Kaiser Oakland Pediatricians

Questions & Responses:
Kaiser Oakland / Berkeley Pediatrician recommendations(0 responses)
Archived Responses: 

Pediatrician rec at San Leandro or Oakland Kaiser?

Jan 2015

We've just moved to the East Bay from Durham, NC, and would love a recommendation for a good pediatrician at Kaiser. We're living in San Leandro, but could potentially go to Oakland Kaiser as well. Our kids are 1 and 3. We're looking for a doctor who listens respectively and takes the time to fully explain options, someone with good common sense (not alarmist or prone to following trends). We want to work with someone who is up to date on research and practices evidence-based care. And obviously, someone who is a nice person and great with kids Thanks for your suggestions! Tanya

Welcome to San Leandro! We just moved here a couple of years ago, and though we liked our regular pediatrician in Oakland, we haven't looked back -- the facilities are so much nicer in San Leandro, and the parking situation alone was worth the move. We just had our first visit with Dr. Stephen Shochet, and were so impressed by his warmth, sense of humor, and advice on the usual toddler issues (picky eating, sleep, etc). He also has excellent credentials. He was still accepting patients a few months ago, so it might be worth checking him out. happy to be at Kaiser SL

Welcome to the Bay Area! I highly recommend Dr. Phan Phu at Oakland Kaiser. He's been our pediatrician since my 7.5 yr old was born and we just adore him. We know others who use him as well and have been just as happy as we are. He is exactly what you've described. First of all, he remembers us & our kids (which is something I've not experienced in other parts of Kaiser). He listens, answers every question, is not an alarmist whatsoever. He's very down to earth, has kids of his own, & has a great sense of humor. happy Kaiser mama

I recommend Dr. Roxanna Allen at the San Leandro Kaiser. She treated my daughter when our regular pediatrician was unavailable. I was so pleased with the visit that I immediately changed my daughter's primary doctor to Dr. Allen. She is well informed, patient, and she is wonderful with children (my three year old daughter loves her). -San Leandro mama

May 2013

We're expecting our first baby in September and would like to find a good pediatrician, covered by Kaiser, in the East Bay. We live in Oakland, but could travel to Berkeley, etc, if needed. Any recommendations?? Thanks! Susie

My daughter had David Bacchus (Oakland Kaise) until she was 8 (when she wanted to switch to a female pediatrician). She now has Ping Chou, who we chose by asking the nurses who they liked--they are a veritable font of information. They won't say anything bad, but they will refuse to comment on someone they don't like. They also like Dr. Tierney a lot (I think that's the right name--female doc). A lot of my mommy friends adored Dr. Jung, also at Oakland Kaiser. Unfortunately, I don't know if any of them have openings. Carrie

We really like Dr. Gentemann at Kaiser Oakland. I've often got a long list of questions and concerns at appointments and she's always taken the time to discuss them with me. She's also very prompt at responding to questions by email. My kids seem to feel really comfortable with her. Hope this helps. Anonymous

I love our Kaiser doctor, who is a family doc. Her name is Leila Hagshenas and she practices at 38th and Howe - right by the hospital. I tried a couple pediatricians as well but wasn't impressed. Dr. Hagshenas is warm, friendly and to the point. She also is a bit more ''natural'' and doesn't push vaccines or antibiotics unless necessary. I personally am vaccinating my child but have found other ped's to be obnoxious about it and she's been good at simply informing me. KL

May 2013

Re: Pediatrician who is not hyper-focused on weight
We see Dr. Susan Goddard at Oakland, Kaiser. She's great. I can see her looking beyond the childhood obesity hysteria that is so over-the-top these days (in my opinion, as well). For example, she never gave me any grief about keeping my girls on whole milk well past the recommended age of 2 (my kids are medium-sized, tho). I think it's worth meeting her and seeing if you like her style. Good luck! Mailisha

May 2013

Re: Pediatrician who is not hyper-focused on weight
Hi there! You don't say where you are, but Dr. Sylvia Delius is a Kaiser Oakland pediatrician who is great, and in general not an alarmist at all. My son is also like 95th percentile height and weight. His BMI puts him ''at risk'' but he eats well. He has always been solid like a rock and super active. I asked her if I should be concerned and she said ''look at him, he's full of muscle.'' She wasn't worried at all. The charts and such are not everything. Plenty of kids eat junk every day and are thin. You are right to worry about health, nutrition and exercise. Best of luck in your search. Stephanie

Pediatrician for High Risk Infant

Jan 2013

I am looking for recommendations for Kaiser Oakland pediatricians. My son was born 11 days ago and suffered complications during delivery in which he suffered a stroke and needed assisted breathing for a few hours. Since then, all the nurses and doctors say he's doing great and we should treat him like a healthy baby, but we will be closely monitoring his development especially in his first year of life to see if he develops any motor development issues, and then later for language development. I'd love recommendations for pediatricians who might be especially sensitive to the needs of what Kaiser calls a ''high risk infant'' (HRIF) since, as a first time mom, I'm not sure what that will look like. He'll also have a team of other specialists (neurologist, physical therapist) tracking his development, but I don't need recommendations for those doctors at this point. new mom

I enthusiastically recommend Dr. Pelly Fan in Oakland. She's worked with me and my son (now almost 14 years old) since he was an infant with numerous risk factors, including inexplicable seizures. We both adore her, she is smart and calm (never alarmist, always deliberate and always cautious in a really valuable way). She's the best, really... Fan's fan

We love our Kaiser Oakland pediatrician, Patrick Chen. Although I don't know if he has special expertise with high-risk infants, I think he might be a good match for you because 1. he's willing to work carefully and closely with other departments, 2. he is extremely available via email (he usually writes back within hours). If we've had a more complicated question, he's called us himself. 3. He has really wonderful bedside manner. He's a careful listener, thoughtful, and intelligent. 4. We've asked him so many (what later turned out to be sort of silly first-time parent) questions, and he's been warm and patient throughout. He's a family-care doctor, and my husband and I have also chosen to have him as our GP because we like him so much.

My only general advice is that you should use Kaiser's ''choose your own doctor'' system (that you can change your doctor any time) to your full advantage. Keep trying new doctors until you get one you like and trust; don't be shy about giving the other ones the boot. Happy with our doctor

2010 - 2012 Recommendations

April 2012

I am 26 weeks pregnant and seeking recommendations for competent and caring pediatricians at Oakland Kaiser, where I will be delivering. In addition to names, I am interested in your specific experiences. Thank you! anon

We've had pretty simple early child years so don't have any tense situation experience. We really like Dr. Phu. We've been with him for about 5 years. Although we don't see him often his always friendly and I like interacting with him. He always shares practical advice and gives good recommendations for child development. Jennifer

We love love love Dr. Culler at Kaiser Oakland. She's very down to earth, accessible and supportive. Best of luck! Jen B

Dr. Jennifer Tenney is the best! We have also been with Dr. Cunningham who is also great. Can't go wrong with anyone on the 11th floor, at least in my experience. Kasier pediatrics fan

April 2012

Looking for a Kaiser Oakland Pediatrician that is open to alternate vaccine schedule/non vaccination (or at least willing to work with us). Our pediatrician is on extended leave with no explanation and we need someone new until she hopefully returns. Thanks.

We really love our pediatrician Dr. Ping Chouw at Kaiser Oakland. She is open to alternative vaccination schedules and discussing it (although we did finally opt for a standard schedule). She is friendly and nice, and answers all of our questions without any problems. I do find her advice regarding sleep and parenting to be more on the conventional end, but then I usually do my own research anyways, and she is not pushy with it. I have enjoyed taking out now 2 year old to see her. Good luck! monica

August 2011

Re: Attachment parenting pediatricians at Kaiser
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

June 2011

I just switched to Kaiser and am looking for primary care docs for myself and my daughters (ages 13 and 10). For my daughters, I need a female pediatrician who is good with teens and preteens. Thanks for your help! Jennifer

My daughter had Dr. Jennifer Tenney for her Ped. @ Kaiser Oakland. They connected extremely well and had a good Dr./Patient relationship. My daughter is now over 18 and they transitioned her to an adult Dr.so perhaps Dr. Tenney has room for new patients. Good luck. Happy with Dr. Tenney

June 2011

I don't see any recent posts on this in the archives. We are expecting our first baby in July and looking for some updated recommendations on pediatricians at Kaiser Oakland. Thanks! Stephanie

We have been very pleased with Dr. Tatapudy since my daughter was little (she's a teen now). In our experience Dr. Tatapudy is professional but kind and she listens to concerns--even when she's very busy. She has also been respectful of my daughter as a person. Even when my daughter was very small Dr. Tatapudy was never condescending. Don't know if she treats infants. Jackie

We were referred to Dr. David Bacchus by a friend and have appreciated his experience, candor and willingness to work with some of the different choices we have made as new parents He has a nice way with the little ones, too. He's available to answer questions by phone and email. Rose

We really like Dr. Castaneda-Davis. Female doctor of color. Knowledgable. Warm and fun with kids and parents. Very patient. She always follows through. Answers e-mails quickly and calls if she thinks e-mail will be too cumbersome. Researches stuff she's not sure about & gets back to us. Flexible and listens to parents desires. All in all we have had a very positive experience with her and hope she will stick around 'til our kids are grown. (They are 2 and 4 now.)

