancy Palmer for your family medicine doc. She's been my primary for awhile now and I really like her. I did actually know her socially first (mom's group!) and I switched to her because she's so smart and has such great energy. 

    I can't recommend a good gyno because mine keep moving or retiring! So weird. It's happened 3-4 times over the past 15 years that I've been here. Weird. I don't even think I currently have one anymore... Oh, well. Maybe your post will turn up some good rec from fellow Mamas. Good luck!

  • Kaiser Oakland vs Richmond

    (7 replies)

    Hi all, 
    We are newly enrolled into Kaiser and trying to decide between Kaiser Oakland and Richmond facilities. We are equidistant from both, in Berkeley. Our primary requirement is a good paediatrician (for 2 yr old & 6 yr old), and I see several recommendations for both centres. So are there any overall process/feature differences that make one centre better than the other? 

    RE: Kaiser Oakland vs Richmond ()

    I find both facilities to be stressful and overwhelming for routine care, especially with two young kids.  I would consider heading out a bit past Richmond to go to Kaiser Pinole.  Since it's not part of a hospital it's small, friendly and with easy peasy parking.  Whenever I go to Kaiser Oakland I have to build in an extra 20 minutes just for parking and finding my way through the huge maze of buildings/offices so it might not add too much time to your overall journey.  Also, an amazing pediatrician is located there, Dr. Elizabeth Bassett.

    RE: Kaiser Oakland vs Richmond ()

    I actually love Kaiser Oakland for pediatrics, though I agree with the other responder on the mazelike aspects for adult care there (which is still scattered across several buildings). But pediatrics is all in one building, except for speciality care, which is right across the street, so it feels very streamlined. We have been incredibly impressed with every pediatrician we've seen over the years for our 4- and 7-year-olds. Parking is a beast, to be sure, but I have learned to just pay for the garage. No experience with either Richmond or Pinole, so I can't compare, but my understanding is that much of the specialist care is in Oakland, so if you do need something beyond the basics, you will get referred to Oakland anyway. We have twice had situations where, at a routine visit, our doctor flagged something as an immediate concern and referred our child, once to a specialist and once to the ER. In the second situation, the doctor called the hospital (just across the street from pediatrics) with all of the information and we just took the elevator down, crossed the street, and were there. So there can be some pluses to being associated with a hospital.

    RE: Kaiser Oakland vs Richmond ()

    I second the recommendation for Kaiser Pinole pediatrics. Small and easy, and our pediatrician (Dr. Cherilyn Brunetti) is wonderful. If you need specialists, they can put in a referral and you can deal with the larger hospitals in Oakland and Richmond. Good luck!

  • Hi BPNers,

    My employer just switched to Kaiser and I am new to the system so thought I would reach out to this great community for advise.  We live in Albany- would you recommend the Pinole Kaiser or Oakland Kaiser?  If you have any recommendations for a General Practitioner for me (Mom) and our two boys (8 and 10), I would appreciate any advice you can share.


    Newbie to Kaiser

    I've been fairly happy with Kaiser through the years (with some caveats related to mental health services). When we moved to El Cerrito (and had a second child) we switched our pediatrician to one at Pinole, Dr. Mahar, and like how much easier it is to GET to Pinole & park, compared to the Mosswood building! However, ironically enough, I am about to head to Mosswood today with one child for a specialist appointment. Oakland is the "mothership" and you will still be there for various things, including urgent care & specialty care. I guess if you have a choice for your regular care, pharmacy, labwork, etc., try for Pinole (and I believe there are some docs there who are "family" meaning they will serve you and the kids), but don't expect to get everything done there all the time.

    I would strongly recommend the Pinole Kaiser over the Oakland Kaiser.  I've used both, and Pinole is just so much less stress and hassle.  Kaiser Oakland is big and spread out, parking is tough, and it is much more of an undertaking.  Kaiser Pinole is small with easy parking and is very mellow because it is so small.  I can recommend my doctor, Dr. Shaw.  She's in Family Medicine so can see you and both kids.  If she's not available I would recommend choosing another family practice doctor, I've found them to be much better than the general practitioners I've used at Kaiser.

