Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation (Telegraph Av, Berkeley, CA)

Berkeley, CA
845 8047
Editors' Notes: 

This practice was formerly known as Ob Gyn & Fertility Specialists

2850 Telegraph Ave, Suite 120 Berkeley CA 

  • Practitioners reviewed on this page: Arzou Ahsan, Alice Cannan NP, Risa Kagan, Elizabeth Kanwit, Katarina Lanner-Cusin, Beth Matlock

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Archived Reviews: 

Dec 2014

RE: moving to Oakland, need an ObGyn

I would recommend my OB/GYN, Dr. Elizabeth ''Betsy'' Kanwit, 2850 Telegraph Avenue, Suite
120, in Berkeley. The phone is 510/204-8190. According to her website, she is accepting
new patients:

I have seen Dr. Kanwit for over ten years, and am very happy with her. She answers all my
questions, and is very knowledgeable.
She practices in a group of women OB/GYNs, and on occasion I have seen one of the other
doctors there, and have been very satisfied with them as well. Lori 

Nov 2011

Re: Gynecologist for 18 year old daughter
I can't say enough good things about Dr. Ahsan at the OB/Gyn practice on Telegraph. She's young, hip, easy to talk to and very caring. My 21 year old daughter and I both go to her. The number for that practice is: 510-845-8047. Happy Patient

Nov 2010

Re: Berkeley ObGyn that partners with a midwife
It's very difficult to find an OB-GYN that works directly with a midwife; however, I was really happy with Drs. Arzou Ahsan, Dr. Jill Foley and Dr. Marilyn Honegger. I've seen all three of them.

There is a midwife on staff in their practice as a nurse but she doesn't practice as a midwife anymore.

Overall the doctors in the group I just listed are competent and definitely where you want to be if something goes wrong. Downside: they have like 10 doctors in their practice, so you have a 10% chance of having your doctor at delivery. Upside: if it's important for you to know your delivering doctor, you can play doctor roulette with appointments and get to know more than one. Good luck! new mom

Nov 2010

Re: Need good gynecologist for heavy bleeding issues
Sorry to hear about your bleeding issues, and I can recommend Dr. Risa Kagan. She has a wonderful bedside manner,is highly knowledgeable in women's health issues, and best of all, gives me the peace of mind to know that whatever changes my body is going through, I'm not alone~ she is sincere and caring, and very busy.Dr. Kagan is located in Berkeley and Lafayette. The office phone number is (510)204-8190. Hope this helps! Denise

Nov 2010

Re: Need good gynecologist for heavy bleeding issues
I have a similar medical history and have been very happy with my WONDERFUL female OB/GYN named Arzou Ahsan. She performed a hydro thermal ablation procedure on me a few years ago. our family has to change to Kaiser starting January 1st and I am so terribly sad that I won't be seeing Dr. Ahsan anymore. been there before

April 2010

Re: OB with great bedside manner
I highly recommend Alice Cannan, NP. She is incredibly knowledgeable and has a really kind and informative style. I wouldn't go to anyone else - I've rearranged my primary care around her! 2915 Telegraph Avenue #200 (between Howe St & Ashby Ave) Berkeley, CA 94705 Warmly, Laura

Dec 2009

Re: Twin childbirth classes?
In addition.....i am scheduled to see Dr. Arzou Ahsan for prenatal care and would like to hear current experiences with her and her practice with regards to natural delivery,and, if any twin moms out there have had her as their OB and how she was for you. thanks! Really, twins?!

I can't speak to child birth classes, but I can definitely speak to a twin birth and Arzou Ahsan. I love Dr. Ahsan. She has been my OB/GYN for years. She has seen me through two pregnancies and delivered my twins. Unfortunately (for me) I had to have a c-section for the twins, but she was so completely supportive and knew that I did not want to go that route (my first was born at Alta Bates with a doula and no epidural). She waited until the last minute to schedule the c-section to see if my situation would change. It did not, and she was great throughout the entire process. I could not have asked for a better doctor. I highly recommend her. If you want to speak off network, feel free to email me. On an unrelated note - I also recommend joining Twins by the Bay - great resources and amazing support.

Dr. Ahsan wasn't my doctor and I never met her, but she is in the practice I worked with, and I've had experiences with most of the other docs. (Any of which, depending on who's on duty that night/day, might deliver your baby). There's one doc I don't like, but the others are really good. Dr. Thomas (who I hadn't met before that day) delivered my twins vaginally (though I did have an epidural, due to needing to be induced w pitocin after water breaking). They all seem to have a fair amount of twin experience in that practice and everyone was supportive of my desire to have a vaginal birth (if the babies were head down, which they were).

