Hank Streitfeld (Berkeley, CA)
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Editor Note (May 2011): Sadly, Dr. Streitfeld has recently passed away. His practice has been closed and records will be transferred until July 1, 2011.
Re: Berkeley ObGyn that partners with a midwife
I am using now for the second time around Dr. Hank Streitfeld (510.644.0110) as my OBGYN and I could not be happier. There are not enough good things I can say about Dr. Hank and his super friendly staff. He has 35+ years of experience, and besides being concerned about the baby's well being, he is also VERY concerned about the mom -- something I have not necessarily come across from many doctors. He has excellent bedside manners and goes out of his way to take care of the new mom at the hospital. He listens to my concerns and actually makes me feel HEARD. He never pushes me in any which direction as to what decisions to make regarding birthing methods etc. He gives me all the information I could ask for and makes it clear that it is his job to support me in any which way I decide (his words). For my first pregnancy, we lived on the East Coast and I had a doctor who would wipe all my concerns regarding a medically necessary C-section off the table for the entire time of the pregnancy, I was FREAKED out and felt completely alone, consequently the birthing experience was horrible. I never thought I could do this a second time, but I did, and believe it or not but the second C-section under Dr. Hank's tutelage was FUN! I owe him a lot because without a caring doctor like him I would definitely not have gone for a third one! Happy Mom
Re: OB with great bedside manner
Hank Streitfeld has a very comforting bedside manner. He was very sensitive and caring through my two miscarriages and then came in on his day off so I could have my C- section on the day I preferred. I also like his office staff--easy to contact and kind. anon
Re: Looking for a great OB-GYN
I went through both my pregnancies with Hank Streitfeld, who is with ABMG, and have seen him since for my annual exam, etc. I've posted here about him before, although not recently, and I stand by everything I said before: I just felt as if I was in very good hands. Dr. Streitfeld treats you as if you have a brain, and he also will tell you what he thinks. It works for me. Good luck. Wendy
If you're near Berkeley, then I recommend Hank Streitfeld, 644-0110 on Colby across from Alta Bates. He's very smart and very respectful of women. Francesca
Re: OB/GYN with fertility expertise
I am sorry to hear about your recent miscarriage. You should check out Dr. Henry ''Hank'' Streitfeld in Berkeley. I think I actually found him through BPN. We went through something similar and he was incredibly kind and warm and took great care of me through the miscarriage, subsequent pregnancy and post-partum. His sense of humor isn't for everyone, but he is an excellent physician and has been helping couples with fertility issues for years. Good luck! anon
Re: OB GYN in Berkeley or North Oakland?
If you are comfortable with a totally open and up front personality, I highly recommend Dr. Hank Streitfeld. He has his own practice with warm office staff. Dr. Streitfeld listens well and seems to genuinely love people and his job. Knowledgeable and skilled at listening, he makes you feel at ease and in deft hands. He wants to know his patients personally and will answer any questions about your body, pregnancy, or sexuality that you may have. He delivered two of our kids and allowed me to have very different birth experiences: one with meds, the other without. He'll support whatever you want, with your health and happiness always at the fore. That reminds me, I need to schedule my annual! Call Dr. Hank! anonymous
Re: OB who will do a vaginal breech delivery
Dr Hank Streitfeld (private practice, delivers at Alta Bates but I don't know if elsewhere). I found him through BPN where he had excellent reviews. He is a veteran OB who is trained in and will do breech deliveries. I had twins and he was willing to even deliver a breech twin. Luckily baby b turned around. He won't make any guarantees but if anyone can do it he can. You can read more about him on the BPN site. (510) 644-0110 ~ Another Dr Hank Fan
In response to the queries re Streitfeld/Fertility oriented ob/gyn: I was pregnant and gave birth in 2005 with Hank Streitfeld and I really like him. As the old posts stated, he is frank and has opinions, but I like that and found it refreshing. He is also warm, unpretentious (he told me it was okay to call him Hank) and avuncular. Was fine with me having a birth plan (which stated that I preferred not to have drugs, intervention, excessive monitoring) and a doula-equivalent, and has had good advice for hubby and me. I was 39 when I went to see him, very much wanting to get pregnant, and he immediately understood/got it that I didn't want to mess around. He mapped out a strategy at the first appointment, which we adhered to. He is one of the few doctors around who will use forceps, which he used after the vacuum aspirator didn't work; otherwise it would've been a c-section. My only complaint is that once he was using these tools, the labor room was full of nurses and chaotic, lots of chatter, nurses telling me what to do, which, along with my unimaginable pain, made it hard to concentrate. I would've liked him to say, ''Cut the chatter, ladies!'' Sperm problems: Be sure to use PreSeed sperm-friendly lubricant. I think it did the trick for us!
