Bayside Medical Group Pediatrics
Physicians reviewed: Lisa Asta, Stephanie Bennett-Strauss, James Eichel , Beverly Estes, Katya Gerwein, Tina Hong, Becky Kerr, Michael Linn, Valerie McFarlane, Janet Perlman, Laura Saldivar, Jenna Seiff, Budd Shenkin, Charles Woodard
Re: Pediatrician for uncircumcised boy
We have a family practitioner who has been great with our two uncircumcised boys. He gave us lots of good advice and reassurances about penis care (basically keep it clean and leave it alone). If you want a pediatrician he shares his office with several who we have also been happy with: Janet Pearlman, Katya Gerwein, etc. He is with Bayside Medical in Berkeley, on Telegraph right near Alta Bates. good luck. I think you are smart to look for another doctor. LC
Re: Pediatrician in Oakland who accepts Healthy Families
I love my pediatrician, Dr. Janet Perlman at Bayside Pediatrics. They accept MediCal so I'm assuming that includes Healthy Families. She helped me with sleep issues with my 5 month old as well. L
I like the doctors at Bayside Medical in Berkeley. Janet Perlman accepts Healthy Families; you could call their offices to find out what other pediatricians there also accept Healthy Families. There is also an office in Oakland, though I am not sure if the same doctors practice out of that office. My son has been seen by several doctors at the Berkeley Office and I have been happy with all of their care. anon
Re: Pediatricians ok with delayed vaccinations
Katya Gerwein at Bayside Medical is fantastic. She's been our 5 yr old son's pediatrician for several years and has always worked with us to determine the best vaccination course for our child. Melissa
Re: Primary care doctor part of Alta Bates Med Grp
Our primary care physician is Dr James Eichel at Bayside Medical: http://www.baysidefamilypractice.com/. He's both with the Alta Bates and Hills Physicians Medical group. I have also been seen by some of the female doctors at Bayside when he is unavailable and they have all be great. It's very much a family orientated practice and we love the staff, nurses and doctors. Happy with Bayside
Re: Pediatrician open to co-sleeping and breastfeeding
i know some folks don't like bayside medical, but they are awesome. our pediatrician is dr katya gerwein who is so smart, non-judgmental and open-minded. not only was she bright enough to attend harvard, she grew up in the bay area and went to berkeley high. she nor anyone in her office said anything negative about extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, splitting vaccination schedule, extended rear-facing in carseats, etc... she's also meticulous about making notes.
the office isn't the most modern, but who cares when the care and knowledge are up to date? i've also had an appt with janet perlman and with april fredian who is not a pediatrician but a family practitioner, and they were both wonderful.
we love dr gerwein. she's a wonderful person which makes her a wonderful doctor. happy bayside family
Re: Pediatrician open to co-sleeping and breastfeeding
We *love* our pediatrician, Dr. Katya Gerwein, with Bayside Pediatrics. She is great- always takes her time with us, answers all of our questions, very open-minded and knowledgable. She's great with kids- our 2yr is very comfortable with her. She has also been willing to squeeze us in on what would be her lunch or at the very end of the day when we really needed to see her. Possible downside is that because she is so good and takes her time, afternoon appts often run late and can be hard to schedule. To us it's worth it bc we know when she gets to us, we will have 100% of her attention for as long as we need it as well. She works in the Oakland and Berkeley offices. And regarding your specific concerns around breastfeeding, the Oakland bayside office has a lactation consultant, Amrit Khalsa, who you can see by appt as well. Fan of Dr. Gerwein
Re: Does your pediatrician take Medi-Cal?