That being said, when something is urgent, we can't always get an appointment with her (though she does try to help us with that when she can). That's a disappointing part of the Kaiser system. However, we've been mostly satisfied by excellent care with the other doctors we have seen from time to time. Healthy Kids!

We have used Elizabeth Gray for 16 years for our two kid, She's been available, flexible, prompt and listens to parents. I couldn't ask for more. d.n

Feb 2011

Hi, My husband and I are expecting are first child at the end of February. I am interested in recommendations for a pediatrician at Kaiser Oakland. Thanks. Allison

I reccomend Roberta Cunningham. She has been my son's pediatrician for 15 years and because she has sons of her own, she is able to understand him. She is great with me as a mom too. kr

May 2010

Re: Kaiser Pediatrian recommendation
Not sure if she's still accepting new clients, but we LOVE Dr. Saba at Kaiser Oakland. She always talks to my son (he's 3 now) and explains exactly what she's doing. I've also heard great things about Dr. Cunningham, but I haven't seen her personally. Good luck.

We have had great experiences with Dr. Elizabeth Culler at Kaiser Oakland. She was recommended to us by some friends and has been our daughter's primary care physician since birth. She has a very quiet, non-threatening manner, listens carefully, takes parental concerns seriously, and talks to the children. For instance, she has never touched our daughter without telling/asking her first, has given her time to get acquainted with instruments, etc. I know that her practice was full for a while, but she recently gave up the administrative duties of supervising the residents, so hopefully her practice is open.

We have also seen (and really liked) Dr. Dandekar. He was the pediatrician handling Dr. Culler's patients when she was out on maternity leave, and he also had a great manner, talked to my child (then only two) about what he was going to do next, and I thought he was just terrific when dealing with parents, too. I hope one of them has space in their practice and works out for you. I think they're both terrific. happy with kaiser physician

Hi, I recommend Jennifer Tenney at Kaiser Oakland. We found her after looking for someone who would talk to our daughter, too. Although we take our kids to their own pediatricians, for various reasons through the years (like illnesses on weekends and asthma attacks) we have seen several different pediatricians at Oakland Kaiser. I have 2 teenagers now. A year ago my daughter was diagnosed with something that is of significance and I felt that her pediatrician only talked to me and not to my daughter. When I needed her to return my calls she didn't. After having uniformly great experiences with all the other pediatricians during urgent care, I was confident I could do better. I was specifically looking for someone who could and would be empathic with my child. When my daughter ended up needing surgery, and we had a pre-op appointment, we went to a new pediatrician, Dr. Tenney, who was fabulous. She really spoke to my daughter, talked about her experiences and was both warm and real. We switched doctors right then and there. She has returned my occasional calls and continues to be warm and helpful.

We also really like my son's pediatrician, who may at first seem quiet, but he went totally out of his way for my son when he was ill, has given him tons of time in appointments, includes me in decision-making and he has responded to many emails when my son had an illness. I believe he's reasonable and caring. His name is David Bacchus, and he's received lots of praise on BPN. anon

You didn't say which Kaiser location but I've been going to Kaiser Oakland for the last four years with my daughter and we have never experienced a pediatrician who behaves the way you describe. Our regular pediatrician is Dr. Meera Tatapudy and I have been very happy with the way she interacts with both of my daughters (ages 4 years and 18 months). They both had checkups last month and Dr. Tatapudy was very good at addressing them directly and telling them what to expect (''now I'm going to look in your ears'', ''now I'm going to listen to your heart'', etc). She also greeted my 4 year old by name when she came in and made small talk (as much as you can with a 4 year old, questions about being a big sister and what's your favorite color).

We have seen many other pediatricians when we've needed urgent care and they have always been great with the kids. I hope you have a better experience next time. martha

April 2010

Re: Pediatricians at Oakland kaiser open to...
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!

April 2010

My husband just got a new job that has Kaiser health insurance and I enrolled at the Walnut Creek location because I heard it was better than the Oakland location (we live in Oakland). We had our first pediatrician appt for our 7 month old daughter yesterday and really didn't like the doctor. She was extremely curt and borderline rude, and seemed very rushed and disengaged. I'm disheartened that this is our first experience w/ a Kaiser doctor. I really loved my daughter's previous doctor at East Bay Pediatrics (Tracy Evans-Ramsey) and would love to find someone like her. I guess I just appreciate a good bedside manner, and would like someone who is a good listener and seems like they really like children. Can anyone recommend a pediatrician at Kaiser Walnut Creek or Oakland? Mary

You wrote that you heard that Walnut Creek was better than Oakland and that's why you're traveling despite living in Oakland. We use Kaiser Oakland Pediatrics and are very happy, for what it's worth. Tons of pediatricians to choose from. We have gotten great care for a broad range of medical issues. very happy at Kaiser Oakland

We have been Kaiser Oakland members for almost 4 years now and have nothing but positives to say about pediatrics. Not sure if they are accepting new patients right now, but we've found all of the following doctors to be warm and positive with our 4 year old and baby (and their parents!): Roberta Cunningham, Jennifer Tenney, Meera Tatapudy. No need to drive to WC!

I can't see driving to Walnut Creek when there are so many great pediatricians at Oakland Kaiser. That sounds stressful! Check out the BPN website for lots of recommendations. Our doc is David Bacchus. He's great. Berkeley Mom

I am so very sorry that you had a bad experience with a Kaiser doc. Please don't give up. Due to a job change, I had to move my daughter from Berkeley Pediatrics to Kaiser when she was @five years old. I was really worried, thinking I was going to ''second class medicine''. Was I ever wrong. There is nothing better than Kaiser for the best care, especially pediatrics. The advice line is available 24/7; urgent care visits are always available after hours. I have never waited more than 10 minutes in the waiting room. And the physicians are the very best. I've learned that for every 100 physician applicants, Kaiser hires 1 (now so many of the best docs want to work for Kaiser).

I have loved every physician we have seen in Oakland (though a Dr. Bacchus whom we saw in urgent care was less warm than the many others we have seen throughout the years in urgent care, though he was very competent). There is no reason for you to schlepp to Walnut Creek. (Actually, in terms of member satisfaction overall Richmond Kaiser ranks higher than Oakland or Walnut Creek). I would suggest you register on kp.org (a great resource) and go to ''locate our services''. If you select Oakland Medical Center, then pediatrics, you can see the web sites of each pediatrician, view their photos, read their bios, etc. The site also indicates whether the physician is open to new patients. Friday is the day that some doctors open up to new patients. My daughter is now 15 years old and has a new pediatrician (her other doc had the adaucity to retire!) whom we like, though she is young (Dr. Rebecca Gentemann). I have really liked Dr. Elizabeth Ann Gray and Dr. Junge. Please, stay with it; I have no question whatsoever that you will find a pediatrician you love at any of the Kaiser facilities. The ''system'' sometimes feels daunting, but once you figure out the correct phone numbers (peds in oakland is 752- 1200), and the docs you love, you will be very, very happy- -and will receive more services than you ever did in the non-Kaiser environment. (eg., Kaiser has the H1N1 vaccine when other providers did not). You can go to any Kaiser facility back and forth if you want as well. The electronic medical record follow you into whatever office you visit. You can tell, I'm a big Kaiser fan. Feel free to email me if you'd like. Linda

I've been with Kaiser a very long time and have experienced the good and bad at both the Oakland and the Walnut Creek facilities. Honestly, you are no more or less likely to find a ''better'' doctor at either location, so go with the location that's most convenient to your daily life and look for a doctor you like there.

We take our 10 month old son to Dr. Jennifer Tenney at Kaiser Oakland and she is WONDERFUL. She's extremely patient and calm, has a great bedside manner, and explains things clearly. She's also very prompt about responding to emails, which I appreciate. The only negative thing I can say is that she is frequently behind schedule, which I tolerate because I know it's a direct result of her being very patient with her clients. I wholeheartedly recommend her. Maia

I have a 9 month old baby and we've been seeing Dr. Jennifer Tenney with kaiser oakland. I like her manner. She has a calmness and kindness, asks us lots of little questions about our daughter - eating,sleeping, development. I like her interest and how she covers a lot in a short routine checkup. We havent' had any big issues to cover with her, but I feel a good connection with her and feel like my baby is in good hands. good luck and keep looking until you find someone you feel great about! anon

I live in Rockridge and use Dr. Rebecca Gentemann at Kaiser Oakland. Love her - we switched to Kaiser when my now 4yo was 1 and we love it. The oakland facility is great, they specialze in pediatrics so (god forbid) you ever have any issues you can get all the care you need in one location. Dr. G is fabulous, very calm and non-judgmental. She takes her time with you and the kids. I've never felt rushed. She is also great about email, always responds within 24 hours. On Oakland facility overall, we've had to use the emergency room (2x now - we have rambunctious boys) and it was a great experience each time. rockridge mom of 2 boys