I love Hank Strietfeld. When I first met him I was worried that he was too East Coast-y-Too masculine-just not what I would want at my birth or even for a pelvic exam but then I ended up finding him to be very compassionate and sweet. He's a great doctor and a really great person too. s
I chose Hank Streitfeld as my ob (based on BPN recs) and was very pleased.(my baby just turned 1 yr old) He is straightforward, direct, accessible, and seems eminently competent. Also while it must be`tough on him to be in solo pracice (except for a midwife), I think it's great from patients' perspective. My husband also liked him a lot. I really had the feeling Hank was on our side all the way through.
I highly recommend Dr. Hank Streitfeld. He was my ob/gyn for our son born Sept 05. I started with him when I was 8 weeks pregnant and 39 yrs old. I felt like he spent as much time as we needed with him, has a great sense of humor and is very no-nonsense and not at all alarmist. I always felt like everything was normal, he always said not to worry. He was recommended to me by my acupuncturist, Leslie Oldershaw. He's a solo practitioner with a nurse practitioner also in the office (I like her a lot, too). He was supportive of our using a doula and wanting a natural childbirth. I would trust his decisions if there were any problems. good luck. susan
Re: Fibroid Surgery (June 2003)
I had fibroid surgery last May. It went very well. So I recommend Dr. Henry Streitfeld, 3000 Colby Street, (510)644-0110 eric
Re: Fibroid Surgery (June 2003)
Dr. Hank Streitfeld is my OB/GYN. He's a great surgeon (I have the teeniest emergency C-section scar, necessary due to a pelvis only a 4-pound baby would have fit through) and also is very caring and funny. Try to get an appointment in the morning as he tends to run a bit late by afternoon since he actually takes time to talk and listen to you, quite a rarity these days. His office is across the street from Alta Bates. kb
Re: Endometriosis (April 2003)
I checked out many doctors before I settled on one I am super happy with. I went through gastroenterologists and out to Bend, OR to see Dr. Redwine, who I wasn't that pleased with, and then met Dr. Hank Streitfeld. Dr. Streitfeld has decades of experience with endo and really takes your health seriously. I've had two laporoscopies with him and became pregnant soon after the second (wasn't trying until then). I would absolutely recommend him for someone with endo or anyone looking for a good gynocologist/ob. He has a funny sense of humor and a really caring heart. His office is in Berkeley right by Alta Bates. Feel free to call me if you'd like more info. endo gal
Re: RN for Ob/Gyn
Dr. Hank Streitfeld is a wonderful OB/Gyn in Berkeley (across the street from Alta Bates, and he has a great Nurse Practitioner, Kitty Gilbert. I saw Kitty several times during my pregnancy, and she was always friendly, gentle, and thorough. She takes plenty of time and makes sure your questions are answered. You can reach the office at 644-0110, and request appointments with Kitty. Gayle
Regarding recommendations for a woman ObGyn ... I had a woman OB/GYN for my first child and currently have a male OB/GYN who has just delivered my second child. He is Hank Streitfeld; he went into solo practice about a year ago and some of the remarks I made to this list a few years ago no longer pertain. He has two daughters himself and really cares about women. I also believe he fits your description of someone who is very experienced with difficult pregnancies. I am certain that if you consider him and were to speak to him about your history he would give you an honest answer about his capabilities. As far as dealing with the fears and stresses that go with difficult pregnancies, I know from experience that he can be very compassionate when it's called for. Fran
I want to second Fran's post about Hank Streitfeld. With my first pregnancy, and thinking I wanted a woman, I went first to a woman OB recommended by a friend of mine, but the fit was not quite right. Another friend RAVED about Dr. Streitfeld, I went in for a ''get- acquainted'' appt. and the rest is history. I came to view the gender of my dr. as pretty unimportant. Hank saw me through both my (happily quite uncomplicated) pregnancies, and (lucky me) both labors. The second labor had a few harrowing moments, but I never for a moment doubted that my son and I were in highly competent hands. Hank just makes you feel well taken care of, and in fact, you ARE. I've sent several friends to him, all of whom have joined the ever-burgeoning fan club. He deals with a lot of patients with very complicated pregnancy and fertility issues, and is very willing to spend the time necessary to make sure the patient knows what's going on. He also respects your intelligence, while not hesitating to give you his professional view. It almost makes me sorry I'm done with reproduction! Wendy
