Seeking a Pediatrician in San Francisco

Archived Q&A and Reviews


SFONCALL San Francisco On Call

Aug 2006

Re: Pediatrican Rockridge/Berkeley - young and male
Hi, I recently had the pleasure of working with Dr. Chin. He is young, kind and knowledgable. He lives in the East Bay and is part of an amzaing medical practice called SFONCALL. This group has a number of doctors that you can have as your primary-care physicians, but they also make housecalls 24 hours a day. I called upon Dr. Chin recently when my 2 year old daughter dislocated her arm after a grooling 12 hour travel day. We could not face a 4 hour wait at the emergency room so we called Dr. Chin. He was waiting for us at our home 30 minutes later when we retruned from the airport. He was wonderful. And what a great service! (San Francisco On Call also has doctors for grown ups.) You can reach Dr. Chin and his group at 415.732.7029 or find out more about them at erin

Pediatrician in San Francisco?

Feb 2007

Could anyone who has experience with GREAT pediatricians please send me their choices? I live near CPMC (Laurel Village) and would like to stay in that area (there are lots of choices). I would like to stick with a group that has at least 4 doctors. I've been looking into Dr. Alan Johnson's practice - Dr. Tatiana Goldstein, in particular... recommended by some women in my yoga class, but know nothing more than that. The other practice that I'm looking into is Dr. Brock Bernsten's. I know that Dr. Bernsten's has a few older doctors, and my concern is that some of them might be retiring some time soon. But, in Dr. Johnson's some of the doctors seem to be a little younger. Any help would be great. Thanks so much for you help. Jessica

We love our son's pediatrician, Dr. Michael Treece at St. Luke's Pediatrics in San Francisco. He is gentle, kind, well informed, upbeat, and flexible. Our son loves him! I've heard good things about all the doctors in that practice. I highly recommend them. A happy mom in SF

Jan 2007

Hi! My husband and I are expecting our first child in 2 months and we are in the process of looking for a pediatrician located near the CPMC campus by Laurel Village. We have read about Dr. Brock Bernsten's practice as well as Dr. Alan Johnson, but haven't yet interviewed them. We are members of Brown and Toland Medical Group, so if you know that your recommendation takes that, great! Any suggestions on these two doctors or others within their practices or other practices, all together? We would like to stick with practices that consist of more than one doctor (i.e. a group practice). Any help would be great!! Thanks, Jessica

We used the pediatric group associated with Dr. Alan Johnson for the first two months of my daughter's life (she's now 5 1/2) and were very happy with all of the 4 docs we saw at the various visits in the hospital and for well-baby care. We ultimately decided to find a pediatrician near our home in Alameda. Linnea

May 2006

Expecting a new baby girl in August. Suggestions for pediatricians in SF? (last posting/ review was 2002) Thanks! Sophia

We go to Dr. David Tejeda, who is the head of the Pediatrics Clinic at Cal Pacific Medical Center (CPMC). He's great! He's very understanding and patient, seems to really like kids and enjoys talking with them & keeping up on their development. The other doctors and the staff at the clinic are also very nice. You don't have to be a patient at CPMC, either--we had our daughters at Kaiser & UCSF but picked Dr. Tejeda on a friend's recommendation. He's also around my age (44) so I feel like I'm talking to a peer rather than a parent, and he's got three young kids of his own. valerie

June 2002

I'm so sad that my daughter's pediatrician is closing his practice. Can anyone recommend a pediatrician in San Francisco? If you can, a few words on why you would recommend the doctor would be really helpful. I've checked the website and there are only a few recommendations and they are old (for example, Dr. Luz used to be our pediatrician and he has retired). Thanks for your help! Ellen