Try Bayside Pediatrics. http://www.baysidemedical.com/ My son's pediatrician is Dr. Perlman, but because it is a clinic, we've seen several of the doctors there, all really nice. We are on Alameda Alliance for Health through no-cost MediCal, which might be the plan you need to sign up for to be accepted there. I go to the office in Berkeley, but they also have an office in Oakland. happy with my pediatrician
Re: Lactation Services at Pediatric Practices
My pediatric office, Bayside Medical Group in Oakland, has a lactation consultant. I did see her once and all I had to pay was my regular co-pay. Her first name is Amrit and she was helpful. Sorry, I cant remember her last name but if you call the office they will know who you mean. The office is at 3100 Telegraph Ave and the number is 452-5231. The practice has many doctors. laura
My two children are patients at Bayside Medical, where we get excellent pediatric care. We've also worked with an amazing lactation consultant there, Amrit Khalsa, as I had trouble with painful breastfeeding in the beginning. She was fantastic, and took the time to help me figure out what was going on with my baby's latch, what we needed to change, and also just reassured me and provided indispensable support when it seemed so hard. I don't know what i would have done without her, truly, in those first 6 weeks. I know that Bayside is now providing lactation services that are covered by insurance. Run, do not walk, and call Rebecca Dycus at Bayside at 510.452.5231 to make an appointment with Amrit. You don't have to be a current patient there. Rebecca will look into your eligibility for benefits and work with you on insurance info. You can also just call and leave a message for Amrit there. Good luck! here's to nursing!
Re: Pediatrician recommendations needed in Pinole/Hercules
A few years ago, Dr. Michael Linn with Bayside Pediatrics was recommended to us. Several of my friends used him and highly recommended him. We don't immunize our children, so I was looking for a doctor who respected that choice. Dr. Linn is fantastic. He is caring, thoughtful, and communicates well with his patients and their parents. Fan of Dr. Linn
I have a great Pediatrician in Pinole. They are known as Bayside Pediatrics. They are very friendly and great with children. I have been taking my daughter there for 12yrs. monid
Re: Bayside (Pinole) or Kiwi Pediatrics?
We have been Bayside customers since my first son was about a year old. We have 3 kids now, birthed at home. Our main pediatrician is Dr. Gerwein(LOVE HER) and also Dr. Perlman. We love the fact that Bayside has at least THREE offices, one in Berkeley, one in Oakland (that takes Saturday drop in and appts), and one in Pinole. We have used all three, for either regular or urgent needs, depending also on where we were at the time of the visit. The doctors rotate offices so you are familiar with them. They transfer your records from office to office with no problem. We've never had problems with billing. We've never had problems with on-call doctors calling us back. The front office is orderly. The doctors are varied in their range of school of thought, from being open to limited vaccinations to homebirths to alternative medicine. I highly recommend them. We have used them with both PPO and HMO insurance. love bayside medical
Has anyone had experience with doctors Eichel or Fredian (or any of the physician's assistants) at Bayside Medical Group's Berkeley office? I'm considering switching to this office and am looking for a primary care physician. potential patient
Dr Eichel is my family's primary care physician. We have only had good interactions with him and are happy with him as our primary physician. That being said, when we need same day appointments, we just see whoever at Bayside is available - and we think that all the doctors and nurse practitioners are great. Happy Bayside Patient
My recommendation is: stay away from Bayside Medical. Their doctors are great, but their billing department is horrible. They used to bill me 4-5 times for the co-payment of almost every visit (and we have two kids!) -- I would repeatedly mail or fax the copies of the receipts and promptly get another letter threatening with collection. They would bill my insurance with the wrong codes -- my insurance would even tell me which codes to use to get reimbursed and I would pass this on to Bayside -- with no effect. They even told me in front of a full waiting room that they would not be able to see me because of a charge that I was not responsible for! Letters to the ''patient advocate'' never yielded a reply. They have a great sounding website but it is all blah blah. We LOVED our doctor there and only hung in so long because of her; even she tried to contact their principal with no reply whatsoever. We saw them last in September last year, and they still send invoices that we have paid more than 1/2 year ago... happy to have changed doctors
