Advice about Pediatrics at Kaiser
Archived Q&A and Reviews
we just had our baby girl last Saturday and need to find a pediatrician in Oak, Walnut, Pinole Kaiser (preference in that order) who is open to alternative/natural medicine and vaccine options. Any recs are much appreciated Valeria
My child sees Dr. Lynn Arsenault at Kaiser Park Shadelands in Walnut Creek. Although she encourages me to follow Kaiser's medical recommendations, she respects my rights as a parent to delay vaccinations. I don't see her more than once a year because my child has never been ill enough to need a trip to the doctor. Happy Kaiser Parent
I'm having a baby this Fall and am looking for recommendations for a pediatrician over at Kaiser Oakland who is insistent regarding CDC-recommended vaccine schedules with her/his patients. Many thanks! M
Congratulations on your new baby! As a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, and the Immunization Lead for Pediatrics at Kaiser Oakland/Alameda, I can whole-heartedly tell you that none of our docs are wishy-washy about vaccines. 100% of us fully support the CDC immunization schedule. While we have a policy of NOT turning away patients whose parents choose not to protect their children with timely immunizations, (some private clinics do), any of our pediatricians would warmly welcome you into their practice. Katrina Saba, MD
Does anyone know of a pediatrician at Kaiser open and knowledgeable about veganism ? Or at least someone who you feel is not too ''Kaiser'' ? I am also doing an alternative vaccine schedule, skipping some, etc. I have had 2 different pediatricians so far and I hate that everytime they really try to scare me about the vaccines and are completely useless as far as nutrition for a vegan child (beside telling me he needs milk and protein). Thanks ! Vegan mum
I wouldn't ask your Pediatritian about nutritional advice, they aren't trained in nutrition. I found myself very frustrated in your same situation. The fill out questions I found especially annoying and geared towards a certain bias. I debated whether to even answer the questions truthfully. Seek out your own nutrition answers. I found the book Don't Drink your Milk and the film Forks over Knives especially convincing in the dangers of cow milk and casein. As far as kaiser doctors go I would't bother trying to get support from them. I found after several dissaponting experiences that the Residents were the most open, supportive and don't have the same time constraints. You do however have to get a new doctor every so often since they often move on as they are only doing their residency at kaiser. I have been much happier with them. My child has been super healthy and hasn't even missed a day of preschool in 3 years despite all the other kids being sick. I have Kaiser for any emergency and despite their recent phone call reminder have never given my child a flu shot either. We also co-slept which a lot of mainstream doctors don't support. A wonderful experience I am so glad to have had. Don't let the doctors discourage you, stick to your convictions. Anon
We've seen several Kaiser pediatricians over the years who were quite good, but I doubt you'll find one who will make you feel OK about skipping vaccines and having a toddler/child on a vegan diet. It is unethical to fail to vaccinate your child and it is the pediatrician's responsibility to try and help you see why you should. You are relying on others to vaccinate their children so you don't have to. I think you will have to use alternative health care to find someone who would support vegan diet choices for your baby/toddler. Sign me skeptical that Kaiser is right for you
I hope your baby is getting adequate protein and fat, because children need a lot more than adults for their rapid growth and brain development during the first five years. You will have to work very hard for your child to get enough on a vegan diet. The adults in the family will be fine on a vegan diet, but maybe not the chbild, so please take this very seriously.
We just switched to Kaiser and I'm looking for a ped who is pro-attachment parenting. Any city around Oakland is fine, Richmond, Hayward, Walnut Creek, Alameda. I'm looking for somone who won't stare blankly at me about breast feeding, co-sleeping, positive discipline, home schooling, etc. I am a biology researcher and want an intelligent conversation based on the latest research, including Sears and McKenna, instead of outdated ideas that science/formula is better than mother. Thanks, R C
Good luck finding a single pediatrician in a 100-mile radius who recommends formula over breastfeeding. Even when my first child was born at Kaiser 28 years ago, no one was recommending formula. Not sure where you got the impression this is the status quo - maybe outdated parenting books? At any rate, I would wager that you would be very happy with just about any of the pediatricians at Kaiser, and if you are not happy, you can always change.