Editor note: reviews were also received for Kaiser Walnut Creek pediatricians

Feb 2010

Re: In search of open-minded Pediatrician
My husband and I were also looking for the same when we were looking for a Pediatrician for our first child when she was born. We tried a few Pediatricians at Kaiser before asking around and found out about Dr. Naomi Bolden, she is very kind and very open to the idea that we wanted to do the vacinations on an alternative schedule. Our experience with Kaiser that a lot better than I thought it would be. In general I found the Kaiser staff to be accepting of what we wanted our birthing experience to be. We chose not to have the baby cleaned after birth because we wanted to do that once we got home as a bonding experience and they were okay with that. Best of luck! Claudia

2007 - 2009 Recommendations

Nov 2009

We are first-time parents looking for a great Pediatrician at Kaiser. We're nearest to the Oakland Kaiser, and prefer Oakland Peds just for logistical reasons, but might travel for the right doc. Looking for a doctor with patience for well-educated but anxious, new parents who tend toward the worring type and sometimes need a little extra time for questions and/or more detailed information and advice. This is especially true since one of us speaks English as a second language and can be a little skepitcal about medical advice, while the other can be a little skeptical of non-western medical advice (for example, not a fan of homeopathy). An added bonus would be a pediatrician experienced with and gentle/understanding in working with moms with post-partum depression. Obviously, we'd like someone with excellent training and experience, and who's regularly available/accessible (i.e., not always in meetings or such so that we'd have to see a covering colleague much of the time -- continuity of care is important to us). Our OB gave names of a few Richmond Peds but didn't think those docs were taking new patients. She doesn't know Oak or WC Peds dept, and since we haven't been all that pleased with docs our PCP suggested in the past, we are reluctant to ask for a referral now. Would rather follow suggestions/recommendations of fellow parents. Many Thanks! New Parent

We have Dr. Susan Goddard @ Oakland Kaiser and we like her a lot. She's kind and funny and silly and smart. She allows plenty of time to chat and is very open about all of your perspectives/opinions, etc. -Happy With Our Ped

Hi -- We have a four year old daughter who sees Dr. Elizabeth Culler at Kaiser in Oakland (the same hospital I go pre-Natal care at, and where my daughter was born). We were reffered to Dr Elizabeth by a friend who is an OBGYN at La Clinica de la Raza, Dr. Elizabeth is her family peds.

We love ''Dr. Elizabeth'' Our first newborn appointment with Dr. Culler was shortly before she herself went on maternity leave, and during her leave we also saw several other Kaiser peds. We like all of them, really, but I feel especially comfortable with Dr. Cullar b/c I know that she also has the perspective of being a mother of a child the same age as my daughter. She ''gets'' kids, and she ''gets'' my daughter. She really gets how to converse with young children, and my daughter is always glad to see Dr. Elizabeth.

I have never been dissatisfied with the pediatric care my daughter has received at Kaiser-Oakland. We have had no extrodinary needs, and my kid is in good health.

I have heard that Kaiser Richmond is very very good from friends who see peds there, but I think that you can do really well at Oakland too.

The only thing is that the Oakland facility is very large - Peds has it's own large building, and at times some of the offices feel chaotic -- especially the pediatric immunization clinic and lab. Sara

Nov 2009

Re: Kaiser pediatrician for 16 year old boy
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

Nov 2009

We are relocating to the East Bay from L.A. in January. I'm going to need a lot of advice and recommendations from this wonderful BPN, starting with a good Pediatrician in the Kaiser network. I have a 3 and 1 year old. Does anyone have a beloved Pediatrician? And can you tell me a little about why you love this doctor? Please: Kaiser doctors only. Jeanne

I have been taking my sons to Dr. David Bacchus at Kaiser Oakland for the last 10 years and we think he's great. happy mom

We're happy with Dr. Gentemann at Kaiser Oakland. anon

Aug 2009

Hi there. My son was dropped from our previous insurance, and after months of filing applications, he was finally accepted by Kaiser. Can someone please recommend a kind pediatrician who is parent cooperative, willing to wait on vaccines, and seems genuinely interested in their profession? Thanks so much! Melissa

Hi! I LOVE our pediatrician! Her name is Dr. Hernandez, and I have been quite impressed with: her sweet way with our (somewhat fussy) baby, her knowledge, and her flexibility (we are planning a modified vaccine schedule, starting after 6 months). She does have a somewhat limited schedule. Kendra

June 2009

Hello, I am insured with Kaiser and I am looking for a pediatrician for my new baby (due July). I want someone who is open to discussing the possibility that not all vaccinations for infants are absolutely necessary and someone who will consider changing the AAP's recommended schedule and/or even leaving some vaccinations out. Has anyone good experience discussing the pros and cons about vaccinations openly with a Kaiser pediatrician and not feeling pressured into doing vaccinations you don't feel comfortable with? I live in the East Bay, so Richmond or Oakland Kaiser would be best. Thanks for the advice, Catherine

We see Dr. Roberta Cunningham at Kaiser Oakland and she has been absolutely fine with my desire to delay some vaccines and has counseled me in which ones are really important and why. She orders the vaccines for me and I've gone to the vaccine clinic and done them one or two at a time, all by my choice. I do believe vaccines are important and have done all of them, but have felt more comfortable spacing them out and not starting them quite so early in infancy. I don't know how Kaiser would be for someone who didn't want to vaccinate at all -maybe someone else can speak to that. Dr. Cunningham is an all-around great doctor - very knowledgeable, easy-going yet thorough, personable and good with my 2 young kids. I recommend her most highly. Elizabeth

May 2009

I am wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a pediatrician at Kaiser Oakland. I am due any day now and realize we need to choose one pretty soon! I am looking for a dr. that will allow us to make decisions based on what feels right for us as a family (spreading out vaccinations, etc..) versus strictly by the book. Spanish speaker is also a plus since i hope to have a bilingual child. Thanks in advance. Mom to be

My sons have been with Dr. Bacchus for 4 years. He is a wonderful pediatrician. He has given them great care, he answers all their questions, and he is very easy to talk to. My sons are now 7 and 11 1/2. My seven year old really likes him, as does my older son. He has handled puberty related questions for my pre-teen in a very straight forward way that we both appreciate. Other friends have two children, aged 5 and 18 months, who are also treated by Dr. Bacchus. They, too, are very pleased with the care they have received. Anne in Oakland

May 2009

I am in the process of choosing a pediatrician through Kaiser Oakland. Does anyone have any recent advice/recommendations on Abhay Dandekar or Katrina Saba? Or any others for that matter? Thank you. Angie

Our children have seen Dr. Saba for five years and we like her. She was recommended to me by an absolutely wonderful, excellent pediatrician who was one of Dr. Saba's attending physicians when she was a resident at Children's Hospital. The attending physican recommended her because she thinks Dr. Saba is really smart, and that is important to me. I have found her to be collaborative in her care (i.e. involves the parents in decision-making), friendly, great with communication (responds to emails immediately) and referrals (i.e. has no issue with referring your child to a specialist if needed), and she has young children of her own which I think is helpful. She's efficient, which is great, but the downside is that she moves things along fairly quickly during appointments -- not a lot of time to discuss things in depth. But, that's probably just the reality of being in primary care these days and the pressure she is under to see lots of patients.

That said, we have also seen Dr. Dandekar a couple of times for urgent care visits, and I REALLY liked him a lot. He was so kind and sweet and extremely playful with my children. They also really liked him. I think if we weren't already established with Saba, I might consider switching to him. He also has young children. I don't have any similar ''inside scoop'' on him, so I can't really speak to his skills, but I did have an experience where a younger, less confident physician we were seeing for an urgent problem ended up consulting with him, so that gave me the impression that he is well respected. But, it's just that, . . . an impression. I don't have any collateral data to back it up.

So, it sort of depends on what you are looking for. Most pediatric primary care is somewhat routine, and I wasn't turning to my physician for help with parenting, etc. So, the most important thing to me is that someone really smart and outstanding is caring for my children in case they do get something unusual, rare, difficult to diagnose or otherwise concering.

Does the gender of the physician matter to you? Some people choose a physician who is the same gender as their child so that as the child reaches adolescence, there is more comfort for the child. But, you may have both boys and girls, and that wouldn't be a factor.

If I were you, I would make appointments with both and get a first hand sense of each one. Check out their Kaiser web pages. It might become clear to you once you meet them. Good luck. I don't think you can go wrong with either one.

We see Dr. Dandekar and like him a lot. But we just got a letter from Kaiser saying he's dropping our daughter as of July 1. He's ''assuming a new leadership role in our pediatric residency training program.'' So I'd be sort of surprised if he's taking new patients.