Good luck! And be sure to join twins by the bay or your local twins group-- it really helps! proud mama of twins

Nov 2009

Re: Looking for a great OB-GYN
I would recommend Dr. Arzou Ahsan and Dr. Katarina Lanner-Cusin, of Sutter East Bay Physicians Med. Group. I have seen both of them in my two pregnancies. I don't know your concerns, but I was worried about my second delivery (trying for a VBAC). They reviewed my history from my previous birth and helped give me good information about my options. They are both very kind and comfortable, very wonderful doctors. anon

Dr. Ahsan is a great OB-Gyn doctor. She is very sharp and smart, yet very compassionate. Also Dr. Huibonhoa is an excellent doctor. She is female. Try these two doctors to interview first! anon

I wanted to comment on the recommendation for Sutter East Bay Physicians Med. Group. Be mindful that this is a sizeable practice in terms of the number of doctors that could potentially be on call when you deliver. I became a patient of an excellent doctor in that practice, who has rave reviews on the BPN. Not until almost my due date did I find out that their on call schedule is shared with another doctor's office, essentially doubling the number of doctors you might end up with at delivery. So even if you meet all of the doctors at Sutter East Bay, you still might not ever even see the doctor who ends up helping you with delivery if the on call schedule has a doctor from the ''sister'' practice. This is what happened to me, and I had some very life threatening complications from my C-section. To this day, I don't know how much of those complications had to do with the doctor I had never met, or just the general ''hazards'' of an unplanned C-section.

Additionally, there is one doctor in Sutter East Bay that I would REALLY steer clear of. She gave me flat out wrong information about my health, and she had terrible and painful technique for the few physical procedures I had to endure from her. She's the one who will always have an opening in her schedule when the other doctors are booked. Based on my miserable experience with her alone, I couldn't risk ever having her be on call with a future pregnancy.

So I switched to Dr. Nishimine, who rarely uses backup, and is known to be an excellent surgeon. Because if I'm able to have a second pregnancy, it will need to be a C-section. He's right across the street from Alta Bates. You know you're in good hands when the pap is over and you didn't even know it happened. He's not ''warm & fuzzy,'' but a very kind doctor, and very competent based on my office visit experience and research of recommendations. I don't have first hand experience regarding delivery with him.

You want an OB-GYN who will be supportive of your birthing *plan.* But the midwives and nurses are the main people who get you through labor. In my opinion, OB-GYN is there in the event you need bigger interventions or have unexpected problems. And for that I say, find someone who is known to be a great surgeon. -Turned off by the big practices

June 2009

Re: Gynecologist who is easy to talk to?
Try Dr. Lanner-Cusin (2915 Telegraph, 510-845-8047). She is incredibly easy to speak to and very down-to-earth (I think in part it is due to the fact that she is European). I would also (have had to) trust her with surgery - she has lots of experience and is very good. anon

Feb 2009

Re: Looking for a female gynecologist
I love all the female OBGYNs at Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation (fairly new name, can't remember what it was previously though, but they've been around for many years), on Telegraph in Berkeley. Dr Elizabeth Kanwit, Dr Ahsan, Dr Lanier-Cusin--all of them have been great. They're kind, sensitive, and take time to discuss any concerns. Really like everyone I've seen in this office. steph

Feb 2009

Re: Alta Bates-affiliated OB-GYN
I have had Dr. Kanwit as my doctor for many years, and she was the one who handled all my pregnancy appointments as well (my son is four years old now). The office is run pretty efficiently, and Dr. Kanwit personally returns my calls, and calls me with results of various tests. When in labor, the on-call doctor, Dr. Kim, another doctor from the same office, visited me after I had been in labor for 27 hours. She determined that I needed an emergency c-section because the fetal heart rate had dropped, and was very professional yet sympathetic to my wish for a natural childbirth. She said if the fetal heart rate returned to normal when we got to the OR, then I could resume laboring, but unfortunately it hadn't, so she went ahead with the c-section. While she is not my regular doctor, I appreciated her caring attitude and good bedside manner. Lori

Oct 2008

Re: Post-menopause, seeking new female gyn
I highly recommend Dr.Risa Kagan of the East Bay Physicians Med. Group. After 2 high risk ''later in life'' pregnancies,I started to experience some'' uncomfortable'' changes with my body for almost 2 years.My Internist ordered tests ranging from hormone tests to ultrasounds all with normal results. I was frustrated! Dr. Kagan resolved my issues in my first visit with her! She is a straight forward,no nonsense,doctor who is extremely knowledgeable with women who are perimenopausal and menopausal. Dr.Kagan is located in Berkeley. Phone #(510)204-8190 Denise

Katarina Lanner-Cusin, M. D. of Berkeley and UCSF and Marilyn Honegger, M.D. of Berkeley and Orinda are fabulous. Hopefully you could get in to see one or both. Dr. Honegger is my gyn, and a great diagnostician who is much in demand for surgery. Kararina performed surgery on my grown daughter, who flew back here from a job in Hawaii for the surgery because there was no one as good there. You might research their specific areas of surgical expertise, if you can. Both are also wonderful people, by the way. Best of luck. Judy

August 2008

Re: Gynecologist surgeon for rectocele, cystocele
I just had the rectoscele and cycstoscele surgery done last month, and highly recommend any of the doctors at Sutter East Bay/OB Gyn Fertility, 2850 Telegraph Ave. My doctor was Dr. Arzou Ahsan and she was terrific. This surgery is becoming very common and all of the doctors there do the procedure. Any questions you could call me 510-334-8750 Sandy

May 2008

Re: ObGyn for 17-year-old daughter
I think my ObGyn would be really great for a teen girl - Dr. Arzou Ahsan in Berkeley. There are a lot of reviews for her and the others in her practice on the BPN website - I think all the ObGyns in that practice are women, if that makes a difference for your daughter.