We have the world's best pediatrician in San Francisco. He is Brock Bernsten and is in his early 50s. He has three kids of his own. He takes as much time as parent and/or child needs. It never feels rushed. My oldest daughter is shy and she absolutely adores him. He recently merged his practice with another so there are now 5 doctors total. I have met 3 and they are also great. I'm not sure if his practice is open, but possibly another doctor in the group might be. The nurses are also great over the phone. I can't recommend Brock enough. Sabrina

i would highly recommend dr. sonja huie in SF. we liked her so much that we continued to take our daughters there even after we moved to oakland. two years and a set of twins later, we realized that we really had to find a pediatrician closer to home. we were very sad to say goodbye for the following reasons: 1) she always listened and never rushed us through a phone call or office visit. 2) she always made our children feel at ease 3) at various times she followed up with US to make sure our children were feeling better. 4) her approach was always to check out a problem ''just to be on the safe side'' 5) she did a lot of education on everything from nutrition to car seats, etc. and last but not least 6) she came very highly recommended to us by my ob and all the nurses that cared for us after the delivery of our children. i can't say enough positive things about her. good luck in your search and i'd be happy to answer any other questions you may have. diana

My daughter has a great pediatrician in San Francisco. Dr. Cyril Ramer for Hills Physician and Toland & Brown Network. She's been in the business for 30 years. She is the best doctor I've ever met and many of her grown-up patients, as well as I, would like her to be our physician. She's very rational and realistic about parenting and children. In my experience, she was available by phone after hours, and offered her home phone number when she thought I would need it later that night (and I did). She treats the parent and child with respect and listens. She's also got a sense of humor. I can go on forever about how wonderful she is. Marian

We take my two daughters (ages 3 & 5) to Dr. Carolyn Wright (Richmond district, California St). She's straightforward, pragmatic, conservative with antibiotics (always willing to have us drop by again in 24 hours to check on a questionable ear infection), and fairly generous with her time. The office staff is good natured and the after-hours emergency network has worked well for us. Her nurses encourage home-grown cures & don't recommend heavy pharmaceuticals for your average childhood ailments, which I appreciate. We don't buck the AMA vaccination schedules so I don't know her position on that. I'm quite pleased with her practice, and my daughters like her as well. sarah

I highly recommend Dr. Alan C. Johnson. Dr. Johnson has 23 plus years of experience in pediatric practice. He has a low key style, is lovely and gentle with kids and is very reassuring. My daughter liked him so much, we didn't want to switch when we moved to the east bay! I'm not sure if he is taking new patients, but we also liked all of the other doctors in this practice, especially Dr. Katherine Crosby, and Dr. Gary Gin. We did finally change to an east bay pediatrician, but have not found any we liked as much as Alan Johnson. Kate

My daughter was born in SF and therefore needed a pediatrician to visit with her in the hospital and for those first couple of months of newborn visits. We used the doctor group in Laurel Village near California Pacific Med. Center at 525 Spruce Street, SF 94118. Tel: 415-668-8900. We saw all the doctors in the group but especially liked Dr. Gary Gin and Dr. Michelle Pepitone. Everyone in the office was very nice to deal with. I enjoyed the pediatric group and felt everyone was very thorough and interacted well the our baby. We changed groups because it was too much to commute from Alameda to SF just for the pediatrician, otherwise we certainly would have stayed with the practice. Linnea

October 1999

I recommend SF pediatrician Bill Gonda. Our first son was delivered at Children's in SF (now California Pacific), since my OB was in SF. We were Berkeley residents set up with Berkeley pediatrics, so we just needed a SF pediatrician for the pro forma checkup before we left the hospital. We lucked into Bill Gonda. He had no reason to care about us since he never expected to see our newborn again, but he checked him very carefully and found a small mass above his kidney. It was amazing that he felt it -- our pediatrician and my urologist father couldn't -- and more amazing that he jumped through every imaginable hoop, including arranging CT scans and ultrasounds, coordinating with our Berkeley Peds doctor, and fighting with warring health groups (east bay versus SF) about who would pay for the diagnostic work. All this for a non-patient. As it turned out, the mass was a hemorrhage from a long second stage of labor, which resolved itself. But the other possible diagnosis was a neuroblastoma -- a cancer -- which would have required immediate surgery. He scared us to death, but he also could have saved Sam's life. Great guy. Great doctor. Leslie

Our 9 month-old daughter's pediatrician has been Dr. Lester Luz since birth. He's a member of Brown & Toland Medical Group, so if your goddaghter is a member of UC Care or any other insurance company that is affilated with UCSF and CPMC, you can choose him.