By the way, this is the only thing that frustrates me about Kaiser Oakland pediatrics. Every time we get a pediatrician lined up, he or she has to stop seeing our child in a year or so, and we start over. Or do other of Dr. Dandekar's patients get to continue seeing him?? Cathy

We love, LOVE Dr. Dandekar, but there is one problem....as of the end of June, he will no longer be doing peds primary care. He's getting promoted, which is great, but we got our letter in the mail regarding his practice the other day, and are sad. Mom happy with Kaiser

May 2009

Re: Kaiser Doc Recommendations?
We LOVE our pediatrician, who we found thanks to BPN recommendations. He is Dr. Phan Phu at Kaiser Oakland. He is a parent of a toddler. He really listens to our (many) questions, gives lots of advice, and takes the attitude that the parents have the final say in the child's care. Also laid back about waiting on shots, co-sleeping, etc. Our daughter is really comfortable with him. Also, he always responds to emails very quickly, and I've never had a problem getting in to see him, even same-day when our daughter had a fall. Stasi

Nov 2008

Re: new to Kaiser, need pediatrician

Sue Chan-Werner is a great pediatrician at Kaiser, Oakland. She has been with my children since birth. She listens attentively and gives advice freely without the rushed feel of some Kaiser visits. Plus, she is good about responding to e-mails that you can send through the Kaiser website. TamuK

My 3-year-old has been seeing Dr. David Bacchus since he was born, and we LOVE him. Dr. Bacchus has incredible rapport with kids and a great sense of humor, and he always knows exactly what to do. Our family uses a lot of herbal supplements and homeopathic remedies alongside traditional medicine, and Dr. Bacchus has always been very respectful of our decisions. Great doc! Lisa in Oakland

We like our ped - Dr. Casteneda-Davis. She's awesome. Have also had great appts. with male ped - Dr. Dandekar.

My son was diagnosed with a debilitating and life-threatening condition at Kaiser Oakland and I swear by those pediatricians. The pediatric specialists are all exceptional top to bottom (and believe me, we see them all!). Specifically: (General Pediatrics) Dr. Elizabeth Culler and Dr.Dandekar but you'll have to look at the list to see who is currently accepting new patients.

Try Dr. Roberta Cunningham for a pediatrician at Kaiser Oakland. She's not very warm, but a good listener and not too conservative. Kaiser will tell you can only get doc's that are currently accepting patients, but you can get in the back door by simply only scheduling your appts with whichever doctor you want each time, never officially choosing one and then eventually the doctor you see most will become your doctor. Good luck.

Feb 2008

We are soon to deliver our first child and are in the process of looking for a pediatrician at Kaiser Oakland. Does anyone have any recommendations? I looked at some on the website, but they are a few years old and was wondering if anyone had more recent experiences. Thanks in advance! Janelle

Hi, We have the wonderful Dr. Fischoff as our primary pediatrician at Kaiser Oakland; she's the one that sees our son for all his well baby checkups. When she didn't have a ''same day'' appointment available, the way their practice works, one of the other pediatricians will see him. ALL of the doctors there have been great. Because all their records are computerized, any of the Doctors can see him and know his history. Between all the normal colds, fevers, ear infections, weird looking rashes, and first time Mummy concerns, I think we've seen every one of the pediatricians at least once and we have been pleased with every one of them. If you have language concerns, many of the doctors are multi-lingual, so you can ask the appointment clerk for assistance. By the way, the pediatrics building at Kaiser Oakland is valet parking only, which is truly wonderful while managing car seats, strollers etc. Davey's Mummy

Jan 2008

Re: Kaiser Doctors
Since the birth of our first child seven years ago our pediatrician has been Dr. Beth Culler at Kaiser Oakland. She is thoughtful, incredibly intelligent, gentle and serious. When she has not been able to see my children every one of the other pediatricians we've seen has been equally confidence inspiring and warm. Monica

Oct 2007

Re: Kaiser PCP, OBGYN & Ped. recommendations
David Bacchus at Kaiser Oakland Pediatrics is one of the best clinicians I have met. He is experienced and thus has excellent clinical judgement. I appreciate his watch and wait approach and his willingness to dialouge about our desire to wait on vaccines. My son was born at home and Dr Bacchus discovered a very subtle but significant birth defect the first time he examined him. We have always gotten same day appointments with him during illness so I think he is taking new patients. Satisfied customer

Oct 2007

Does anyone have recent experience with pediatrician Dr. Bacchus at Kaiser Oakland? I need to choose a pediatrician for my soon-to-be-born baby. Older BPN posts recommend him highly but I'm curious about recent experiences with him, particularly with newborns (and neurotic parents). Thanks! Ashley

My primary pediatrician is Dr. Gail Udkow at Oakland Kaiser, but when she is busy I ALWAYS request Dr. Bacchus. He is a wonderful doctor, he listens to parents, spends extra time if neccessary and I never feel rushed. My children love him. I would not hesitate to choose him as your pediatrician. Happy with Oak Kaiser!

We love Dr. Bacchus, but mostly because he is very low-drama and it fits in with our parenting philosophy quite well. I know other families who also use him, but sometimes feel like they want something more/different, just because he's not really going to give you much more than an ''uh huh'' about typical parenting laments (like ''my baby's not sleeping''). However, we also use Kaiser for our traditional, western medical needs (vaccinations, antibiotics as appropriate, well-baby check ups) and we look elsewhere for truly customized advice and services (out of pocket).

He's cut and dry, but definitely takes time to answer your questions well, follows up within 24 hours himself, and has done a great job following up on some details with my son's medical history. My son, who doesn't much care for others handling him, sometimes even cracks a smile for him, which is huge. We're happy with Dr. Bacchus (and Kaiser in general). Bacchus fan

I really would recommend against Dr. Bacchus if you are a higher needs mom. We had Dr. Bacchus as our son's pediatrician for nearly a year, but recently switched to a different doctor. I chose him because people on BPN recommended him, but I found him to be terse almost to the point of rudeness. He seems to have very little patience for mom-anxiety. I don't feel that I was all that demanding, but as a first time mom I probably did ask questions that a more experienced parent would not. Overall I found his answers to be unhelpful or anxiety producing. He also does not seem to be very sensitive to the attachment oriented style of parenting. His attitude towards our son's frequent night nursing was to just cold turkey stop feeding him. I could really go on and on with the stories, but after about 10 months of feeling irritated and not satisfied an especially terse and unhelpful e-mail just sent me over the edge and I switched pediatricians. Now we have Dr. Gentemann. We have only seen her once, but she seems like such a better match for a first time or anxious parent. She was so nice and reassuring and when I totally freaked out about my son's labwork she called me at home that same day to explain what it all meant. My overall advice to you is trust your gut. I know people on BPN have loved Dr. Bacchus and there is a woman in my mom's group who is a fan also, but I didn't feel Dr. Bacchus was a match for me almost from day one, but I stuck with it way longer than I should have. Good luck in your search!! Anonymous

I have been bringing my son to Dr Bacchus since birth and he is now 5 months old. Dr. Bacchus has been thorough and listens to all my questions (I bring lists!). He responded to my email quickly and didn't tell me I was crazy for bringing my son in on a Saturday when he was a week old to look at his umbilical cord, which was fine. He instead took the time to explain to me what was normal for a healing umbilical cord. He's very much by-the-book and doesn't do too much cooing over my son. I know that shouldn't matter but I want my pediatrician to think my son is as cute and playful as I do. Hope that helps. Diana

I have 2 kids who have both seen Dr. Bacchus since they were newborns and we love him. I am a super neurotic mom and any little rash, weird looking bump, or strange looking poop and I call the Dr. He has never made me feel dumb about any question I asked and is very reassuring and calm. He is also very prompt about calling or emailing me back whenever I contact him without going into his office. Not only do I like him but he has made my kids feel totally comfortable with him. I highly recommend him. kids excited to go to Dr.

Hi, I saw your post and wanted to give you my beaming report about Dr. Bacchus. I recently referred an friend to him and she, too, is really happy. I have taken my son to Dr. Bacchus since he was born and have only positive things to say. He is very gentle and spends a good amount of time talking to both baby and parent(s). He is respectful and non-alarmist which is especially great if you are a first-time mom. my son was born with a rare eye disorder which Dr. Bacchus saw and we were able to get treatment. He is also very respectful around immunizations, i.e. he gives you the information (and his opinion if you ask for it) and is non-judgemental. I must add that I have decided to fully immunize (with one exception), so I don't know how he would respond if one opted out of shots all together. Good luck! Anon.

Welcome to the world of neurosis, oh, I mean parenting. Okay, my daughter is nearly 8. Her doctor is Fischhoff. However, as you know from being a Kaiser patient you see whatever doctor is in when you have the flu, etc. Because of everything from a growth (actually, a wart, yes, I am neurotic also), to severe colds, flu, ear infections and a bladder infection, we have had an opportunity to ''try out'' many Kaiser pediatricians. While only two in 8 years have been worthy of ''I'd rather take my kid to Hayward rather than have Dr. ****'' I have to say, on the whole they are mostly great.

Here is my list in order of the doctors I prefer when Fischhoff is not available: Bacchus, Tatapudy, and Garcia. I get one of them almost every time \x96 they are all great. Sensitive to parents and child, know their diagnosis, know when a medication isn\x92t working and actually make eye contact and talk to each baby / child. In the case of infants, all of these doctors allow you to hold your baby on routine visits and the great thing about Kaiser doctors is that the injection clinic gives shots not the doctor. Your child never learns to associate pain with their doctor, they learn to associate being taken care of and healing with their doctor. Kaiser Pediatric Fan

Dr. Bacchus is currently our physician. We've had him since my son was 3 and my daughter was born. They are now 7 and 4. I have been happy with him. He is very gentle and laid back about things, and he has been very responsive when needed. happy patient

Dr. Bacchus has been our pediatrician for 5 years and we've been really happy with him. He's great with my girls, very respectful and engaged. He's thorough and straight forward but not pushy and I trust him. I've had my neurotic moments too - he handles it well. He's friendly and normal and I'm suprised he's got openings. Jill

Sept 2007

Our Oakland Kaiser pediatrician whom we loved has moved on, so we are looking for recommendations. We'd like someone who is open to a slower vaccine schedule, and to co-sleeping. We chose someone from the older BPN posts who was fine, but perhaps not the best fit. Any other suggestions appreciated.

