UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland


747 52nd Street, Oakland, CA 94609

Parent Q&A

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  • Hello -- I am pregnant with our first child and considering UCSF Benioff's pediatric primary care for our pediatrician. Does anyone have experience with them? Do the doctors have a normal case load or are they rushed and always running late? 

    Berkeley Pediatrics is affiliated with UCSF Benioff -- the pediatricians at Berkeley Peds round on their patients when they are inpatient at UCSF, for example. Might be a good middle ground for you. We've been very happy there.

    Highly Highly recommend Dr. Diane Halberg at ucsf ben cho oakland. She always goes above and beyond in terms of care and has great support staff. My daughter has been her patient from birth to 17 years. She is the best doctor I have ever interacted with. Good Luck!

    I took my twins here for a short time but we ultimately left. for clarity- we took my kids to UCSF benioff claremont clinic. My logic was that my twins had just left the NICU and seeing the same residents who had treated them made sense. 

    However; the space is small and cramped; the staff are always late and every appointment takes twice as long because you see a resident first. I was once at a 3 mo old visit for over 2 hours. I would suggest going elsewhere (we did). 

    I echo what Kate said below. We went to BCHO through the 18-month well-check since I gave birth at UCSF and thought it made sense but the consistently long wait times plus rundown facilities ultimately pushed us out. We loved our interactions with the residents (consistently saw the same one for about a year) but the attending doctors were always different and very hit or miss— the worst one had zero bedside manner and made us very uncomfortable. It was also a pain to schedule with our resident that we knew we liked - seemed like she was only there a few days/month.
    We signed my son up for One Medical and seeing toys in the waiting room plus getting out of there in under an hour for his 2 year well check felt so luxurious!

    I do think if my son had any kind of acute health concern I would prefer to be under the UCSF system and would appreciate the extra eyes. 

  • Hi - Has anyone had orchiopexy (surgery for undescended testes) with Dr. Lawrence Baskin at the Benioff Children's Hospital? If yes, how old was your child and how was your experience?

    My son had orchiopexy for 1 re-ascended testes with Dr Baskin at Benioff when he was 10 (~2 years ago, just before the pandemic). Dr Baskin was clear, straightforward and kind but not overly warm. The surgery was uneventful and worked fine, it was outpatient and over quickly with no lasting effects as far as we can tell. We were told its best to do before puberty otherwise the undescended testes could cause sterility. At this point, it's hard to tell the final outcome but we were happy with Dr. Baskin's care. 

  • I am looking for a new Children's Hospital pediatrician for my foster daughter who is 2.5 years old.  Ideally someone with some experience with children who have histories of trauma, attachment issues and behavioral challenges.

    Thanks in advance for your recommendations!

    Dr. Diane Halberg at Claremont Clinic, (Children's) She is the best! My kids who were foster/adopt, have been seeing her since infancy and are now mid-teens. She has loads of experience with foster, trauma, etc.

    We see Dr. Halberg at The Center for Vulnerable Child (Family Outreach and Support Clinic). She and the social worker that works with her are amazing. I highly recommend. 


    Thank you!

  • My 5 year old is having a procedure (benign tumor removed on his face) next week at UCSF Benioff in Oakland with Dr. Paymon Rahgozar. Does anyone have any experience with him? He was stuck in traffic and missed our consultation, but he did spend 20 minutes on the phone with me talking me through the procedure.  I don't see any reviews on him anywhere, but assuming he's good b/c at UCSF...  Thanks!  

    I’ve worked with Dr Raghozar at Children’s Hospital for several years; you’re in expert hands. He’s very experienced, and very kind, too. You and your child will be well cared for by the staff there, and by pediatric anesthesiologists (so important), too. 

Parent Reviews

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Hello,  I am a foster parent and for medical care, you can take your children to the Primary Care Clinic (or Teen Clinic for older youths) at Children's Hospital.  If there are more complicated issues, you can also sign up through the Center for the Vulnerable Child at Children's.  These are all located near each other on Claremont/Telegraph. 

Primary Care Clinic:  (510) 428-3226

Teen Clinic: (510) 428-3387

Ctr for the Vulnerable Child:  (510) 428-3783

For dental, you can sign up through La Clinica Dental.  They have one near Children's Hosp at 4881 Telegraph, (510) 428-3316; and another near the Fruitvale BART station (510) 535-3302.  There are a couple more, depending where you live.


Another pediatrician here -- I would not take my young child anywhere but Children's Hospital Oakland unless you were too far away to get there safely.  And I followed my own advice when my kids were young.  All the local ER's (except Kaiser which has its own pediatrics) will refer their youngest critically ill patients there.