DO NOT even consider this office!! Everyone, from the front desk to the PA to the MDs, don't worth your time. I've had terrible experience every time I went there, and I finally have had it with them!! Even after I switched to a different office, they gave me such a hard time getting my records. Do yourself a favor and look elsewhere!! I'm SO glad I did. anon
You may want to 'pop in' to Bayside's office, before you make a switch on paper. It has been quite a few years since I was there, but then it was terribly disorganized. That was a deal-breaker to me. But perhaps things have changed for the better. So I would not write it off, but go visit, hang out in the waiting room, see if the front staff is helpful (or not), before making your decision. anon
Wow, I was really surprised at the negative comments regarding Bayside Medical Group (although the poster wanted recommendations about specific doctors). We have been Bayside customers since my first son was about a year old. We have 3 kids now. We've seen dr. Eischel but our main pediatrician is Dr. Gerwein (LOVE HER) and also Dr. Perlman. We love the fact that Bayside has at least THREE offices, one in Berkeley, one in Oakland (that takes Saturday drop in and appts), and one in Pinole. We have used all three, for either regular or urgent needs, depending also on where we were at the time of the visit. The doctors rotate offices so you are familiar with them. They transfer your records from office to office with no problem. We've never had problems with billing. We've never had problems with oncall doctors calling us back. The front office is orderly (maybe it wasn't so years ago but it's been for 5 years now). The doctors are varied in their range of school of thought, from being open to limited vaccinations to homebirths to alternative medicine. I highly recommend them. We have used them with both PPO and HMO insurance. love bayside medical
My son is a paitient of Dr. Gerwein at bayside and we LOVE her! We have also seen Dr. Perlman as well-she is wonderful as well. The Berkeley office is not the cutest, but the staff is super friendly greet my son by his name, thorough, and when ever we need a Dr to call us back we get a phone call very quickly. anon
Editor note: reviews also received for James Eichel
Re: Pediatrician Open to Alternative Vaccine Schedule?
Though I do not like the office one bit because the wait is sooooo long (like 45 mins-1 hour! No kidding), I do go to Bayside Medical where Dr. Janet Perlman supports our Alternative Vaccine Schedule (we use Dr. Sears). I have heard that the other doctors in the practice are not at all happy with an alternative schedule.
Re: Oakland Pediatricians
I highly recommend my pediatrician, Katya Gerwein at bayside pediatrics in oakland at 3100 telegraph ave. I have also seen Tina Hong there and she was great too. good luck!
Hello... my husband and I are expecting a little girl in December and are meeting with pediatricians this week and next. We are particularly concerned about vaccines. While not 100% anti-vax, we are not 100% pro-vax either and are interested in doing limited/delayed vaccinations. In addition to that, we're looking for a nice office without horrendous waits, billing snafus, etc. We are reviewing: Dr. Perlman/Bayside Pediatrics; Dr. Schiffman (on Milvia) and Dr. Parker/Alameda Pediatrics. So far, I've heard good reports on all three, but Dr. Perlman's office apparently has issues with wait times (up to an hour for schedule appts) and billing issues. Would like to get more feedback on all three, if you have any. Thank you! - looking for our baby doc
While I have been taking my child to Dr. Perlman for years, and will probably continue to do so because I think she is a good pediatrician who is practical, thoughtful, and doesn't seem to unnecessarily push pharmaceuticals, I can't really recommend her office due to the billing issues that you mentioned. Every time I bring my child there is some minor though annoying billing problem, such as double charging a co-pay; once I was charged for two visits in one (I brought my child for a well-child visit, but because a minor diagnosable skin condition was identified during the visit, they charged me for both a sick and a well visit).