April 2008

Re: Female ObGyn who delivers at Alta Bates
Dr. Arzou Ahsan is my *wonderful* female Ob/Gyn who delivers at Alta Bates. My daughter was born August 2008, and I am so glad that we found Dr. Ahsan. As is common practice these days, the prenatal check-up appointments were brief, but if I ever had specific concerns, she took the time to discuss them with me. I always felt like she gave thorough and meaningful answers to my questions: no dumbing-down or brushing off, etc. Our baby was born with unexpected medical issues, and Dr. Ahsan came to see us in the hospital every day we were there (even though she was not on call), and even went up to the NICU a number of times to check in on the baby. This extra support was above and beyond the call of duty, but shows how much she cares.

In the end, it was Dr. Jill Foley on call for the birth of our baby. She, too, was wonderful, and helped us to have exactly the birth we had hoped for: no interventions or drugs, lots of calm reassurance and guidance. I also recommend her very highly. new mama

Oct 2007

Re: Female GYNO
I'm a quite satisfied patient of Katarina Lanner-Cusin in Berkeley. I'm not sure if she's taking new patients, however. I recently went into their office when Dr. Lanner-Cusin was out of town, and saw Dr Elinor Kim. She is one of the newer Dr's in this practice, and she was wonderful! Patient, caring, answered all my questions. I felt she took really good care of me. I would highly recommend her. Kim

I had to respond to the person who put in a recommendation for Dr.Eleanor Kim at East Bay OB/GYN & Fertility. I had been a patient of Dr.Lanner-Cusin's for my first and second pregnancies, but saw Dr.Kim for the last half of my second pregnancy when it was too difficult to schedule appointments with Dr.L-C. The treatment I received under Dr.Kim's care during the day of my delivery was insensitive and disorganized.

My baby was measuring small, so in my final month of pregnancy Dr.Kim scheduled an ultrasound to determine whether the baby needed to come out. I was told not to eat or drink anything the night before in case I had to have a c-section the next day. I followed these orders and had my ultrasound early in the morning, and was told my results would be available ''STAT'' -- within the hour. However, Dr.Kim was out of the office and neglected to notify anyone that I would be awaiting the results of my test. On that 85-degree day, I was forced to wait until after 3 p.m., starving, thirsty, and anxious, until Dr.Kim finally read my test results and ordered me to go to the hospital to have my c-section. At no time that day did she offer an apology or an explanation for the long delay. The birth of my second child was decided by those test results, and many people in my family were waiting for my word to travel to Berkeley for the birth, yet Dr.Kim did not seem to give this any consideration.

In addition, no one notified the on-call doctor to do certain tests after my c-section, and I can never know what those tests might have revealed about the pregnancy. Dr.Kim never came to visit after the birth; she never once called to follow up.

My daughter was very healthy and my own recovery was fine, so I can't complain about our physical well-being, but I am still angry about my birth experience. Perhaps there was an explanation for the disorganization and miscommunication; the office may be partly to blame. However, I was left with the feeling that on a day that was very important to me, I had been forgotten.

May 2007

Re: Female Gynecologist for Post-Kids
You might like Dr. Risa Kagan at East Bay Gynecology & Fertility Specialists on Telegraph near Ashby. She no longer delivers babies and has developed an expertise in issues related to menopause. Leslie

May 2007

Re: Looking for Lesbian-Friendly OB Gyn (TTC)
my neighbor is Dr. Arzou D Ahsan, and when i planned a homebirth, she was one of the few people i knew who didn't blanche at the very thought! she herself is a mother of twins, with her partner, so i assume she should be both knowledgable and respectful about your situation. my good friend sees her as her OB, and has been very happy with the care she has received. my friend's pregnancy (which was IVF, through ?pacific fertility in the city) went late, and Dr. Ahsan did not push for induction ASAP, as some do, but did monitor the amniotic fluid and recommended induction at the point where she felt the fluid was too low (?4.something, at 41w5d). my friend had had a previous pregnancy of twins with a loss of one at 37 weeks (with emergency c/s too late to save the one twin, but the other ok), so there was some extra caution indicated, and she was hoping for a VBAC, which Dr. Ahsan was supportive of; there was no pressure at all to schedule a c/s. Dr. Arzou D Ahsan Obstetrics and Gynecology 2915 Telegraph Ave Ste 200 Berkeley, CA 94705 (510) 845-8047 anon

April 2007

Re: Need OB hospital and doctor recommendations
I would like to recommend my OB/GYN, Dr. Betsy Kanwit in Berkeley. She is part of a group of doctors, all women, who have a practice together. In fact, the other doctors I have met are all very good too. When I had to have an emergency c-section, it was performed by Dr. Kim, one of Dr. Kanwit's associates. Dr. Kim was very understanding as well as fast and efficient. The office is at 2915 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 200, Berkeley, phone 510 845-8047. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. Lori