Hi, I'm a pediatrician and I would only recommend Oakland Children's ER for kids under 6 (and maybe even under 13, depending on the issue). Alta Bates is fine for teens. no ER can turn anyone away but Alta Bates tends to feel uncomfortable (and they often call us for advice) with many young-ish kids' issues. I've never heard of an insurance that didn't cover them (except Kaiser which has its own pedi ER). 


Oakland Children’s would definitely be the place to go for a pediatric emergency…I would say call the insurance they may just have it listed another way. I have an Aetna PPO and it’s in network for our plan.


Children's Hospital Oakland (or even UCSF) would almost certainly accept that insurance is absolutely where I would take my kid before going to Alta Bates. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions Related Pages

Pediatric Care Clinic

March 2014

RE: Gay Friendly Pediatrician for upcoming adoption

Diane Halberg, MD - works at the Claremont outpatient clinic of Children's Hospital Oakland. Ilene D

Feb 2011

Re: Woman pediatrician who takes Medi-Cal
The primary care clinic associated with Children's Hospital Oakland take Med-Cal. There are many female pediatricians there. Myself, Dr. Mandel, others: Dr. Marbin, Dr. Shrestha, Dr. Noor, Dr.Lewis, Dr. Meade, Dr. Simms-Mackey, Dr. Chase, Dr. Halberg, and others. I think we do good work at the clinic and we would love to see you there. I take my daughter there too! Amy

Asthma Treatment at Children's Hospital

The Pulmo clinic at Children's Hospital is top notch. I can't say enough good things about them. They helped my kids come to terms with Asthma and caring for themselves as they have grown. It took me many years to locate a physician for myself whom I trusted and liked as much as the doctors at Children's Pulmo. There are support groups available for parents and kids too; even an asthma camp (though I don't have any experience with this.) Good luck to anyone who is a parent of a child with respiratory illness! You have every reason to be very optimistic, IMHO.

Pediatric Surgery at Children's Hospital

Dr Betts at Childrens Hospital

Feb 2008

Has anyone had any experience with Dr Betts at the childrens hospital in Oakland? We have an appointment with him soon for my son, and of course I am nervous about the whole prospect of my toddler needing surgery. Any words of wisdom, or reassurance?? Thanks for your help, anxious mama

Dr. Betts really is the best pediatric surgeon in the Bay Area. He hasn't got the best bedside manner in the world, but he will take the best possible care of your child. When my son needed surgery (at barely a month old!), Dr. Betts was amazing. Your child is in good hands with him. Kathleen

I work at Children's Hospital, and have worked with Dr. Betts for many years. He is an excellent surgeon: experienced and accomplished. You could not be in better hands, in my opinion. Also,(equally important) the anesesiologists at Children's are great! Pediatric RN

Dr. Betts is one of the best pediatric surgeons in the area, if not THE best! He is a leader in the field, and also happens to have a lovely bedside manner. If my kid needed surgery, I'd go to him. -CHO colleague

Some input on Dr. Betts .... more than 10 years ago we were referred to Dr. Betts for my one-year old baby's undescended testes. Dr. Betts has a well-deserved reputation as a brilliant surgeon -- but has no bedside manner whatsoever. He opened with remarks that ''x'' million men in American are sterile, and concluded with a comment that maybe my son would grow up to be gay and not want children anyway. This literally is how I learned the long-term implications of my baby's condition (infertility). I left the appointment in tears. We went to another surgeon at Cal Pacific who also had a fine reputation but was better at communicating and supporting the parents during a difficult time. I still remember that appointment vividly. Both Dr. Betts' skills and shortcomings were confirmed by other doctors I talked with afterwards. Just One Experience

My son has had two surgeries with Dr. Betts, and we can't say enough good things about him and about our experience with Children's Hospital in general. The nursing staff is excellent, and they really know how to deal with kids. It can be hard to get to know Dr. Betts because he is busy and doesn't often have time for pleasantries, but he is a caring person and a very well-regarded surgeon. He is also VERY meticulous (which is great medicine but also means that you may end up having to reschedule more than once (i.e., for my son's procedure, he had to be free of all cold symptoms for two weeks, which is almost a miracle in itself!)) The rescheduling was the most nerve-wracking part of the process for us. Both the procedure and the recovery were much easier than we thought they would be, and even after 2 rounds of anesthesia and incisions, our son actually LIKES going to Children's for his checkups. Feel free to email me if you'd like any more information. You are in good hands -- we are so lucky to have these world-class resources right here in Oakland! Erika