We're patients of Dr. Perlman's and I haven't had any problems with billing or wait times now that we go to the Oakland office. The Berkeley office is the most disorganized office I have ever experienced. But Oakland is another story. We switched after Berkeley lost my daughter's chart for days and so weren't ready for us when we came in for unbundled MMR vaccine. I was initially reluctant to drive to Oakland since we live in Berkeley but it really is only another 10 minutes for us and it is totally worth leaving the aggravation behind. Especially when you have a newborn and you are at the doctor's office all.the.time. There are also other docs in the Oakland office who have seen my daughter when she was sick and Dr. Perlman was off. I have liked them all and so has my daughter. Bayside Oakland fan
We see Dr. Linn at Bayside Pediatrics and he has been very flexible about vaccinations for us. My condition was that I didn't want my son to receive more than two shots per visit/month. We worked this out by coming in nearly every month (rather than every other month) for the first 7 months or so. My son did once or twice get two shots and an oral vaccine, which I didn't mind. But they were extremely understanding and accommodating to my wishes. I recommend Bayside Pediatrics if you are looking for flexibility. You should be aware that one thing they did NOT offer was the combined vaccines where you get more than one vaccine in a single shot. vaccinated my way
My daughter who is 8 months old used to see Dr Janet Perlman. I left because I was no longer happy with her. She did a delayed schedule, one at a time, but I felt that I was never fully informed. She never told me that all rotovirus had to be given before 6 months, so my daughter is in daycare unprotected. There was a very long wait for appointments. Once I waited 1 1/2 hours to see her. Dr Perlman also uses a nurse practitioner student to ask all of the stuff a doctor should ask, who then relays it to Dr Perlman who will only address the issues the student found important enough to relay. It's like playing a game of telephone. My daughter was born early and had some developmental delays. It was like pulling teeth to try to get Dr Perlman to take notice and listen to me and recognize there was a problem. When she finally did, she referred her to the wrong kind of developmental pediatrician. I ultimately made a switch to Dr Mary Jones at East Bay Pediatrics . She is amazing. She is very experienced and is ok with our delayed vaccine schedule. I have never waited more than 15 minutes and it's usually more like 5. No problems with billing at either place. Dr Jones took initiative and got my daughter seen by all of the right people and she is now thriving. anon
Re: Pediatrician shopping
i initially chose dr perlman, but due to scheduling issues, i ended up with a different doctor at that practice - dr gerwein, and she's AWEsome! i can only imagine that dr perlman is just as awesome. i also saw their newest doctor (dr caesar) when dr gerwein had a rare cancellation, and dr caesar was also great. basically, i'm just trying to say that her office is filled with fantastic doctors who help each other out, and the appt times are quite punctual. highly recommend dr perlman's office! - happy bayside med parent
We chose Janet Perlman as our pediatrician after going through a similar interview and analysis process. The wait for Perlman can be long, but I can tell you that I have never regretted choosing her as our children's doctor. When she is with you and your child, you never feel rushed, she speaks with you honestly, and she uses her experiences as a parent - as well as her expertise as a doctor and breastfeeding specialist. The office staff are dedicated and we found that if we treated them with respect, we were treated well in return. We have also visited with emergencies when Dr. Perlman was not there and were extremely pleased with the excellent care my children received from the other doctors on staff. Please feel free to email me if you have any further questions. My kids are 2 & 5 now and have used Dr. Perlman since their birth. Hil
Janet Perlman is an amazing pediatrician. Her office (Bayside), however, is a different story! Oakland isn't so bad, but Berkeley can be a nightmare. We've had to wait for well over an hour for a scheduled appt, in a small waiting room full of sick people. The worst part of the practice is the billing department. Their bills are hard to read, and nobody can explain them very well. We have been charged for visits that never happened and copays that didn't exist, and it took months to clear it up. On top of that, they forced me to pay the bill first (before addressing the discrepancy) one day when I was in the office for an emergency. The last straw for us was when they refused to see my daughter at one visit until I paid for the visit in cash because their computer wasn't working (so they couldn't see the insurance info). It took me almost a year to recoup the money from my insurance co. because Bayside couldn't fill out the forms correctly, despite me being on the phone with someone from their practice once per week. I was always told ''So-and-So will call you this week'', and it would never happen. Nobody seemed to care because they kept blaming each other. We switched to Karen Schiffman in Berkeley and have never been happier. She is a wonderful doctor, and because she's the ONLY doctor, problems are addressed right away. Dawn