Feb 2007

Re: OB GYN in Berkeley or North Oakland?
I would like to recommend East Bay Physicians Medical Group. pHONE 510-204-8190. 2915 tELEGRAPH aVE. #200, bERKELEY. It is a group of 7 women (one is a nurse practitioner and I believe one only does GYN). My official OB is Dr. Kanwit, and I love her, but she let me down recently with a lack of compassion and support in a scary/difficult situation (though this was the one and only incident, and I have been with her for 3 years now (on my 2nd pregnancy) and I believe she was just following medical protocols, but I am a person, not a statistic.). I have been since been seeing Dr. Ahsan who is younger and more open to alternative ideas than just following the normal medical protocols. We have seen everyone in the office for both pregnancies, and have liked everyone, you may need to make the rounds before you can settle on the right fit for you. They do share on-call hours with another OB group in the area, but that didn't concern me, I wasn't even attached who delivered my first child (or my second for that matter). I also delivered at Alta Bates, and have Blue Shield insurance. If you would like to e-mail me for more details on my experiences, please feel free to (since this has gotten long). Kukana

I have to respond to the recommendation for the OB Gyn and Fertility Specialists Group in Berkeley. I used this group for the pregnancy and delivery of my first child. The short version of a long and very painful story is that the practice missed several in utero signs that my baby had a significant disability. My delivery was horrible - Dr. Kanwit was on call and very busy. I ended up in an emergency c- section with no anesthesia for the first several cuts. After this horrible delivery and learning that my baby had Down syndrome, nobody from this practice came to see me for over 36 hours. When they did finally come to visit, they were insensitive to my baby and me. anon

Two of the best are Arzou Ahsan and Jill Folley --two different practices which work together to cover call. They are all the things you are looking for. Not sure if they are taking new patients or not. Good luck. lucky

Feb 2007

Re: OB GYN in Berkeley or North Oakland?
I have had excellent relationships and experience with both Arzou Ahsan and Helen Matthews. Dr. Ahsan 845-8047 and Dr. Matthews can be reached at 204-8160. Best of Luck

Oct 2006

Re: OB/GYN for VBAC in East Bay area
Hi. I had a successful VBAC in November 2005 with Dr. Katarina Lanner-Cusin, who practices in Berkeley on Telegraph. Her entire practice is great and they were very supportive of my decision to try for a VBAC. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. Ann

Aug 2006

I will soon most likely be getting a hysterectomy (uterus out, cervix and ovaries remain) due to large fibroids. Dr. Katarina Lanner-Cusin will do the surgery. Does anyone have experience with (1)this type of surgery and (2) Dr. Cusin? Any advice will be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you anon

Dr. Lanner-Cusin is great; she delivered my first baby. I've since had a hysterectomy, though not by her, and want to tell you not to worry! Post-op life is fine, recovery was totally easy, anything sex-related works great. It feels scary beforehand, perhaps, but you'll feel great passing that tampon aisle and buying white sheets and pants! don't miss the .

Dr. Lanner-Cusin is wonderful. She is extremely professional, very knowledgeable and caring. She has been my OB/GYN for more than 5 years. She hasn't performed surgery on me, but if I needed OB/GYN surgery, she would be my choice without hesitation. She is a remarkable physician. Good luck to you Big L-C Fan

Dr. Lanner-Cusin is the ob-gyn who cared for me through two pregnancies and I highly recommend her. She is incredibly caring and energetic. When I recently gave birth to my son, she was not the doctor on call; however, she still came to see me several times during my labor, just to make sure that I was doing alright. I imagine that she would give you that kind of care during a hysterectomy as well. Good luck, and feel free to email me if you have any further questions Ann

Hi Anon.! I had a partial hysterectomy about 2 years ago due to massive fibroids and monthly hemmorraging. My doctor recommened a hysterectomy years prior, but I was stubborn and wanted to ''hold on'' tomy uterus! I finally got so sick from the bleeding and pain-I had no choice. I AM SO GLAD I DID!!! As my uterus was too large for a vaginal hysto, my doctor did a vertical cut from bellybutton down...the surgery was so easy-i felt better within a few days!! The incision healed fast and I felt great! Wish I had done it YEARS ago-Today-I still feel great-I had increased energy, vitality, and sex was the same if not better! I would HIGHLY recommend it, especially if you have fibroids-(mine were 6lbs.!) -I tried every natural remedy, progesterone creme, herbs, -nothing worked. The surgery is a breeze-and you will feel like a new woman-enhanced as the only thing missing is the uterus-which we need only to conceive-with ovaries & cervix left- everything stays the same-I do get a small 2 day lite period monthly due to the uterine cells in the cervix-but that is fine with me! Some doctors insist on taking everything out-at least in NY they did-dont let them!! My doctor was very compasssionate and professional-saying he would not remove organs in which there was not abnormality nor disease...a lot of doctors want to take it all have to be persistant in what you want. Hope this helped!! A'isha

May 2006

Re: Ob/Gyn for cervical dysplasia
I have had cervical dysplasia for the last 5 years and was treated at Kaiser for a while in SF and had a cone biopsy there in 2002. I was not happy with the way I was treated there, always seeing a different doctor or just NPs and decided to switch insurance and find a doctor that I could see every time I had an appointment and really help me with the cervical dysplasia. I was recommended to Dr. Arzou Ahsan in Berkeley on Telegraph. I became her patient and I have to say she is wonderful, kind, patient, listens, and really wants to help solve the problen. She is very diligent and she discovered that I actually had a vaginal lesion during a very thorough colop, probably why after my cone biopsy I kept having abnormal pap smears. Go see her! She is great and I believe trained at UCSF and worked in their dysplasia clinic, which is another good place to go. I went there for my surgery to remove the vaginal lesion on Dr. Ahsan's recommendation. The good news is that I conceived and had my first baby last fall right after having the surgery to remove the vaginal lesion. I have now had 3 normal pap smears and get to go back to annual exams. I have been so happy with Dr. Ahsan! Good luck! mom who had cervical dysplasia