     I love Kaiser Pinole! I moved from Berkeley to Richmond last year, and use Pinole for my pediatrician. I love how easy it is to park – free large suburban parking lot. Plus, if you have an early morning appointment you are going against traffic.  You can always see somebody in Oakland if there’s a more serious problem that can’t be addressed in the clinic setting. My baby sees Dr. Leo and we love him!  

  • Hello Bay Area Families,

    Our family is moving to Kaiser and I'm looking for some advice.  Thanks in advance for your time.

    Does anyone know of a good doctor who has a naturopathic approach - may use nutritional guidelines to improve health rather than medicine.

    Does anyone know of a good doctor for people who have Type I diabetes - both GP and an Endocrinologist.

    Who is your favorite Pediatrician?   We prefer female for two girls.

    Your favorite OB?  Particularly for menopause.

    Do people have opinions on the Oakland vs San Leandro facilities?   How do they compare.

    Thank you!

    For pediatrician, I love Dr. Roxanna Martinez Allen at Kaiser San Leandro. She's knowledgeable, personable, and just overall great with my little ones. I also really prefer the San Leandro facilities for convenience (free/easy parking) and good quality care. 

    Hi, I can answer some of your questions.  I have used both Oakland and San Leandro Kaiser so can compare them:  I find parking a hassle at Oakland and at San Leandro there's a great, large parking lot that is easy and safe: well lit, free, and open and it has exercise stations along the way if you're so inclined as you walk to the hospital from your parking spot. 

    The San Leandro hospital is brand new, beautifully designed, and I've had good care in each of the departments I've been in (ER, GP, pharmacy, OB/GYN). I prefer San Leandro Kaiser and just wish it had everything I need there! (Had to do physical therapy, urgent care, allergy elsewhere). 

  • Colonoscopy at Kaiser Oakland

    (6 replies)

    I had a colonoscopy 5 years ago with a private doctor and now have to have another one. Except now I have Kaiser for the first time and I'm kind of terrified of having to use whatever doctor they choose to do the procedure. I can live with randomly assigned doctors for most of my health care, but this is almost like surgery. I wish I had some way of interviewing doctors but there but they make that really hard. Almost impossible. 

    Any of you BPN folks have a recommendation for someone at the Oakland Kaiser gastro department who you loved?


    RE: Colonoscopy at Kaiser Oakland ()

    I don't have a name to recommend.  But, for what it's worth, I had my first colonoscopy at Kaiser about a year ago and felt very well taken care of, even though I did not even know the doctor's name.

    RE: Colonoscopy at Kaiser Oakland ()

    Dear Jean,

    I've had 3 colonoscopies at Kaiser Oakland with three different doctors, and they have all been fine.  My most recent one was a few weeks ago. The experience as a patient undergoing this procedure at Kaiser is quite impersonal but I still felt very safe and I had no concerns about my medical care.  You are escorted to a curtained off "cubicle" in a row of other patients in similar cubicles.  This is where they have you dress in a gown, they ask you some questions, get your consent and take your vitals.  You are then moved via gurney to the private procedure room where you meet the doctor, and after you are given light sedation you will be comfortable and not really aware of what's going on.  After the procedure, you are wheeled back to another curtained cubicle row of people to recover.  The entire process takes a couple of hours.  Good luck to you.


    RE: Colonoscopy at Kaiser Oakland ()

    Hi.  Dr. Stephanie Santos is great.  She's on the younger side (to a 50 yr old), but most of my doctors are at this point.  Super responsive, smart, and I've had 2 (maybe 3?) lower and upper procedures with her already and have no reservations about her.

  • Hello all,

    I am seeking advice, reviews of Kaiser doctors (Oakland or Walnut Creek preferably (I'm in Berkeley) but I can drive further if needed), or even specialists in other HMOs/independent. I am looking for doctors who have a knack for difficult cases. I need a diagnosis detective! I'm willing to pay out-of-pocket for someone outside of Kaiser if I have to.