We love Janet Perlman. She has been our pediatrician since my kids were infants and they are teenagers now. They still want to see her. I've always felt aligned with her approach to medical care, we vaccinated and do flu shots every year. I've always felt her action v wait and see judgement call has been right on target every time. The office, however is another matter. Some of the staff has been there since my kids were infants and they are wonderful. Others not so great. I shouldn't have to lie about purpose of visit to the phone cop who tells me Janet doesn't do services that in fact I know she does. I'm also not so thrilled with the medical trainees that rotate through the practice. I've often felt they wasted my time, we had to repeat the entire visit twice. Once, very slowly, for the trainee and again, much faster with Janet. I know they have to learn but I'm tired of being the practice case. My kids don't see her often enough anymore that I can comment on wait times. It seems that the wait is much less in Berkeley than it used to be in Oakland. But we haven't been to the Oakland office in a very long time. In the end, we've always felt Janet was well worth the office hassle. Fan of Janet Perlman
Hi-I have been out of town & just noticed this posting. I've got to tell you,my children were Dr. Janet Perlman's patients, about 2 yrs ago, she's a good Peds Doc, although, her office/billing department is a nightmare...we are STILL getting bills from over 2 yrs ago from Dr. Perlmans' office!...needless to say, we have changed Ped. offices. Denise
Re: Pediatricians open to modified vacc schedule
When our favorite pediatrician moved away from Benicia, we were not able to find a local doctor who would work with our modified immunization requests. In fact, we were flat-out denied service. We ended up finding a great pediatrician in Pinole. His name is Michael Linn and he is with Bayside Pediatrics. Their ph# is 510-724-8300. He is the nicest guy and respects the parents' viewpoints on immunizations. JOJ
Re: Pediatrician who honors an ''alternative'' vaccine schedule
We've not had any issues or commentary as we've discussed, delayed and deferred vaccines with Dr. Janet Perlman at Bayside Medical on Telegraph in Berkeley. Anon
Re: Do you love your Pediatrician?
We love our pediatrician. We see Dr. Katya Gerwein at Bayside Pediatrics in Berkeley. She, like most (all?) of the doctors work out of two offices -- she is also in the Oakland office. She is kind and patient with questions, and has been thorough in treating our daughter. She caught a murmur in her heart that turned out to be a small hole in her heart (now we also have a cardiologist at Children's). We find her to be a good balance of no-nonsense and humor, a blend that works for us. She is also quite willing to accomodate our request to space out our immunizations. And, on days when she should be rushed, she is great about being focused on us and our daughter. Several of our friends also see Dr. Gerwein. Dr. Perlman also comes highly recommended though we have not seen her. When Dr. Gerwein was on vacation, we saw Dr. Hong. We had to see her three days in a row and while her style is very different from Dr. Gerwein, I wouldn't hesitate in seeing her again. She was thorough and helped us deal with a weird virus. (Note: our daughter's care has been far less complicated than this post makes it sound.) mama g
Hi Anon, My son (2) sees Dr. Gerwein at Bayside Pediatrics in Oakland. The practice also has offices in both Alameda and Berkeley. Highly recommend them! Melissa
Re: Pediatrician in Contra Costa who speaks Spanish
I strongly recommend Dr. Michael Linn at Bayside Pediatrics, which has an office in Pinole just off of Hwy.80 (phone 724-8300). He is kind, patient, thorough, and exceedingly competent. He is also quite fluent in Spanish. I think he would more than meet your requirements. another pediatrician
Re: Pro-homebirth pediatrician
Dr. Gerwein and other doctors at Bayside Pediatrics on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley (just kitty corner from Whole Foods) is homebirth-friendly. Dr. Gerwein is respectful of our choices, inc. delaying vaccination or not having them. I believe they will also do a home visit if you are close enough to their office. One other place I'd try is Dr. Janet Himmelvo in Point Richmond, of Point Richmond Family Practice. She does home visits and I'm pretty sure is friendly to homebirthers. She and her partner just had a baby a few months ago. http://www.prfamilypractice.com/Site/Welcome.html homebirth family with regular pediatrician
Re: Great pediatrician via blue shield?