Feb 2006

Re: New primary care provider and a new gynecologist
Hi, I go to Dr. Ahsan for OBGYN in Berkeley, and she is wonderful. Her number is 510-845-8047. Jamie

Nov 2005

Re: OB/GYN and midwife ''touchy-feely''
There are a couple of obgyns who are really really good and have a GREAT bedside manner, although I am not 100% sure I'd describe them as ''touchy feely''. I am somewhat ''neurotic'' and had a fairly complicated pregnancy. The women who worked with me during my pregnancy were AMAZING!!!! I am SO THANKFUL I wound up with them. There are several women in this practice that is located in Telegraph Ave in Berkelel, but the ones who I really loved and recommend are:
1. Dr. Ahsan (wonderful!!!!)
2. Dr. Lanner-Cusin (LOVED her!!!)
3. Dr. Eleanor Kim (she has a wonderful bedside manner, but I know she recently had her own child so I am not sure if she is on maternity leave)
4. Dr. Kanwit (a lot of people absolutely LOVE her, but I only saw her once or twice) Stephanie

Aug 2005

I'm looking for information on the female doctors at East Bay Ob/Gyn. I saw Dr. Birenbaum there for my first baby, but apparently she's moved on, as has Dr. Ahsan. Has anyone had good or bad experience with the current female doctors there? Thanks for your input.

Sorry, I can't tell you about current OB/GYNs at East Bay Oby/Gyn Med Assoc, but I wanted to let you know that Dr. Ahsan is still nearby in another OB/GYN practice: phone# 510-845-8047, 2915 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley. She's a great doc.

May 2005

My doctor, Elinor Kim, at Ob Gyn & Fertility Specialists has gone on maternity leave and I have to choose some one else in the office to see during my pregnancy. I've only been there twice and don't know any of the other doctors. Any recommendations would be helpful. Looking for new Dr.

I love my OB, Arzou Ahsan, who has been with ObGyn & Fertility Specialists since July 2004 (before that she was with East Bay ObGyn on Regent). She gave me excellent, relaxed, smart and sensitive prenatal care throughout my pregnancy. She also was on duty the day I delivered and played an enormous role in making the *very* long labor, pushing and birth go well. Despite the fact that my baby was ultimately born 39 hours after my water broke, she never pushed for a C-section; she was keeping a close eye on all our vitals and since they were all good, she let me keep laboring and pushing for as long as it took to get the job done. I really appreciate her putting an individual patient above any timeline or protocol, and I think she has tremendous judgment as well as great medical skills. Good luck to you. Katie

You are in luck because everyone whom I have encountered at this office is wonderful , including the efficient and friendly office staff. My OB-GYN for the last 4 years has been the wonderful Dr. Arzou Ahsan, and she delivered my first child. Dr. Elizabeth Matlock delivered my second, and she is equally as good. I saw Dr. Katarina Lanner-Cusin for an emergency and loved her too. What a great place! Suzi

I used both Dr. Risa Kagan as my Gyn and Katrina Lanner-Cusin as my Ob. I can not say enough about how wonderful they are as dedicated and conscientious doctors, with warmth and shared excitement throughout the entire experience. ilana

Re: OBGYN for menopause symptom management (May 2005)
I have been seeing Arzou Ahsan at ObGyn Fertility Specialists in Berkeley. (Fertility Specialists - something of a misnomer if you're a Woman of a Certain Age! but ...) I actually wanted a woman ObGyn closer to my own age but really clicked with Ahsan, who is somewhat younger (maybe late 30's?). She is sensible, practical, and really great about laying out all the options and helping me evaluate each one. I'm on HRT short-term and I feel SO MUCH BETTER!!! I wish I had talked to her about it two years before I actually got around to going in. She does accept Health Net. I have heard from friends that all the doctors in that practice are great, so I think that practice would be an excellent choice.

Re: Looking for a female ObGyn (Aug 2004)
I am a patient of Arzou Ahsan's and really like her. She has a very casual bedside manner and is very easy to talk to. She has consistently chatted with me for a few minutes throughout my pregnany and later. I never feel rushed by her and I always have felt she knew who I was; which was an issue with my previous OB. I would highly recommend her. sally

Re: Looking for a female ObGyn (Aug 2004)
I cannot say enough good things about Elinor Kim and all of the people OBGyn/Fertility specialists .

I had been a long time patient of Dr. Lanner-Cusin in the same practice. Dr. Kim delivered my baby during her first week on board, and was incredible during a complicated labor. She bonded with my doula, let me try some alternative appraches and took charge when it was clear that I need intervention. Ulitmately her expertise was key in avoiding what could have easily become a C-section.