I have a 3 week old and got assigned to Dr. Phu simply because he was available. I am thrilled with him. He assumed we were co-sleeping and didn't bat an eye when I told him we were going to wait for a year before considering any vaccinations. He is gentle with my baby and talks to him as he works. He provides more information about what NOT to worry about than things to worry about, so I always leave feeling relaxed and listened to. Lyssa

I just had a baby 2 months ago and we are working with Dr. Mary Spiller at Kaiser Oakland. She is terrific.. takes all the time you need to discuss questions and concerns. For example, when I voiced some concerns about vaccinations, she ranked them in terms of priority for me and told me why each was in that spot in the ranking. Pretty impressive for someone who works for an HMO, in my opinion. Audrey

We just love Dr. David Bacchus at Oakland Kaiser. He is very progressive and is wonderful with our little boy -- he's seen him since birth and my son is now 2. Dr. Bacchus supported my decision to space out junior's vaccinations, and he supported our decision to cosleep -- though I have to laugh, because when I complained to him that cosleeping was leaving ME sleepless he did roll his eyes a bit! Still I think he's great. Lisa in Oakland

June 2007

Hi - I am due with my first child in July and would love recommendations for a great Kaiser-Oakland pediatrician. Thanks! Audrey

I would recommend Dr. David Bachus at Kaiser Oakland. Our boys have been going to Dr. Bacchus for over 8 years (since they were very young). He treats them kindly and respectfully, and they feel comfortable and relaxed with him. Donna

March 2007

We recently moved to the Bay Area, and we need to find a new pediatrician for our son and a good family practitioner for us. We are flexible on location, but Kaiser Pleasanton or Oakland would be most convenient. It is especially important for us to find a pediatrician who is a good listener and who doesn't make parents feel rushed during visits. Thanks! Rebecca

when we were with kaiser, we saw Dr. Elizabeth Culler. http://www.permanente.net/homepage/kaiser/pages/c5795-top.html she was patient and easygoing, didn't try to tell us how to parent (no intrusive questions re: sleeping situations, etc.), and did not push the issue of vaccinations when we declined them. she was helpful and available by phone to discuss issues related to the health risks of traveling to india when we needed that. as i recall she's pretty strictly allopathic in her approach, so if you want info on other approaches to healthcare, i'm not sure she would be a useful resource. (this is as of 3 years ago... people change) signed: too ''crunchy'' for kaiser, now.

Our 2 year old daughter has seen Dr. Saba at Kaiser Oakland since she was an infant (we hopped between several docs during those first few months before we settled on Dr. Saba). We love her - she's been very thorough, patient, and available to us. My husband and I have very different communication styles and she's been able to speak to us both on a level that we are very happy with. When we've had doubts about vaccinations (or other issues) she's been very thorough and not at all pushy in explaining why she recommends a certain course of action. In between visits I've emailed her several times and she always gets right back to me. All that said, as far as I can tell all of the pediatricians at Oakland are great - it would just be a matter of finding one you and your children get along with. And, of course, deciding if the Oakland campus setup is manageable for you. Oh, and sorry to say I don't have a GP recommendation. Neither me nor my husband see our GPs often enough to feel strongly either way about them. Good luck and welcome! happy Oakland Kaiser mom

March 2007

Hi, I'm new to Kaiser and really need to find a good doctor (can be a pediatrician or a family practicioner) for my 1 year old daughter. Since I have delayed a handful of her vaccinations, getting into the room with someone who say, doesn't agree with this at all and vehemenently opposes it, would be a downer for me. I'd like recommendations on Dr.s who are open, kind, patient, give plenty of time to the appt., and who also consider alternative care options....Any suggestions/rec's for either facility. Thanks in advance! New Kaiser Mama

I really like my daughter's pediatrician at Kaiser Oakland. Her name is Dr. (Chesney) Kennedy. My daughter has been very healthy so my experience has been limited to well baby checks. My daughter has had all her vaccines so not sure what kind of vibe you might get from Dr. Kennedy as far as delaying vaccines but I would check her out. Jennifer

I can highly recommend Dr. Donald Mangravite (pronounced ''man-gra-vee-tee'') at Kaiser Oakland. My son is only 5-months-old, but Dr. Mangravite has seen him since birth and we've been in more times than with a normal infant for various reasons (circumcision inspection, colic, head injury, etc.). Dr. Mangravite is very experienced, warm, caring, funny, and makes himself available through email (which you can sign up for on Kaiser's website). I absolutely love him and am extremely pleased with the care he has given my son. katie_b

Also recommended: Richmond Kaiser pediatricians

2004 - 2006 Recommendations

November 2006

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

We joined Oakland Kaiser for the first time about a year and a half ago. I'm never switching to another provider again if I can help it; I really, really like Kaiser. Yes, you can get same day appointments for urgent care, even on Saturday and Sundays (although not necessarily with your primary pediatrcian). Their hours are great and you can call any time/day for advice and appointments. In my experience it's such an easier system to work with, especially if you need to see specialists, get a prescription filled, get blood drawn, etc. It's all in house so you don't have to deal with paper work if referred to a specialist, your doctor takes care of everything via the computer. To see a specialist with our old health plan I was constantly having to pick up paper work, call different offices to see if paper work got through, etc. My first experience at Kaiser was for my annual well women check up. My gyno noticed some excema and asked if I'd like to see a dermatologist. I said yes, she rolled over to the computer and said ''There's an appointment available in 10 minutes across the street, could you make that?'' With our old plan I would've waited a week for the paper work to go through.

Your doctor can also just send any prescriptions via computer to the pharmacy which is usually in the same building. I also find that I'm paying less at Kaiser for prescriptions than with our old health plans. I also like their preventative approach to medicine, and the Oakland facility (the only one I know) has a Health Education Center where you can purchase things like yoga mats, books, and check out videos or books on various health related subjects.

Another great thing is that in the pediatrics building, there is a pediatric pharmacy and injection clinic. So when my son has needed blood drawn or shots, we just take the elevator down a couple of floors and we're good to go, versus having to get in the car and go to some place like Quest Labs where they might not be as experienced working with little children. anon

Kaiser Oakland's pediatric department is WONDERFUL. Our pediatrician is Daniel Junge and he is just amazing and incredibly thorough. I have a toddler who was diagnosed with a rare medical condition and both Dr. Junge and my son's pediatric hematologist/oncologist are helpful, responsive, and quick to help me out if I have questions or if I've had difficulties with places like the ER. I developed a fantastic relationship with our pedi hem/onc nurse and I know I can call him whenever I have concerns about my son and he also calls me regularly to check in after my son's had a bout of illness. I started off in Walnut Creek, only because I ended up giving birth there because Oakland was full and they wanted to see us at the Walnut Creek facility for the first week of my son's life. There, I waited with my jaundiced preemie FOREVER for lab results and for the doctors who were nowhere to be found. Seriously. I was there for HOURS. And I thought that because the facility looked so much nicer and perhaps because WC is less densely populated, that I would have better care. Nope. When at Oakland, I never wait more than 10 minutes for my appointment. I have been able to get urgent care on the same day whenever I need it and my pediatrician is always notified when my son has had what I will just call a ''medical episode.'' Once he is notified, he always makes sure we have a follow up visit the very next day. Since we have to work with several doctors, it would be easy for my son's care to get nightmarishly confusing . However, they really work well as a team, coordinate his care and are ALWAYS up to date with each other. My friend, whose son has Cerebral Palsy, and who also goes to Kaiser (and has Dr. Junge), is also impressed by their care. She often makes her appointments back to back, so she books her check ups right after her son's physical therapy appointments. Even though these appointments are back to back, she has come into Dr. Junge's office and he will already have read the PT's notes and is prepared to discuss any concerns. Kaiser often gets a bad rap but I can say that I have been more than impressed with Kaiser Oakland and with my pediatrician--so much so that I never want to move! I'm so glad I chose them instead of a ppo. Oh. The only ''negative'' I would have to add is that sometimes the injection clinic and pharmacy get a little full and the wait can be annoying. But you can plan around that if you are organized. If you plan your vaccinations such that you get there right at the beginning of the day or right after they open from lunch, you're fine. As for the pharmacy, if you have a routine prescription that can be mailed to you, they will do that free of charge. It's great. happy mama

Dr. Bacchus is my son's pediatrician at Oakland Kaiser. We've been very pleased with his services. I've called the advice nurses several times and have gotten good information from them. I've been able to get same day urgent appointments the two times my son needed to be seen immediately (not with his own pediatrician, but with two other very competent doctors). I don't have any complaints. anon

We've been happy with Kaiser Oakland pediatrics, and because it is such a big facility/staff there is usually no problem getting a same day appointment with a doctor (usually not with your primary pediatrician, of course). happy to be a Kaiser member