Dr. Katya Gerwein at Bayside Medical Group is very knowledgeable, down to earth and open to alternative medicine. We have a 7 month old and have been very happy with her care. She practices in Berkeley and Oakland. Bayside Medical Group: 510-843-4544. Samantha
Re: Pediatrician open to no/few vaccines?
We go to Dr. Janet Pearlman. We've only seen her a couple of times now, but we were real straight forward about the fact that we do not vaccinate, and so far she has been supportive. Before that we were seeing Dr. Kittams and he had said that he would be supportive, but every time we went he was telling us why we should vaccinate. Some of his reasons were very far fetched, and it got old real fast. anon
My two sons age 5 & 3 are have had almost no vaccines. We see Dr. Janet Perlman at Bayside Medical at 510-452-5231 in Berkeley near whole foods. She also has an office in Oakland. She is wonderful and respectful. She has never made us feel irresponsible for refusing vaccines. She is also great about the use of antibiotics. My younger son has had frequent ear infections and she has never pushed us to use antibiotics but has instead kept a close watch on him. All of these infections have turned out to be viral and have gone away within days. She is very kind to our children and she seems to be up on the more recent studies regarding pediatrics. She has raised a few kids herself and I find her to be very real around issues of eating, sleep, potty training and behavoir. I think there are some other docs in the office who support the delay or refusal of vaccines. Herbal Momma
We're considering switching pediatricians and our choices are Pediatric Medical Group (Ralph Berberich, Jane Hunter) or Bayside Medical Group (Katya Gerwein, Janet Perlman). We'd appreciate any current reviews of these doctors/practices, as the ones online are a few years old. We're especially interested in how they are with same-day appointments for sick kids and how they deal with kids on delayed vaccination schedules. Keri
Keri, We love Bayside Medical Group! Dr. Gerwein and Dr. Perlman are very nice with kids and adults. They have offices in Berkeley and Oakland. The Oakland office has a ''walk-in'' schedule in the morning (I think it is before 9:30am) for sick children (unless is chicken pox).
If my kids get sick after 9:30am and it is something that cannot wait until next morning (like non-stop vomiting or ear infection), I call the office and sometimes they can see my boys on the same afternoon. If not, I leave a message with the receptionist (Kiu is great!) and the doctors call me back the same afternoon, and even follow up in the evening. I do not know about shots, but my youngest was a little behind schedule and it was not a big issue.
After being with 3 different pediatricians in Berkeley, we knew that our boys were with great professionals: my youngest son ended in the NICU in Alta Bates, after a quick diagnosis by Dr. Gerwein. Dr. Perlman visited him every day and Dr. Gerwein called us to follow up while in vacation in the East Coast. Please feel free to email me if you have further questions Cristina
HI, I just switched from Dr. Perlman at Bayside to Dr. Hunter at Pediatric Med Group. Dr Perlman was wonderful, but the Bayside office was not so great. Everytime I arrived for my daughter's appts, they ran at least 30 mins behind schedule. I was also bothered that they only have 1 waiting room where sick children and healthy kids all wait together and play with the same toys. And, the waiting room just does not seem very clean. Nonetheless, Dr. Perlman and the staff at Bayside were very kind and completely competent. It was the facilities and the time management that bothered me. At Pediatric Medical Group, Dr. Hunter is also very wonderful and the office is great. There is a healthy child waiting room and a separate sick child waiting room. I am always called in on time, almost as soon as I arrive. Dr. Hunter spends plenty of time with my daughter and I (she does not seem rushed and she is very thorough). I would go with Hunter. Lastly, I was a patient at Pediatric Medical Group throughout my own childhood and I have very fond memories of the doctor and of playing in the waiting room! Kate
Our experience was a brief one with Janet Pearlman at Bayside. We really liked her, and they were very good about our decision to delay/selectively vax, but the wait time was always EXTREMELY long-think at least 30-45 minutes in the waiting room followed by an equally long time in the exam room before we saw anyone (usually a student/PA,) followed by another 15-20 minutes before we saw the doctor. So our appointments (with a 1 year old) always lasted about 2 hours. WAY too long for me to wait for any doctor visit, especially a pediatrician. Great office if you don't mind long waits.