My first job as a plastic surgeon was at Childrens' Hospital Oakland. I worked with Jim Betts alot and he is a wonderful, talented and caring surgeon. You did not say what type of surgery your child was having, but when my daughter needed a procedure done as a 7 year old, I took her to Jim. You have made a good choice. Elizabeth

My son had surgery with Dr. Betts' partner, Dr. Baskin. We love Dr. Baskin, he set our fears to rest with every word, gesture and action. Don't know Dr. Betts, but know that he and Dr. Baskin are considered the best of the best in pediatric urology. The idea of surgery dominated much of my thinking from the time my son was diagnosed with hydronephrosis at 20weeks in utero until he had the surgery at 7 months. It is so much in the past now (my son just turned 4) I can hardly remember how difficult this whole time was for me emotionally. Everything was wonderful, Dr. Baskin, his assistant, every staff person we worked with at Children's, the overnights in the hospital...I'm happy to speak with you more if you would like to contact me directly. E. Ilana

Dr. Betts operated on my closest friend's daughter several times. She had a very rare medical condition and they met with him and he explained everything to them. When they went looking for a second opinion they discovered there was none because Dr. Betts was the only person in the country to have done the surgery - 10 times total!. He was amazing, he ended up having to do 3 surgeries on her, one more than 16 hours!. One of the surgeries he actually came out to talk to us and lay out several options that had not been apparent prior to the surgery - it involved the possible loss of fertility and he wanted to make sure the parents were totally informed and given all the options available at that point. Most surgeons would send someone else out, but he actually came out and spoke with us. My friend said to tell you that he may seem a bit detached and he doesn't do nearly as well with parents as he does with the children. Her daughter was always at ease and comfortable, he was wonderful managing her pain - she really didn't have any. He is incredibly committed to his work and to his patients. I hope this helps with your difficult decision. anon

Dr Betts at Oakland Childrens is board certified in Urology Surgery. I would recommend him if you need urology surgery. FYI

Dr. Kim at Children's Hospital for hernia surgery?

Sept 2007

My son has been assigned Dr. Kim at Children's Hospital for his hernia surgery. I see a few names on BPN with good recommendation, but he's not mentioned anywhere. Does anyone have an experience with him? We could delay the surgery a few days, I think, to choose a different doctor. Any information would be helpful. Jenn

I work in the surgery department at Children's Hospital, and I think that Dr. Kim is an excellent surgeon! He is very competent, and great with kids. Your child will be in good hands. Children's Hospital RN

Preparing for Surgery at Children's Hospital

May 2003

Re: Tonsilectomy & Other Surgeries at Children's Hospital:
Many parents are not aware that Children's Hospital (both the outpatient surgery center and the regular hospital) has a wonderful group of highly trained social workers called ''Child Life'' counselors who will meet with you and your child to show your child the masks and other potentially scary things they will see when they come for surgery. This brief visit will help prepare them and empower them, and take much of the fear out of the surgery. Many doctor's offices do not understand the value of this (free) service and do not mention it to parents. ASK your doctor's office or call the hospital to schedule a Child Life meeting a few days before the surgery (call to schedule as soon as you know your date to be sure to get an appointment). It's too stressful to do the same day as surgery, but you can combine it with the pre-op appointment if that's on a different day. (Also, we read a great book called ''Goodbye Tonsils'') Suzanne

August 1998

My 8-year-old daughter has recently been diagnosed with tethered cord. She will be entering Children's Hospital in Oakland in a week or two to have surgery to correct this defect in her spinal cord. Her neurosurgeon is Dr. Nagle. If anyone has any experience with this condition, or with surgery at Children's, or any advice on how to make this as untraumatic as possible for her, me, and her 3-year-old sister I would be most grateful. You may email me directly. I am a single parent with no family in the area, and have recently used up all my sick leave and most of my vacation leave because I have been out with pneumonia, and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by it all ... Melinda

Children's Hospital: Our daughter was in Children's (though not for surgery) about 11 years ago, and I would rate the hospital pretty highly; the nurses and residents were competent and caring. John

Our younger daughter also spent a night at Children's Hospital the winter before last. She had pneumonia, and had to have an iv and oxygen - which is nothing compared to surgery, but which seemed very awful at the time. Anyway -- she actually had a wonderful time. The nurse who put the IV in was absolutely wonderful. She really enjoyed all the gizmos in her room (the tv in bed! the small oxygen canister to wheel around! the fuzzy yellow slippers!). I think she also enjoyed having some time alone with me, since I stayed with her the whole time. She also enjoyed having complete control of the television. She was almost 5 at the time -- she has a sister two years older. Christina