I have to second the recommendation for Hank Streitfeld in Berkeley. He's been my OB-GYN for 14 years, through 2 babies - 1 easy birth and one not-so- easy. He's straightforward, hard-working, dedicated, and knowledgeable. I've always felt that he made ample time for me, established a personal relationship with me, and was available when I had questions or concerns. Susan
I have to agree that Hank Streitfeld in Berk. is the person for you. He is an amazing doctor, very experienced and you will feel that you are in the best hands possible. Feel free to email me if you have any specific questions. Brennan
[regarding recurrent miscarriages ] ... I've seen Dr. Streitfeld, and sometimes I like him (obviously very smart, and he does seem to care, and I can usually get him on the phone if needed, and his nurse is great), but sometimes I feel like he's just too disorganized for my comfort (always late for appointments, sometimes forgetting what we've already looked into). I've lost two pregnancies in the last four months, and I'd just like to talk to some other Drs. to find out how they'd approach the problem....
Please consider giving Dr. Streitfeld another chance. It's in the nature of OB/Gyn's to be late because of emergency surgery or delivery, but my past two visits with him (Dec. and this week) were only 15 minutes late. I think he's been working on that. Do you also know that he's changed offices? Staff and organization may be different if you have only dealt with Omni. Regarding being disorganized: I've only seen him so when he's been up all night with two cesarians back to back (or whatever). In extensive dealings with him, I've never felt my care was compromised because of factors that had nothing to do with me. I agree with you that he's smart, analytic, and very good with husbands. Fran
I just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl last month after three early miscarriages in a row, and I am sure I have Dr. Streitfeld to thank for it! I saw three other OB/GYN's before Dr. Hank, but he was the only one who noticed that I had unusually high prolactin levels and his treatment worked! The other doctors just assured me that I was healthy and everything would be OK next time. And the next time. But aside from this, I recieved excellent care throughout my pregnancy and Dr. Streitfeld is by far the best doctor I have ever had. It's definately true that he had his rough spots and sometimes is not for the faint at heart. He is very direct and very quick, but that was OK because I am direct too. I am an academic biologist, which make many doctors feel uneasy, but he actually encouraged me to do my own reading and was always happy to discuss all my issues or challenges no matter how busy he was (this is often why he's running late -- I came to be more understanding when I realized this). He's been doing this for over 30 years, but still is on top of the latest research (which is not easy with a busy schedule) and clearly loves what he does. If you have a medical issue, he always calls you back himself. I've even recieved calls from him at 9pm to tell me what was going on with my treatment. He was great with my husband. He didn't actually deliver my baby, but his on-call partner was an excellent doctor who amazingly turned my posterior (sunny-side up) baby when I began pushing (without this, I'm sure I would have had major intervention). Dr. Streitfeld called me in the hospital the next morning (Sunday) just to check on me, even though it was his weekend off and appologized that he couldn't be there. I could go on and on, but he's a very smart guy and a great doctor. If you can, I would encourage you to give him more time. Also, after seeing him regularly for 9 months, I've learned that he's better (and more on time) early in the morning, and since he's on call Tuesday and Thursday nights, he's usually tired on Wednesdays and Fridays. He's got 30+ years of experience, but this also means he's getting older and this is a rough profession if you do a good job of it. And he does. I know it's heartbreaking to have repeat miscarriages, but hang in there. Don't focus on the miscarriages, but instead try to think about the day when everything will work out and you'll have a beautiful baby. Best of Luck!! Marguerite
I want to add my voice to the accolades for Hank Streitfeld. I first saw Hank when I needed a D from my first of two missed abortions (what they call miscarriage when it just stays inside you). He was amazingly compassionate (I was hysterical that first visit). He was funny and warm throughout my first successful pregnancy (during which I took baby aspirin daily and progesterone suppositories to address two different potential causes), and never minded that I came in multiple extra times to hear the heartbeat during the first few months (I was so afraid I would lose this baby too). His quick manner does turn some people off, but I was glad to get the straight talk. He does work hard and that takes a toll, but his personal attention to patients is the reason. He delivered both my babies (induced), and came often to check on my progress all day (and night for the first). I really trust him.