Our 22 month old son has seen Dr. Cunningham at Kaiser Oakland his entire life! we have been very happy with her, and she is very responsive on email as well. As for emergencies, we have been to the ER three times (for breathing/asthma), and all three times they have seen us right away. (I assume all infants go right in). We were very satisfied with the treatments. For urgent care, we have always been able to get in same day, even once in Kaiser Roseville when we were travelling. We don't always get Dr. Cunningham, but the other doctors we've seen have all been fine. In addition, the asthma nurse has called us directly a couple times to follow up on how things are going (good so far) Bryan

See More responses to this question

August 2006

We're new to Kaiser Oakland and only 10 pediatricians are accepting new patients. Any comments on any of the following? We have a 5-mo. old daughter. A doc that listens well and doesn't feel threatened by Qs is most desired! Thanks. Dr. Bolden, Dr. Shaunda Johnson, Dr. Fan, Dr. Mangravit and Dr. Ubkow

I recommend Katrina Saba, MD. She cared for both of my sons until it became more practical for us to start using Kaiser Richmond. I found her to be thoughtful and caring during both routine and distressing visits (my first son and I were in a car accident when he was a baby) and respectful when I decided to veer from the Kaiser schedule for vaccinations anon

I had Dr. Udkow for both of my daughters but didn't end up feeling comfortable with her and found a new doctor. She was very pro-vaccein and seemed impatient with my questions about them. She also did not seem updated on breast feeding and how a breast feeding baby's sleep patterns may be different then a bottle fed baby. I ended up leaving my appointments and calling the lactation consultants for help. I asked the lactation consultant for doctor recommendations and switched. With my older daughter that has scoliosis and was experiencing pain. Dr Udkow dismissed her feelings and told her that scoliosis doesn't cause pain - end of story anonymous

We have gone to Kaiser Oakland pediatrics for 7 years and are very satisfied with the pediatricians our children have seen. We were assigned to pediatricians randomly and we're very happy with our pediatricians. They work in groups so if your child is sick you may see another doctor in the group and we liked everyone of the pediatricians in our group. They all are good communicators and have great bedside manner.

You can e-mail your doctor at Kaiser so you can easily ask questions. My husband e-mailed his doctor on Saturday and got a response in a few minutes; we could not believe it. The doctors care about practicing medicine first and do not have to be distracted by running a business. They are all board certified.

Nov 2004

I'm going to have my first child in a little over a month and was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for pediatricians at Oakland-Kaiser? Would appreciate any feedback--good or bad. I believe they assign you to someone at Labor and Delivery, but I'd like to be able to do some background research so that I can choose. Thanks so much for any feedback. sue

Recommendations received:

  • Linda Armstrong
  • David Bacchus (2)
  • Leo Cheng
  • Elizabeth Gray
  • Katrina Saba
  • Noah Simons
    May 2004

    I just found out yesterday that my work is switching heath insurance from Blue Shield to Kaiser - in 3 days (!!!). Can anyone recommend a pediatrician at Kaiser Oakland whom they absolutely love??? We are looking for someone who is not going to push antibiotics all the time (although appropriate antibiotics are fine), who is open to alternative care, and is willing to spend some time with us and get to know us. I am also still breastfeeding, and would like someone who will appreciate and back up our decision to let our son wean himself when he's ready. And I very much appreciate doctors who can schedule a same-day appointment when necessary, and who respond fairly quickly to a phone call. We have such a great pediatrician now that I am almost in tears at not being able to continue with her. I saw a couple of recommendations on the website but wanted some more input, specifically docs that are easy to reach and/or see quickly, since most recommendations on the site say that the doc can be hard to access. Jen

    Recommendations received:

  • Thomas Carlson (2)
  • Roberta Cunningham
  • Daniel Junge
    More advice:

    I go to Oakland Kaiser and have to say that the entire ob-gyn/peds department has been WONDERFUL! I know, it's a shock given Kaiser's reputation (and many of my own experiences prior to my baby); my son is 8 months old now and I've found everyone from prenatal to postnatal to be quite amazing. Our pediatrician's name is Rebecca Eakins, but I need to tell you that I've seen just about everyone there. My little guy got a few bad colds after beginning daycare so I was in and out and would make appointments with whoever was available. Everyone appears to communicate and listen well. I think you'll be surprised at the great service (I know I was). Abby

    2003 & Earlier

    June 2003

    Our beloved Kaiser Pediatrician is no longer doing clinical work. Any RECENT recommendations for an excellent Kaiser (Oakland) pediatrician? Laurie

    Recommendations received:

  • David Bacchus
  • Roberta Cunningham
  • Ann Tipton

    Linda Armstrong

    Re: Pediatrician for my first child Nov 2004
    Dr. Linda Armstrong has all of our support since the birth of our daughter seven months ago. She has been helpful in answering all of my questions, I arrive with lists of them.She has called the following day after my daughter recives her shots to see how she is feeling. She is very much into explaining everything that is going on with your child and listens to your feedback and responses. She is also great with children and babies, and has a very caring aura about her. We had no idea who to choose at the hospital, but we feel lucky that Dr. Armstrong was assigned to us. kristie

    David Bacchus

    Re: Pediatrician for my first child Nov 2004
    Love Dr. Bacchus. He is never hurried. Will answer all your new mother concerns thoroughly. Dr. Bacchus Fan

    Re: Pediatrician for my first child Nov 2004
    David Bacchus, MD, at Kaiser Oakland has been our sons' pediatrican for the last 5 years. My husband and I are very pleased with him. He takes the time to thoroughly discuss the situation and answer any questions. My one son had a rather uncommon problem and he nailed it right away. Donna

    Re: Seeking excellent pediatrician
    We love our Pediatrician Dr. David Bacchus. He sees both my boys and spends time getting to know them. He has a great disposition. He's conservative with administering meds and/or antibiotics for every little thing, which is one of the biggest reasons we see him for health care. Give him a try, I think you'll really like him! Amy (june 2003)

    dr. baccus is fabulous. listens, is patient, and explains options. believes in vaccines but is open to waiting and choosing. Jen (March 2003)
    We have been very happy with Dr. Siew Chan-Warner, and, when our son got old enough to want a male doctor, Dr. Bacchus. Both of these are warm, friendly, respectful people who don't make me feel rushed or ignored. They return phone calls amazingly fast. However, our kids have been exceedingly healthy (we know we're lucky) so we don't have any experience with them in difficult circumstances. But we have a lot of confidence that they can handle the Kaiser system and advocate well for their patients. Avi (2002)
    I'd like to recommend Dr. David Bucchas at Kaiser Oakland. He has one or two kids of his own, listens well, and has good suggestions. On note, I've found that the medical assistants seem hurried at times, but the registration clerks have always been friendly. There have been times when my child has seen other pediatricians in the group, when Dr. Bacchus was not a vailable, and I've liked them all. For my money one of the best things about Kaiser Oakand is that they have Saturday and Sunday appointments. On more than one occasion I've called Sat or Sun for more minor situations that *could* have waited until Monday and I've been able to come right in to the office and see a doctor on that weekend day with no long waits. They also have pharmacy, lab & xray right there on site.

    Dr. Bradman

    We are also new to Kaiser. My 16 year-old daughter just saw Dr. Bradman (female) who is listed as a pediatric/teen doctor at Oakland's Kaiser. We both liked her a lot. (Nov 2001)

    Thomas Carlson

    Re: Can you recommend a pediatrician you absolutely love? (May 2004)
    Dr. Carlson has been our daughter's pediatrician for a year, and we love him. He is kind, gentle, open to evidence based alternative medicine, a supporter of attachment parenting, and spends much more time with us than I thought was possible at Kaiser. Our daughter was sick last week, and we were able to get a same day appointment, although I don't think this is always possible at Kaiser. He calls us to follow up on lab work, and has always answered our questions thoughtfully and sensitively. We feel extremely fortunate. Sarah

    Re: Can you recommend a pediatrician you absolutely love? (May 2004)
    I LOVE our pediatrician at Kaiser, his name is Dr. Thomas Carlson. He would most definitely be supportive in the specific areas you mentioned: nursing, and he is is no way an antibiotics pusher. Dr. Carlson has always been extremely friendly, and he's a good listener. I've never felt like he's rushing us out, and he takes time to answer all of our questions. I really think he's great, and I know several other parents who use him as thier primary pediatrician, and they are just as happy. He also just seems to really love amd enjoy kids. I like the way he talks to our baby (who, by the way, is now 10 mos. old and has been seeing Dr. carlson since he was 2 days old.).