    I'm 33. Eat healthy, have always tried to take good care of myself. But I have ongoing chronic health challenges that I have spent literally the past 13 years trying to understand and conquer. After many years, many doctors and many questions (and many lab tests), my doctors seem to have come to the end of the line. We do know a few things. I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, both wrists, moderate to severe. Had this since I was 19 with NO reasonable explanation as to WHY (No repetitive typing or clerical computer work, very diverse activities at work (nothing repetitive or overly strenuous on my wrists!), I'm very conscious of my health and activities). I now have permanent numbness and weakness in some of my fingers, and very bad weakness and pain in my wrists and hands. I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome years ago (I had Candida overgrowth that one of my previous doctors treated me for successfully) many years ago, I control this *mostly* effectively with a clean, mostly organic, mostly Paleo, dairy-free diet. Tested for Celiac but the tests came back negative. Tried Gluten-free diet anyway for many years. I have cysts in my hands (had an MRI, it came back "inconclusive"), calcification in my shoulders (causes pain and impingement in both sides), arthritic changes in my shoulders and hands. Eczema-like rashes on my fingers on both hands, with sores that get infected (no matter HOW HARD I try to keep them clean, and I do EVERYTHING including avoiding water, wearing gloves most of the day, etc.) and don't heal for days or weeks. Tried every cream, lotion, oil and ointment I can get my hands on from prescription steroids to natural/organic options (nothing works). I test with high blood phosphates and *almost* high calcium (at the highest end of normal for my age group), tested positive for a few antibodies including Anti Scl-70 and ANA. My weight fluctuates. I am constantly exhausted. My period is irregular, with WAY too heavy bleeding (I've had 2 kids). Low blood iron anemia even though I eat TONS of iron rich foods. Migraines, headaches. Rashes. Cystic acne. Chronic Dry Eye. Too many symptoms to list them all.

    If you go here:  ... I have many, many of them.

    My doctors have considered various diagnoses including Hypothyroid, Sarcoidosis and Scleroderma. They say I don't fit all the criteria. My TSH and T4 test low to normal, and my T3 tests normal. I have asked them to test Reverse T3, but they say Kaiser will not order this test.

    After years.. the answer I'm getting is basically different variations of, "well, you have some kind of autoimmune issue.. but we don't have enough to diagnose you."

    I need answers. I want my life back. I'm considering going on the AIP (AutoImmune Protocol) diet. I want a diagnosis first, I want to know what is going on, and want to make sure I'm not missing something really serious.

    I would appreciate any and all advice and recommendations. Thanks!

    I would suggest a completely fragrance-free lifestyle. Most people don't realize how their fragranced cleaning and personal care products affect the. Also, stay away from new carpet, fresh paint, etc. 

    You might want to try crowd diagnosis. Sounds weird, but has worked in some cases.

    I am wondering if anyone ever suggested the possibility of CFIDS (also know as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), or Fibromyalgia? Check out and see if anything rings true. CFIDS is know for fatigue, muscle pain, insomnia, digestive issues, post exercise malaise, etc but it can also cause unusual symptoms like yours. I have CFIDS and I have quite a few of the symptoms you listed. I’d also like to suggest seeing my holistic doctor, Marcey Shapiro on Solano Ave in Albany. I’ll tell you up front she is expensive, doesn’t take insurance and is hard to get in to see - with that caveat I really recommend her. She is a very experienced doctor and is very knowledgeable about alternative medicine. I use her as a consultant to supplement my traditional medical care. I have found her much more helpful than traditional doctors. She’s kind, smart and very competent.  Good luck!

    There is an expert on Scleroderma at UCSF.  You could request a referral to see her because your doctors are questioning the scleroderma diagnosis.  It is a rare disease and hard to diagnose.  You could have more than one disease so all your symptoms may not perfectly match one diagnosis, but it sounds like you have an autoimmune disease.