Recommendations from Omni Medical Group (pre 2000)
I REALLY like my ob/gyn, Hank Streitfeld, at Omni/OB-GYN, on Regent Street right behind the hospital. Warm, caring, not condescending. I have seen the feedback calling him too brusque, but this has never been my experience. Also highly recommended by many is his partner, Amy Huibonhoa. Wendy
To the person seeking an OB/GYN, I highly recommend Dr. Hank Streitfeld. He is part of the OMNI GYN medical group located just next door to Alta Bates. We just gave birth to our first baby and Hank was our doctor throughout the pregnancy. I believe I received the highest possible care. I also like his office staff. I have left other offices where I did not feel satisfied. This is a very professional practice. Once in awhile one must wait a little longer than desired, but this only happens when one of the doctors has gone next door to deliver a baby. Shoshana
I just love both my gynecologist and my son's pediatrician. The former is Hank Streitfeld at Omni OB-Gyn, whom I wholeheartedly recommend. Dr. Streitfeld just makes one feel well taken care of, in my experience, and he's extremely competent and warm and non-alarmist and does not condescend. He starts from the premise that you, the mom, are a smart person and able to made decisions for yourself, but he's ready to provide his professional opinion and to allay one's concerns when necessary (I know there are those who have found him brusque on occasion, but hey, give the guy a break - he works long, late hours frequently and he's not all that young anymore. Also, don't get him started on managed care unless you like to get people all worked up). In short, I just love the man.
I have to second the recommendation I read for Hank Streitfeld. I am almost embarassed to feel so enthusiastic about my OB, but I have always felt that I got the greatest care at his practice. I have been a patient there for nearly 15 years, first with his ex-partner Dr. Brooks, then with him for nearly a decade! (There were extended waits at that practice 3-5 years ago when Dr. Brooks was leaving to go back east to teach. But lately I've had no problems with that.) I can't say enough about the office staff --truly caring and helpful, in my experience. Dr. Streitfeld has seen me through 2 pregnancies, a C-section, a VBAC, and years of routine care. He is professional, knowledgeable, caring, and always has time to answer my questions. S. Martin
One more strong recommendation for Dr. Hank Streitfeld at Omni Ob/Gyn in Berkeley. I've been with Hank for about 4 years and two pregnancies, he in fact just delivered my twins last week. Two comments in addition to those others have made -- Hank is great with fathers. My husband was pretty involved in both pregnancies and Hank always included him and seemed to really enjoy seeing us as a family. Secondly, based on my own experience and that of many friends, if there were to be some complication in a pregnancy or delivery, I'd want to be in his care -- he's got a lot of experience and it seems like his instincts are always right. He's good at the routine stuff too.