We have Dr. Phan Phu thru Kaiser Oakland . Kaiser doesn't give you much choice especially when the ones that come highly recommended are not taking new patients. However, I did find an old recommendation for him and when I read his bio - I thought ok why not. We have been very very pleased with him. I was surprised, since this was Kaiser after all. We are an attachment parenting family - cloth diapers, co- sleeping, extending bf..etc. He had NO problems whatsoever..including our choice to follow an alternative vaccination schedule. He had even suggested at 6 mos old to try and put our son on the potty. We always wanted to EC so we did and it had worked great up until we put him into a daycare that wouldn't accept cloth . Anyway, he listens to you and answers questions and he sometimes will give his opinion but does not push mainstream AAP statistics. He really does have a conversation with you. Also, when our son had a double ear infection - he did not push for us to use antibiotics without any prompting from us at all! Anon
I would highly recommend Dr. Robert Schaff at Kaiser Pinole . We are a breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby-wearing, cloth diapering family and have been with Dr. Schaff since our son was born. When he moved to the Pinole office we followed him, even though it was slightly farther for us (we live in Berkeley). He is excellent- kind, caring, energetic, nonjudgemental, and best of all, he will discuss your child's care with you in scientific terms trusting that you are educated enough to be a part of the dialogue and never talking down to you or condescending. love our ped
I would say that Kaiser in general is very pro-breastfeeding so I don't think any Kaiser pediatrician would try to push formula on you. They have free lactation consultants available in person or by phone. I breastfed my son well past 2-years and never got anything but praise from our main pediatrician and any others we saw. We also co-slept until around 6-months and never had any problem discussing this with our pediatrician. anon
It never ceases to amaze me how many people on BPN think that most pediatricians have missed the message that breastmilk is better than formula. And I'm sure if you're a biology researcher you're aware of the scientific quality and relevance of Sears' and McKenna's research vs. studies that look at large numbers of SIDS cases (the relevant endpoint) while attempting to minimize confounding factors. I know a lot of Kaiser Oakland and Alameda pediatricians and most of them are up-to-date and open-minded, so unfortunately I can't narrow it down to a specific recommendation. pro-attachment parenting, anti-AP movement's smug tone
After going to 4 different pediatricians through kaiser, we have finally found a truly pro-AP doctor: Dr. Casey Brown , at the Richmond Kaiser. We randomly saw her after our son had an ear infection and our regular pediatrician was out. After that visit, I switched all of my kids to her. Her panel is open (Aug 2011) since she is new to kaiser. She was not just neutral about us co-sleeping, still night nursing (at 10 months), etc, but she was supportive and encouraging, which I had never felt from another kaiser pediatrician. (I even had one tell me I should try to limit night nursing at 3 months of age!). Best of all, she has kids of her own and interacted with my baby and my older son (who was along for the visit) in a caring, playful, and friendly way that made us all feel at ease in her presence. She helped me make an informed decision about antibiotics too. I can't recommend her highly enough and feel so blessed to have randomly discovered her. Totally worth the 15 minute drive to Richmond- considering parking is a breeze there, it really isn't much longer to get there than going to the Oakland kaiser from our house in Berkeley. Happy with our pediatrician- finally!!!
Re: Looking for a hassle free pediatrician's office
Kaiser. No billing. No insurance snafus. No waiting. No hassles making appointments. 24/7 pediatric emergency room. Doctors answer your emails. Pharmacy onsite. Lab onsite. Everything is easy. Recent Kaiser convert
We are having a home birth and are wondering if folks know of pediatricians that are open to non western ways of caring for children that do not automatically result in prescriptions and who are also supportive of breastfeeding,breastfeeding and returning to work as well as attachment parenting methods. Thoughts and suggestions are very much appreciated, thanks! CM
We have been very happy with Dr Tenney at Kaiser . We didn't have a home birth, but we've found Dr Tenney to be VERY supportive of our wishes to use an alternative vaccination schedule, avoid prescriptions, etc. In fact, she even expected we would have done our research and come to our own decisions about how to approach our child's medical care. As for breastfeeding, she's also been nothing but supportive. Kaiser Oakland has an office of lactation consultants on the same floor as the main pediatrics office. The consultants are wonderful (especially Nneka!!!) and will meet with you as often as you need. They're also available by phone if you have questions and can help with everything from latch problems to supply issues to work and pumping. Good luck!