Fortunately for us, we haven't had any reason to find out about his knowledge of asthma. However, we've loved working with him. He's very experienced (he's also very old, but shows no signs of retiring) and very friendly. He explains things well and usually makes us feel like we are the ones deciding about our daughter's health care, rather than pressuring us into treatments without any real explanation. Peter

I highly recommend my pediatrician, Dr. Lester Luz. 2000 Van Ness, #303, SF, 415-776-1694. He was head of Pediatrics at Stanford and at Cal Pacific and now only has a private practice. He's great with kids, spends as much time with them and with parents as is needed. We never feel rushed or as though any of our questions are silly. He also is conservative in his treatment philosophy, meaning he is low on the intervention scale, doesn't rush to use medications, supports waiting on vaccines, etc. He's very knowledgeable about nutrition, supportive of breast-feeding, and is generally pretty great Lisa

We just moved from San Francisco, and were very sad to leave our wonderful pediatrician. Mary Piel, and, for that matter, most of the other doctors in her practice at Piel, Patton, Acardi, etc are spectacular. My son is at risk for asthma too, and she was very knowledgeable and helpful on the issue. I also especially liked Dr. Schultz, in the same practice. They're located right across the street from California Pacific Med Ctr. Ann

Pediatrician - delaying vaccinations

November 2002

I read through the previous messages, but didn't find one that recommended pediatricians in SF that are ok with delaying vaccines and forgoing some that the parents deem unnecessary. Does anyone have a recommendation? We're wanting a doctor that is comfortable with this and other non-mainstream forms of healthcare (ie, conservative use of antibiotics, etc). Many thanks Kim

When we lived in the City we took our children to Dr. James Schwanke, on 24th St. in Noe Valley. He's pretty reasonable about vaccines -- we never vaccinated our kids against Hep B or chicken pox and delayed the MMR a few years with our younger child, and he was fine with that. He's also very cautious about prescribing antibiotics (some would say *too* cautious) and supportive of alternative therapies like homeopathy and Chinese herbs. His staff nurses are great and he spends plenty of time with his patients. I wasn't totally in love with him -- he tends to drone on and on and he seems to fancy himself well-versed in psychological and developmental issues, when it's my opinion that he's not terribly informed in these areas. But for medical care and flexibility on vaccines, I give him a thumbs up. Leah

Try Noe Valley Pediatrics. Usually you have to sign up with Dr. Frazee as the PCP even thought Dr. Nyana Anne is the only pediatrician in the office who is taking patients. Nevertheless, Dr. Anne is very nice. We are spacing out our vaccines and opting out of some and no one has given us anything but evil eye, no harrowing stats/ stories. (And, believe me, I have had two other pediatricians in the past who put on the full court vaccine press so I'm pretty picky/cautious.) CA

We have a wonderful ped. Their names are Stacia Lansmann and Lindy Woodard. They are in Mill Valley , but well worth the drive. It is a small practice, just the two of them, out of a house. They answer their own phones. No waiting rooms, sick kids, etc. We chose to not vaccinate and they completely support that decision. Most of their clients do not vaccinate. Dr. woodard is also a homeopath and Dr. Lansmann is also an herbalist. They find that they have to use western medicine only 10% of the time in their practice bc they have so many other alternatives. They are wonderful. i can't say enough about them. their practice is called Pediatric Alternatives. they also make house calls esp for the first visit if you have a homebirth. we looked long and hard for a ped who would support our philosophies on health . There are not too many. Julie