    Re: Pediatrician for child with food allergey (Sept 2003)
    No pediatrician recommendation unless you've got Kaiser (then Thomas Carlson is GREAT!), but wanted to share that my son's exczema cleared up when Dr. Carlson suggested that I stop eating meat and dairy because of the antibiotics and hormones - his skin was clear within a week! (at 6 months, so eating only breastmilk) Since then, he's had flare-ups the few times I ate meat, so I'm trying to be really diligent. No problems with organic milk/cheese/yogurt, or eggs with no antibiotics/hormones so far. You might want to try it? Good luck! amy

    I highly recommend Dr. Thomas Carlson. He is my son's pediatrician, and we are VERY happy with him. He asks relevant questions (doesn't just read to you from the standard form that you'll be filling out each visit) and is genuinely interested in your answers. He is also a father of a young daughter, so you feel as if he's going through it all with you, and also interested in child development at each stage. He's great. Sweet and genuine, and clinically competent. Good luck deciding! Kaiser mom (March 2003)

    Siew Chan-Warner

    Re: Kaiser pediatrician for a Preemie (April 2002)
    We've been very happy with Kaiser Oakland pediatricians Dr. Siuw Chan-Warner (sometimes goes by just Dr. Chan) and Dr. Baccus. We switched to Dr. Baccus when our son became shy about a female doctor, but he still likes Dr. Chan. Our kids weren't preemies, and we haven't had any serious illnesses, but for routine care, these doctors have been great. They listen, they take time, they are very responsive. In this day and age, it's such a relief to have good pediatricians. Avi

    Leo Cheng

    Re: Pediatrician for my first child Nov 2004
    I recommend Dr Leo Cheng. He was so amazingly gentle and kind with my daughter when she was tiny. He snapped her onsie back up! I know this might seem subjective, but he really seemed to care about my child. And he is a great technical doctor, of course. Good luck with your new baby. Annie

    Elizabeth Culler

    My daughter (2 and a half) has had Dr. Elizabeth Culler as a pediatrician, and we've been very happy with her. She is young and very nice, reassuring in manner. She seemed quite knowledgeable. Fortunately, we've not had health problems to deal with, just well-baby checkups, so I can't comment on how she would be for a major health problem. Mimi (March 2003)

    Roberta Cunningham

    Re: Can you recommend a pediatrician you absolutely love? (May 2004)
    I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the pediatricians at Kaiser. We had Dr. Roberta Cunningham who seemed great - took a lot of time, was open to a more no-drug approach etc. When she was on maternity leave, even her temporary replacement seemed great. mom

    Re: Open-minded about not vaccinating
    I just recommended Roberta Cunningham to someone else looking for a Kaiser Oakland Ped. She's very low-key with regard to vaccinations. She highly recommends them but went along with our plan to get them slowly, one at a time, and some not at all. Best of luck. (June 2003)

    Re: Seeking excellent pediatrician
    We love Dr. Roberta Cunningham. She's got 3 or 4 children of her own and a really natural way with our son - now 2 1/2. She's also low pressure with regards to vaccines. She does recommend them but is fine with a slowed-down schedule for them. Happy Kaiser Mom (June 2003)

    We go to Roberta Cunningham. I really like her. She listens well and has good advice. I have left messages for her and she calls me back. She seems to be very up-to-date on what is happening in pediatrics. One time we saw Meera Tatapudy, she was very kind and gentle. Joan (March 2003)
    For most of the last 9 years, we have had Roberta Cunningham as our pediatrician. I like her very much. She always spends a lot of time with my children and is has always answered all my questions very satisfactorily. At 18 months, my now 5 year old had a heart mummur, which is fairly common in young babies but Dr. Cunningham recommended that she be seen by a cardiologist anyway. It turns out that my daughter has a minor heart defect. I am very grateful to Dr. Cunningham, particularly as several pediatricians at Kaiser Walnut Creek (where we then living) had not taken the heart mummur seriously. Dr Cunningham has 3 young children, as do I, so she understands how hectic life can be! She is very nice, but a little shy, so if you are looking for an outgoing ''touchy-feely'' doctor, you might want to pick someone else. (March 2003)
    our regular pediatrician is dr. cunningham who we like very much. she has kids of her own and our kids are not afraid of her. the others that we have seen on other occasions that i would recommend are drs. junge and tatapudy. they were very thorough and competent. suzie (March 2003)
    I can't say enough good things about Dr. Roberta Cunningham. She has cared wonderfully for my 2-1/2-year-old twins since they were two days old. She has one or two children herself, so her advice is peppered with personal experience, which is always valuable. She's very easy-going, and equally comfortable with boys and girls (I have one of each). She is very knowledgeable but not insistent that you take her advice on everything, and she's good at getting back to you when you need to reach her by phone. As is typical at Kaiser, she is not always available for a same-day appointment, but she is backed by some very wonderful pediatricians with whom we have also been very happy. As a side note, Dr. Cunningham (who was the pediatrician on call when our twins were born) was not the doctor to whom our children were assigned for their first appointment, but it was easy to request a change. I think Kaiser Oakland typically assigns newborns to doctors-in-training (interns?), some of whom are great and some of whom are a bit wet behind the ears. Mary (2001)

    Sylvia Delius-Maxwell

    I had a bad experience with Dr. Delius (discouraged me from breastfeeding my son while ill) but a friend takes her son to Dr. Delius, and loves her. And this friend breastfed her son till 4. I love Kaiser; we've had great experience with them! Jennie (March 2003)
    Sept 2001

    She was just recommended to us, and I checked ucbparentsnet website to see if anyone else had something to say about her. Nothing there. Anyone else have experience with her they'd like to share with me? Thanks in advance! Madeleine

    I have two sons who are seen by Dr. Delius-Maxwell and she is very capable, friendly and a great listener. Be prepared to wait a little when you see her for your appointments but it just shows that she takes some time with all her patients. I have been through three pediatric doctors at Kaiser and she is a keeper. Carolyn
    We had to see her once with our infant daughter when our regular pediatrician was not available. Our daughter had a slight topical infection, and she recommended systemic antibiotics. When we asked her about the possible dangers or long-term effects of giving antibiotics to such a young baby and about whether there were other alternatives we could try first, she dismissed our questions as invalid and told us that if we didn't follow her advice that we risked having her get deathly ill and end up in the hospital. We felt bullied. I suppose some people would think she had good advice. It turned out that our daughter healed well with topical antibiotics. Jane

    Dr. Duran

    Re: Pediatrician for child with food allergey (Sept 2003)
    After a run around we ended up with Dr. Duran at Oakland Kaiser. He is a sub-specialist in Pediatrics and Gastroentronology. Our son has had food allergies since he was six weeks old and we are going through the painful process of trying foods in an isolated way for a full week. Allergy testing and shorter trials are not good we found from the Dr. If you are kaiser I recommend seeing Dr. Duran. The allergist was a big waste of time for us.

    Arlene Fischoff

    Arlene Fischoff. We recently switched to her on the recommendation of friends after our pediatrician moved to the other side of the bay, and have been very happy with the care she has given us (son 26 mo, daughter 5 mo.). The only drawback is that she does not work a 5-day work week, so it is more difficult to see her on extremely short notice. Bob (10/98)

    Elizabeth Gray

    Re: Pediatrician for my first child Nov 2004
    As you can see from past advice in the archives Dr. Elizabeth Gray is mentioned. For me and my son who was born two months early we have had a great fit with Dr. Gray.I was very concerned about his health and growth, as any new mother is. She was and is really sensitive to my needs, questions and concerns even the most repetative questions where met with understanding and reflection. My mother even was here visiting and asked her some of the same questions that I had been asking...she was great, calming and insightful. I have had a very positive experience with her and have never had any problems getting appointments. I mearly called and asked for a message to be left with her when I was told her appointments where full. Good luck and trust your instinct. Ms. Z

    From: Andy (10/98)

    we used Kaiser for 3 years and the pediatric care was by-far much better than the adult care. We used Elizabeth Gray who is a very popular but excellent pediatrician. She listens to you and can adjust her responses for your individual needs (i.e., she cares). Unfortunately, most of the peds we saw for urgent care are part-timers that seem to fill up their time at kaiser at nights and weekends. It was always difficult to see Dr. Gray.

    Daniel Junge

    Re: Can you recommend a pediatrician you absolutely love? (May 2004)
    We have switched back to Kaiser Oakland after a brief experience with another HMO, and our primary reason for coming back was that we truly missed the pediatric care at Kaiser. Our daughter's pediatrician, Dr. Daniel Junge, is excellent. He's great with our almost 3 year-old and has always gone the extra mile to return our calls, research issues, and offer us choices for her care. We rarely see anyone else because they always seem able to work us in to his schedule.

    When our regular doctor Dr. Cunningham was on maternity leave, we had Dr. Daniel Junge assigned to us, who I also like very much. He is very dedicated and was particularly wonderful with my 2 year old son's excema problem; at one point, searching the Kaiser pediatric facility for the pediatric dermotologist, who he thought might be in the building that day. This meant we didn't have to get a referral to the dermotology department. Dr Junge has also been very good at calling me back about problems; recently he called me at 9pm regarding a refill of antibiotics. There are some wonderful pediatricians at Kaiser Oakland! mom of 3 (March 2003)

    Sheila Mackell

    From: Barbara (3/98)

    Sheila Mackell has been our pediatrician for 8 years. She's great, but hard to get appointments with.