I would like to hear any positive/negative experiences with Kaiser's Richmond or Oakland pediatric services, mainly regarding appointment availability in ''urgent'' cases. Can you get an appoinment for the same day if needed? We've not chosen our doctor yet, neither are not sure whether to take Kaiser or United Health Care, so I'd be happy to hear recommendations on any other pediatric services in/near Berkeley MM
My kids are older now and Kaiser periodically changes their operations, so you might want to call and check, but as of a couple of years ago, you could get same day app'ts every day of the week, incl weekend days. And evening appt's. And major holidays, as they have doctors of different faiths so they can work around each other's holidays. That has been one of the most important features of Kaiser, for which we have endured other shortcomings: same day (they're called ''Urgent Care'') appointments, evening app'ts, and holiday app'ts. I even had the need for stitches in the evening for one my kids falling down on a pool deck, and they took him in and performed the finest little stitches surgery under his chin. You can't see the scar. A mom very pleased with Kaiser Oakland Pediatrics
This is exactly where Kaiser shines. You will absolutely be able to get a same-day, urgent care appointment in Pediatrics. That includes weekends, as long as it is a truly urgent matter (and they err on the safe side in defining ''urgent''). My experience with the advice nurses (who do the phone screening before the appt.) is that if you are concerned, they are concerned, and it's generally the case that they are talking us into a visit more than the other way around! The Peds advice nurses are available 24/7. You won't necessarily get to see your ''regular'' doctor if it's a same-day appointment. Don't know about Oakland, but if you go with Richmond, you're pretty much guaranteed a good pediatrician no matter who you see
I'm due with our 1st child in a month. I called Kaiser to sign up with a pediatrician (based on all my friends' advice to find a pediatrician now), but was told I can't sign up with anyone until the baby is born. I think the rep's exact words were ''you can't sign up for a doctor without a Kaiser number, and your baby doesn't have a Kaiser number until she's born, so you can't sign her up with a doctor.'' Oy. Now I'm wondering if that Kaiser rep. was actually correct. So here's the question: have you signed your child up with a Kaiser pediatrician before their birth? If not, have you at least *met* Kaiser pediatricians before the birth? How willing are they to meet with parents for an initial visit to see if we like their style? Thanks!
This was more than 13 years ago, but when I was pregnant with my first son, my husband and I made several appointments at Richmond Kaiser to interview various pediatricians. This was before the newer phone/appointment system they have now. No one squalked, but I have to say the Drs. were ALL surprised because I guess not too many people do this. Don't even tell them when you make the appointment that it's for you,just give the name and your Kaiser number. Good luck, assertive Kaiser member
How great that you are trying to finalize all the details before the baby arrives. I am also a Kaiser mom and tried to pick a Ped before my baby was born, too. But you really do have to wait until the baby is born before getting the M.D. Our baby had some trouble and was in the NICU at first and so we met quite a few Kaiser docs. You know, I have liked all of the Drs. we have met in our son's first year and we have met quite a few given the other problems that he has run up against. He is super healthy now, and the thing that you will love about Kaiser is that it is a great health plan for babies and kids. You will be able to have so much more assistance with Kaiser than with a regular health plan, which is why picking out a Ped for a kid with Kaiser is not so crucial. I have been very reassured by calling the advice nurse at 2 or 3 a.m. to ask about my son's high temp or ''croup'' breathing. And the advice nurse has always been incredibly helpful and has gotten me in to see a Dr. first thing in the morning. You kind of end up seeing whatever Dr. is available when your kid is sick. But the convenience and flexibility far outweigh the drawbacks of not seeing the same Dr. every time. We still see his original Ped that treated him in the NICU for checkups and shots. I also love that they have Saturday hours. The only thing you could start doing is stocking up on Infant Tylenol, Motrin, a bulb syringe (for nose goobers) and a thermometer and memorize the pediatric phone number 752- 1200- you will be calling it often. Best wishes to you! lou
I've seen many recommendations for Dr. James Nickelson as an allergy/asthma expert...but does anyone have any recommendations for a Kaiser pediatrician with the same expertise? We could go to Walnut Creek, Oakland, Alameda or Park Shadelands.
- Caskey Weston NP, Kaiser Oakland
I am interested in finding a pediatrician at Oakland Kaiser who will be open-minded about a child not being fully vaccinated. I read the archives on this and someone had suggested a dr. at Richmond Kaiser but none for Oakland and I thought it was worth a repost. I have also seen the archives on Kaiser pediatricians parents recommended but I would love to hear from any parents currently using Oakland Kaiser. I need a dr. for me too so any recommendations would be welcome. Feel free to email me. Thanks. Susan
- Roberta Cunningham Kaiser Oakland
- Colleen Shipler Kaiser Oakland
Can anyone recommend a Kaiser pediatrician who is not pushy about vaccinations? Someone who takes their time and is open to alternative healthcare? A plus if they're a woman of color. Melinh
- Roberta Cunningham Kaiser Oakland
- Colleen Shipler NP at Kaiser Oakland
- Dr. Karen Sorrey at Richmond Kaiser
Can anyone recommend a good Kaiser pediatrician at Oakland or Richmond that has been GREAT with their preemie? Angie
- Siew Chan-Warner Kaiser Oakland
- Ann Tipton Kaiser Oakland