I remained a patient of Lanner's until I had a miscarriage last fall. Dr. Kim again wound up stepping in and not only provided excellent medical care, but down to earth and amazing emotinal support that I never would have expected from an MD.

I am now officially Dr. Kim's patient and feel very privileged to have found her. Susannah

Aug 2004

Can anyone give a recommendation for either Elinor Kim or Azu Ahsan. They are both OB/GYN's. S

dr. azhou was my ob/gyn while she was with the east bay fertility ob/gyn medical group, and i really liked her style. she's very laid back, but personable. i had an easy pregnancy, but i felt comfortable that she would be able to handle whatever came up. i really appreciated the fact that she didn't seem to be in too big a rush during my monthly appointments - she took the time to answer my questions. the fact that she was easy to communicate with was a big plus.

when it came time to deliver, dr. kim was the ob/gyn on call. we had never met her before, but from the moment i called her after my water broke at home, i got a good vibe from her. she was relaxed, not condescending, and quite supportive in her low key, but friendly way. ultimately she was the dr. who delivered our baby. she too was patient with me and didn't in any way try to dissuade me from approaching labor the way *i* wanted (i.e. without interventions, if at all possible). she was great. very satisfied mama

Eleanor Kim and Arzou Ahsan are both great. Dr. Kim delivered my first baby and saw me through an ovarian cancer scare with a lot of warmth and competence. Dr. Ahsan did the ovarian surgery very competently and had an easy manner. She didn't represent the extent of the physical damage or recovery time of the surgery accurately, which, in retrospect, Dr. Kim did. If you're looking for OB care, I really liked both of these docs but ended up switching practices because I wanted some assurance of having a doctor I know do my delivery.

I wanted to take this opportunity to highly recommend Dr. Arzou Ahsan. I know others have posted praise elsewhere on this site, but I figure it doesn't hurt to reinforce it! Dr. Ahsan was my prenatal doctor, by the luck of the draw also delivered my daughter, and now is my general ob/gyn. I find her to be incredibly professional, friendly, a great listener, a calming presence, very patient, dedicated, relaxed yet informed, and I feel very lucky to have found her! Caitlin

I saw Azu Ahsan once for a routine matter (she replaced my old OB, Laura Stachel) and thought she was fine. She wasn't particularly warm or dynamic, but seemed pleasant enough. I ended up going to Dr. Eleanore Kim for all of my prenatal care mainly because the practice Dr. Ahsan [used to be in] was very disorganized -- I couldn't get Dr. Ahsan to return phone calls or make a request for a procedure at Alta Bates I needed for my fertility treatments. (No reflection on Dr. Ahsan -- she probably never got the messages.) Anyway, I put up with that practice group for more than 10 years not knowing I had any better options. Dr. Kim's practice group is world's different. I found everyone there, OBs, nurses and staff, to be courteous, efficient and professional. All of my phone calls were promptly returned and all the OBs were very good at followup. I LOVED Dr. Kim herself. She was very warm, patient and caring in addition to being very smart. She had phenomenal follow through and seemed to really care about me as a person. I had a terrific pregnancy experience and credit her in no small measure for that. I can't recommend her highly enough. Satisfied Patient

July 2004

Editor Note: Arzou Ahsan was formerly at East Bay Fertility OB/GYN Medical Group (see that page for recommendations prior to June 2004). in July 2004.

July 2004

I had a recent gyn, not pregnancy related, experience with Arzou Ahsan. I would go back to her for any services that require an OB-GYN. I am quite particular but found her absolutely wonderful. Very competent, respectful, friendly, non-pretentious and just lovely. She has very recently moved to an all woman practice on Telegraph near Ashby in Berkeley, tel 845-8047.

June 2004

I've just found out that my ob/gyn, Dr. Arzou Ahsan, is leaving East Bay Fertility Group as of July. Does anyone know where she's gone? Thanks! Ellen

Dr. Arzou Ahsan is with East Bay OB/GYN Medical Group. The office is at 2999 Regent Street, 3rd Floor, Berkeley, CA 94705 (across the street from Alta Bates) 510-841-5510. She is not my primary doctor, but delivered my twins (has twins herself) and handled my postnatal follow-up. She is very knowledable and personable. I highly recommend her along with the other doctors in the practice. Karen C.

Re. Dr. Arzou Ahsan, She's moving to OBGYN Fertility Group, 2915 Telegraph, #200, BErkeley. Telephone 846-8047. I think this is the Katarina Lanner-Cusin group. Not sure when she moves --sometime in the next month, I think. I know her current practice isn't scheduling future appointments for her anymore. But maybe the new practice is! Good luck.

May 2004

Re: Ob/Gyn for menopause
if you can get in, Risa Kagan has such a practice. Though she also has an active ob piece of the practice, she is one of the few i found with the interest and ability for those of us approaching menopause.

I have been told that she leans toward HRT intervention, but I found this not to be true in my case. After careful consideration of my entire circumstances, in fact, she said i should not be using it, and offered alternatives more consistant with my situation.

I feel she is extremely thoughtful about my care, and trust her ability based on my experience with her. She keeps on top of any problems, following up with tests and/or treatment where appropriate. And I felt completely safe in her hands when i went under general anesthetic so that she could take a closer look at growths on my uterine wall. With that information, she keeps a close watch over any changes taking place.