I delivered in April, and went through the last two-thirds of my pregnancy with Hank Streitfeld of Omni Ob-Gyn, on Regent; he's a colleague of Amy Huibonhua. I can't say enough good things about Hank - he's caring and warm and competent. Most important, he was willing to listen to my questions and provide me with the information that I wanted. I should say, too, that although I began by going to a woman doctor, I ultimately found that, although that is one factor to consider, for me it was far from the decisive one when choosing an OB. Finding someone who respects your choices and helps you make informed ones is much more important.
I too wish to recommend Hank Streitfeld, who is a (senior) partner of Amy Huibonhoa at Omni OB/Gyn. He has a great respect for women as well as the most gentle touch of any doctor I've been to (including my own female internist). I've seen Amy as well, and agree with Natasha Hudson that she has a wonderful manner and is very competent. But I value Hank's long experience, his great expertise in the field, and his dedication to it (among other things, he writes frequent columns for Parents' Press). As Wendy Woolpert said, he listens carefully to questions and gives very complete answers.
It's only fair to mention that at times Hank can come across as somewhat brusque. He works very hard; sometimes his schedule is packed way too full (for example, he may have to do a delivery in the middle of the day) and he is very harried; sometimes he is tired from being up all night. Also, he can sometimes go on verbal tirades on things he feels strongly about, and this can be disconcerting if you've just met him. But I feel this is far outweighed by all his positives. I had a woman OB/Gyn at Omni for my first pregnancy. When she left, Hank became my OB/Gyn because Amy's arrival date was too far in the future. By the time she came, I was completely satisfied with Hank and saw no reason to switch.
I'd like to put in a few words about Omni OB/Gyn also. My experience was similar to Fran's - I saw a woman at Omni for my first pregnancy and loved her. She moved at the start of a later pregnancy, so I saw Hank Streitfeld. He was wonderful throughout and I agree with all of the good things that have been said about him, but I want to warn you that the wait to see him can be horrible. No matter what time of day I have the appt, I have to sit in the waiting room for a long time - often more than an hour. I'm even thinking about seeing my family practitioner instead for the annual exam.
I highly recommend Hank Streitfeld of Omni as well. Yes, it is true that Doc. Streitfeld can be rather brusque at times, and yes, he does run late almost every day. But, I think the quality of the care he provides is well worth it. I found that Streitfeld runs late because he tends to spend a lot of time with his patients. He will stay and answer your questions as long as you need him. The exception being when he is paged to deliver a baby. And even then, if there is a chance that he can make it back to see you, he'll call the office and you let you know he is on his way.
Streitfeld's main concern is the health of his patients. You would think that this should be the case, but in this day and age of managed health care, that is not always true. Doc. Streitfeld does not cut corners. If you need various tests he will have you take them. On the other hand, he does not push for tests or procedures if they are unnecessary. This is especially heartening to know where births are concerned. If you need a c-section, he will perform one, but only if it is medically necessary. He is a strong believer in allowing his patients to deliver vaginally if possible. I am told that he is one of a few doctors able and willing to deliver certain types of breech births. Not all breech births necessitate a c-section. But, most doctors shy away from vaginal deliveries since it is easier and less prone to complications.
My pregnancy was not an easy one. I suffered from hyperemesis for 7.5 months, severe headaches, and I needed constant monitoring because of my hypothyroidism. I strongly believe that my baby is healthy because of the care I received. Doc. Streitfeld was very patient with me answering all of my questions, returning my phone calls, and allaying my concerns. He even calmly listened to me as I presented alternative treatments for my hyperemesis that I read about on Medline. And in the end, my delivery was much like my pregnancy--not without its problems. Labor was induced because an AFT ultrasound indicated the amniotic fluid was low and the baby was at risk. Rather than waiting to see if the problem would correct itself, Doc. Streitfeld chose not to risk the health of my baby.
As far as I'm concerned, tolerating Streitfeld's occasional brusqueness is well worth it. Streitfeld is very competant, he has extensive experience and his credentails are impeccable. He is board certified which indicates that he had to undergo more training beyond the medical school requirements. But, I especially think the brusqueness tolerable because I know that Doc. Streitfeld truly puts the welfare of his patients first.
I hope this helps you in making a decision on which OB/GYN to see. Jeanette