    Donald Mangravite

    We've seen Dr. Mangravite at urgent care and were very impressed. He is very knowledgeable and gentle. If we weren't so happy with our doctor (Minger), we would have definitely switched to him. julie (March 2003)
    From: Patrick (10/98)

    Dr. Mangravite has been seeing my kids for well over ten years now and all of us--15-year old boy, 12-year old boy, 9-year old girl, ex-wife, and me) have been completely satisfied and pleased with him. He's gentle, thorough, caring, easy to talk to, answers questions completely in plain language, respectful of both parents & kids, and just an extremely pleasant person to deal with in sometimes stressful situations. If he's available, take him. From: Trish (3/98)

    Dr. Donald Mangravite is excellent. My kids had another pedi for several years but when one of them had an emergency situation and couldn't see our regular pedi, I met Dr. Mangravite. He's kind, gentle, considerate, and thorough. Both my daughter and son like him very much.

    Susan Minger

    Editorial note: Susan Minger now practices at Kaiser Alameda (June 2003)
    I highly recommend our wonderful pediatrician, Dr. Susan Minger, at Kaiser Oakland. She's not the cuddliest of doctors, but she is extremely responsive and responsible. Very smart, very well educated, good common sense, just great. Treats kids like people. I can't recommend her highly enough. Jusith (2001)

    Swati Mukerji

    I saw Dr. Mukerji until I turned 19 and they wouldn't let me anymore. I LOVED her. She is very calm and reassuring, and has an amazing memory for people. Laura (March 2003)
    We have Dr. Mukherji--signed up with her on the over-the-top recommendation of a friend--and *love* her. She is gentle, a good listener, very straightforward, and has a sweet nature (always smiles at my son). We are a single-parent family and still breastfeeding at almost 3 and she is completely supportive. Jennie (March 2003)
    We saw Dr. Mukerji one time for an urgent-care appt., and I liked her a lot. She was very good with my daughter and was able to very quickly look in her ears (we were worried about an ear infection). Mimi (March 2003)
    My recommendation is Dr. Swati Mukerji. My two children have been treated by her for the last 15 years. She's wonderful, interested, takes her time, calls at home, remembers the children, and is very easy to speak to. I went through two surgeries with her, and a sudden death in the not-quite immediate family . She has always been there for us when we needed her. The only down side is she is popular and she takes her time, so sometimes you have to wait awhile in the waiting room for your appt. Lucy (2001)
    We were happy with Dr. Swathi Mukerji. She's an older woman, very gentle, and she always seemed to have plenty of time to talk and answer questions. She saw our daughter until she was about a year old, when we moved out of the area 6 months ago.. Amy (2001)
    From: Corazon (2000)

    I would like to second Judy Simon's recommendation of Dr. Swati Mukerji. She was my children's doctor from infancy to young adulthood. I believe she is still at Oakland Kaiser as my 18-year old saw her this past summer for her pre-college physical examination. We all think she is wonderful and she is also a parent. I originally got Dr. Mukerji's name from a very assertive friend who had gotten her post-delivery nurses to tell her who they thought was the BEST pediatrician at Kaiser. Actually, I think there are many fine pediatricians at Kaiser. You get to meet them during those Urgent Care appointments when your own doctor isn't on duty that night. Another favorite name that comes to mind is Dr. Dorsett whom we saw several times when Dr. Mukerji was unavailable.

    Colleen Shipler

    Re: Open-minded about not vaccinating (June 2003)
    Try Colleen Shipler. She's a Nurse Practitioner, not a doc. But, she's very open-minded and also very good with the little ones in terms of bedside manner.

    Re: Kaiser pediatrician flexible on vaccines (March 2002)
    I highly recommend Colleen Shipler, NP. She is open to delaying and working w/you on vaccines.

    Katrina Saba

    Re: Pediatrician for my first child Nov 2004
    We recently had to switch from Aetna and East Bay Pediatrics to Kaiser due to my being laid off in July. Our son's Aetna cardiologist (he was born w/ VSD) recommended his wife, Katrina Saba, who is a pediatrician at Kaiser. She returned from maternity leave in August, I believe, so she has a toddler and a newborn at home, which means for me that what I am going through is what she is going through at the same time, which is great. She is patient and was willing to put off some of my son's 2-4-6 month vaccines after discussing it with me. Also, she shares her practice with another doctor whose name I am not recalling, but she was very nice/competent as well when my son's skin issues required a visit. I like this because it means less upheaval if you need a last minute appointment, as you're likely to see one or the other for sick appointments. c.

    Noah Simons

    Re: Pediatrician for my first child Nov 2004
    Yes, Kaiser does assign you a pediatrician if you don't choose one, but I believe you will automatically get a resident. I did both times. Now, all of the residents I had were great, but they don't tell you straight out that they are residents, and I think they should at least tell you. There is always a senior attending around when they are on duty, and many times they (senior attending) get called into the room. The other thing you should know about the residents is that a lot of them leave after their third year. So if you get attached to yours (as I did) you will have to follow them to another Kaiser Facility or choose another staff doctor. Currently we see Dr. Noah Simons (resident) and he has been really great, very thorough (as are most of the residents we have seen, I have found). We have also seen Dr. Chan (staff) and she is wonderful. Dr. Mangraviti is also excellent, and very experienced. I also like Fischoff (sp). Since you will mostly see random doctors for urgent care (another down side to having a resident, they are not in the office everyday, they could be on rotation in the hospital, for example) you will probably get to know some of them on your own. The two best Kaiser Pediatricians I ever experienced (in my opinion) are Dr. Weiss (Alameda) and Dr. Brad Lewis (I think he is at Walnut Creek now) but I hear that the Oakland Facility is a center of excellence for Pediatrics, and I have been very happy with the care there. pg

    Meera Tatapudy

    One time we saw Meera Tatapudy, she was very kind and gentle. Joan (March 2003)
    We've also seen Dr. Tatapudy (can't forget that name, so interesting!), but just once, and she was fine. Jennie (March 2003)

    Gail Udkow

    Oct 2007

    Re: Kaiser PCP, OBGYN & Ped. recommendations
    I can't recommend a good GYN in Alameda, and the Alameda Pediatrian's are limited - but my children see Dr. Gail Udkow in Oakland. She was also my Pediatrician. She is wonderful. We have also seen Dr. Bacchus in Oakland and he would be my second choice if and when Dr. Udkow retires. Good Luck! Alameda Kaiser Patient

    March 2003

    My 8-year old son is a patient of Gail Udkow, and we all love her. She is not ''touchy-feely'', but I am very comfortable talking to her about any concerns. She is a no nonsense, capable person who, as a mother herself, understands the fears that parents have. She has never dismissed any of my concerns. mizzbee

    From: Dorothy (3/98)

    I'm responding to the inquiry for a pediatrician at Kaiser-Oakland. I heartily recommend Dr. Gail Udkow. She's a no nonsense, intelligent and caring doctor. She listens well, advises well, and her demeanor with children is wonderful! My 4 yo loves her and looks forward to going to see her. She was my salvation when my son was hospitalized at 11 days old due to dehydration (bad breastfeeding experience-another story) as she not only took excellent care of my son, but also of my psyche! The Kaiser at Oakland is a teaching hospital and she will have students conduct routine exams from time to time (not without consulting you first). When she comes in to evaluate their progress it is obvious that she is well respected by her students as well. I called her office line (she actually answers her phone when she's in) to ask about a homeopathic remedy and was given an opinion from both her medical doctor and her mommy (she has kids of her own) point of view. She's a gem!

    Caskey Weston

    Re: Kaiser pediatrician for asthma (Feb. 2004)
    Our pediatrician at Kaiser Oakland is Dr. Mukerji, who is *wonderful*. BUT she doesn't really deal with the asthma issues much--Kaiser Oakland has a *terrific* asthma nurse, Caskey Weston, who is the one who set up our Asthma Treatment Plan and who monitors my son's asthma. As a team, they have done a great job. I'm quite pleased with Kaiser in general, and with their treatment of my son's asthma in particular. Jennie

    Tim Yaeger

    About ten years ago my children first had Dr. Yaeger as their designated M.D. He has been very pleasant to talk with and he's answered questions directly with good factual information. However we've only seen him twice. Generally we go in for the same day appointments because of minor crises or the expediency of being able to see someone on a day the kids and I are available. Same day appointments are on a which ever M.D. is available basis.
    Frances (July 2000)

    In response to doctors for teens at Kaiser: My son sees Dr. Tim Yaeger and I think he's the greatest doctor. He takes time with Jared and is always willing to answer my questions. I would highly recommend him and so would Jared. My daughter sees Dr Chan-Werner who is not on your list. She is very thorough and respects the girl's wish to see her alone. Anna also has called the teen clinic on her own and likes the way they respond promptly. She thinks very highly of being able to call on her own and get good advice and quick appointments. I don't recall any specific doctor that she's seen through the teen number. Jan (July 2000)

    Though we just changed health care providers and no longer are members of Kaiser, we had excellent pediatric care by Dr. Katrina Saba, Dr. Tsai and another, male Ped. whose name eludes me now. He had just come back from working in villages in Costa Rica or some place like that. I found all doctors there to be patient, attentive listeners who really cared about my daughter. The injection nurse, Katsi Murakawa, was incredible, by the way. She worked fast and was sweet to the squalling babies and worried parents. I really was impressed by the care at Oakland Kaiser. - Hilary (2001)

    March 1998

    Sometimes I feel like, between my 12 and 7 year old, I've seen every doctor there. Other ones I recommend: Robert Dorsett and Shirley Tang