I personally found her not to be warm and cozy. But on the other hand, she listens and responds to almost everything i say.

Aug 2002

I cannot say enough about OBGYN Fertility Specialists in Berkeley. My OB was Dr. Matlock for both of my pregnancies. I do not know her experience with complicated pregnancies, though my babies were both 'sunny side up' which I later learned is a complication. I do know that there is another Dr. in the practice named Dr. Lanner Cusin who is very very good. She has a solid reputation at least with the nurses at Alta Bates. They all know and love her it seems. She was the doctor who determined that my first child was breech, and then successfully turned her around. It was very impressive! I would highly recommend any of the doctor's there, but would try to see Dr. Lanner or Dr. Matlock. Also, I have not had any rude experiences there. Actually, quite the opposite! Angela

If you're interested in an all-female group, I only know of that delivers at Alta Bates, the one at 2915 Telegraph. It's listed on the website, and is very busy. Personally, I found it a very difficult practice to work with and moved to Berkeley-Orinda Women's Health which has both men and women and I liked the men in the group there much better than the women in the 2915 group: I found that they were proactive and helpful and would call me back. I know everyone thinks they want a female OB (and I thought I did for my first) but I'd rather have a good and personable clinician than fixating on any gender, but YMMV. Mom who delivered three kids at Alta Bates

June 2002

Re: RN for Ob/Gyn
My ob/gyn is Katarina Lanner-Cusin at Ob/gyn and Fertility Group. I recently saw her RN, Alice Kannon, who I thought was really great. I would definitely see her for routine checkups. KMS

April 2002

I am very pleased you asked. I am so in awe of my OBGYN...Betsey Kanwit at OBGYN Fertlity group in Berkeley. I was/am always treated with respect and kindness at this office and I adore all of the doctors in the practice. I have been a patient ther since 1995 when I first became pregnant. Good luck to you!! Danielle

Aug 2001

regarding recurrent miscarriages ...

As far as OB/GYNs are concerned I've found Katarina Lanner-Cusin at OB/GYN and Fertility Specialists to be compassionate, careful and conservative in dealing with miscarriage. (Although I'm not sure she's taking new patients.) When I'm in my first trimester she is basically willing to see me as often as I want to do heartbeat checks (after 10 weeks) or to send me for an ultrasound (before 10 weeks). (Don't let them do an in-office ultrasound there. I don't think they know enough.) She was also willing to order as many tests as I wanted to investigate underlying causes even though she was clear with me that her personal opinion was that I had just had some bad luck. Best wishes to you in this very difficult time.

I was quite happy with Dr. Betsy Kanwit. Practices with Drs. Lanner-Cusin and Matlock, on Telegraph, around the corner from Alta Bates. Tel: 845-8047.

Staff - friendly. Office - efficient. Doctors - nice, good. Won't spend as much time with you as a midwife might, but that's typical. I also found them a little less conservative than I wanted to be. They said over-the-counter medications ok after first trimester, but I didn't want to take anything. But that's where you make your own judgements. They try to avoid epiosiotomies I guess, but in the end, they do whatever they feel is necessary.

One drawback - but you get this with many practices - is they share delivery duty with another practice. So while you can get to know these three during your prenatal visits, your baby could be delivered by one of six doctors in the other practice whom you won't have met. One of those has a rather bad reputation. But in summary, I'd recommend the practice.

Dr. Lanner-Cusin is wonderful. A couple of months ago, she was taking new patients. I know how hard it is, and my cousin who is a OB in Murin recommended her. Wonderful manner and very informative. Marci

From: Melissa

First of all, I saw Betsy Kanwit through both of my pregnancies/childbirths, and think very, very highly of her. My annual visit with her is always a joy, as we catch up on our families, and the other moms I know who saw her for their birth experiences (ca. 8-12 years ago) had great stories, too. I posted a more detailed recommendation for her to the list just a couple of months ago, so I won't go over it again. If you want to ask me specific questions, please feel free to e-mail me. I really like Betsy.

From: sabrina

To briefly recommend an OB/GYN: I have gone to Dr. Lanner-Cusein for years (practice is on Telegraph near Alta Bates). She is amazing. Now that I am pregnant, I go into her practice monthly, and have seen some of her collegues as well, one of whom is Dr. Kanwit. I can highly recommend her, too. Both truly give a sense of confidence, are warm and excellent doctors. Good luck!

To the person inquiring about OB/GYNs affiliated with Alta Bates I can't help but respond in order to agree with the messages praising Dr. Lanner-Cusin at ob-gyn & fertility specialists Medical Group (510-845-8047). I switched to her 6 months into my pregnancy after a terrible experience with another doctor. In the short time that I received Dr. Lanner-Cusin's pre-natal care, I found her to be nothing short of fabulous. Although her office is very busy, it is efficiently run and the staff is extremely friendly, informative and supportive. The other Drs. there ( Matlock and Kanwit) are also great. In the few months remaining of my pregnancy, I felt that I got more than I had hoped for in terms of support, well-informed care, and unbridled enthusiasm for the venture of having this (now 11 month old) miracle. Dr. Lanner-Cusin didn't even deliver our baby (we had Dr. Keller from the practice with which they share call--who was great) and I actually look forward to my annual exam because she's so terrific. Good luck to you....

From: FTR

I have to pitch in with my opinion - Katarina Lanner-Cusin was my OB and I thought she was fabulous. I was seeing Risa Kagan as my gynecologist, and when I became pregnant was disappointed to learn she had discontinued her obstetric practice, but she referred me to Lanner-Cusin, whom I found to be excellent. Dr. Kagan stayed very involved with the progress of my pregnancy and was especially supportive as I got very anxious towards the end. Beth Matlock delivered my baby and I liked her very much too. My only experience with Dr. Kanwit has been a single phone consultatation with her for a post-partum question, but she was helpful and pleasant (she also returned my non-urgent call very promptly). My strong impression is (and confirmed by a friend's father who is a local pediatrician) that the group is a very high-quality one.

From: Heike

RE: Betsy Kanwit The first and only time I saw Betsy was at my delivery. Having seen all the doctors in my practice, fate presented me with a doctor on call from another group at Alta Bates. I loved her. She was all excited about delivering my baby. She gave me confidence, helped me remember how to push, and gave me a mirror to look at my pushing efforts. Her eyes were glowing with as much joy as my husband's. She complimented every push of mine, became my best female friend for these few, important minutes of my life, and 15 minutes later my baby was born and I read Dr. Kanwit's name later on the hospital bracelet. (She had certainly introduced herself, but of course, I didn't remember her name in the final steps of birth). I am not negating anyone's bad experiences with her, but I loved having her as the doctor on call who delivered my baby.

From: Lucia

I'm sorry that others have had negative experiences with Dr. Kanwit b/c I think she is a very capable Dr. She is my OB and I have to say that I've been very pleased with her....... I had special circumstances and was put on bed rest and she saw me each week starting my 27th week. I liked all the Dr.s in that practice and feel confident of their professional abilities........ I would recommend her and the practice to my friends.

From: Heather

Beth Matlock was my official Ob/Gyn for my delivery in March of 1996, so I saw many of the doctors in that practice. Resa Kagan no longer sees patients on HMOs; I heard that she is excellent.

My favorite doctor in the practice was Vickie-Lee Edge but when I went in in September for a consultation, they said she was out on leave. I liked Dr. Edge because she always took the time to ask me whether I had questions before she started the exam. I had to force the others to answer questions sometimes. I think it's just a very big practice, and it felt pretty impersonal until I started seeing Dr. Edge. We're trying to conceive again now, and since Dr. Edge isn't available, I don't think I'll go back to that practice.

I had a baby about 19 months ago and am a patient of Beth Matlock. It is true that the front office can be a nightmare, but if you get to know some of the people at the front desk and consistently speak to one person on the phone to schedule appointments, administrative matters can go relatively smoothly. The medical care I received from all the nurses and doctors in this practice was excellent. I was monitored particularly closely during my pregnancy and post-natal period, so I had more contact with the office than most women probably do. The confidence I have in the practice's medical expertise counterbalances the occasional administrative frustration I encounter. I recommend this practice highly. Gail

I had been with Betsy Kanwit before she moved to this practice. I was seeing her for infertility problems . She has always been very friendly and concerned. She was very there for me in my surgeries, including being an advocate when my insurance wanted to kick me out of the hospital too soon. However, my problems did not change and my husband and I moved on to adoption. When the birth-mother of our prospective daughter came to live with us and had MediCal only, I called Betsy. She agreed to take her on. She was very supportive as we both went to the visits. Dr. Matlock was on call when delivery time came and although I hadn't thought much of her bedside manner in the office, I really appreciated when she asked me if I wanted to cut the cord, which in my case was an incredibly symbolic act. I'm at Kaiser now but I just wanted to toss in a good word. Tina

Okay, here's my Elizabeth Kanwit story. Our regular OB was not available when we finally made it to the hospital, two weeks past our due date. After a long labor, we had to have a C-section. Dr. Kanwit gave us plenty of time to discuss this option in a respectful manner, she never pushed us and gave us time alone to discuss with our doula.

The actual surgery, which I witnessed, was amazing in how swiftly and together Dr. Kanwit worked with the staff surgeon. What a tight team, they were truly awesome to watch. I was pleased that we ended up with this doctor, even though I only met her at the hospital and not during prenatal care. Nobody wants a c-section, but if it does happen, Dr. Kanwit is a terrific doc to have. A Dad

I'd just like to add my .02 to the discussion of the ob/gyn group that includes Betsy Kanwit. My children (admittedly older, now 8 and 11) were both delivered safely, happily, and without episiotomy by Betsy. She was my dr. throughout, and one of those births was definitely not routine. I felt extraordinarily well cared for throughout both of those pregnancies and deliveries. She also delivered the babies of friends during that time, and we all love her dearly. I continue to see her annually, and feel I get excellent care from her.

In one instance, I know she responded to an emergency delivery of a woman who had seen her *once* but opted for a home/midwife delivery. The home delivery was failing to progress, the laboring mom called her, and Betsy showed up at the hospital to complete the difficult delivery of a 10+ lb first born child. I think that was rather heroic. While I don't recommend you take this approach to delivery :-), I do continue to recommend Betsy. Melissa