[Editor] Reviews were also received for Pediatric Medical Group
We just moved to the El Sobrante/Richmond/Pinole area and are looking for recommendations for a pediatrician for our 7-month- old daughter. We'd love to hear about your pediatrician is and your experience with her/him. Thanks. Barb
We have been at Bayside Pediatrics in Pinole since both of our sons have been born. We have been happy with all of the doctors there. Both of my sons are assigned to Dr. Woodard. He loves kids and will take the time to answer questions - very no nonsense. He mumbles a bit, but once you get past that you will find a doctor that cares about kids. We have also seen Dr. Lynn and like him. The Pinole office has drop in every morning (from 9-10 I think), which is very helpful if your child wakes up sick. Several times we have also gone to the Oakland office for Saturday drop-in (Pinole does not Sat drop- in). We have not gone through any major illness - only the normal childhood colds, ear infections, virus, etc. Good Luck! If you are new to area, you may want to try joing a few Yahoo groups for advice ...pinolemoms & WCCPlaygroup Anon
Re: Pediatrician that is NOT hot on Vaccines
Dr Perlman on telegraph is very definitely ''not hot'' on vaccines. Definitely check her out, we've had many pediatricians (3 kids) and love her best. christine
I just want to say that Janet Perlman of Bayside Medical Group (in Oakland 510.452.5231) has a very pragmatic approach to vaccines and as a result most her patients (or their parents) choose what she calls a ''boutique'' approach to vaccines-- setting their own timeline, choosing which ones are important to them at which stages, if at all. She has helped me immensely in balancing my desire to protect my child with my concerns about overburdening his immune system with too many vaccines. I also know people under her care who have had no vaccines. In general she leaves the parenting up to the parents--and doesn't pass judgement or have a specific agenda about how that should happen. This means however, that you have to be willing to do your homework--bring in your questions and concerns and advocate for your child and your parenting choices. She won't tell you what to do--which I think can also be stressful for new parents--but ultimately it is a gift and a rare one. Corey
Re: Doctor for 16-year-old son who can suggest alternative remedies
We love Janet Perlman, MD, at Bayside Pediatrics on Telegraph in Oakland (510.452.5234). She's been our 13-year-old son's doctor since he was a toddler. She seems very supportive about alternative approaches, and is a good communicator in our experience. Wendy, Oakland
I am looking for a pediatrician for my two children ages 8 and 14. I would be interested in knowing if anyone has seen JENNA SEIFF or JANET PERLMAN. I am looking for a doctor for my children with knowledge dealing with special needs. There have been reviews for Perlman, but are there any parents out there who have a child with special needs that she has cared for? Both doctors are from Bayside out of Berkeley and Pinole. I would also be curious if you have any other suggestions for pediatricians in the Berkeley, Pinole, Oakland area that are highly knowledgeable with global delays. Please help me find the doctor that can slow down and look at the big picture. Thank you for taking the time to help.
While my son is much younger than your two children, I have to say that we have had really great treatment from Jenna Seiff. Our son has GERD and she has really worked with us to make him comfortable and was also diligent about getting us to see the right specialists. We had a disappointing pediatrician when our son was first born and it has been a wonderful change to have found Dr. Seiff. pleased with my pediatrician
I've only seen Dr. Perlman for routine things when our regular pediatrician in the practice was not available--she was very nice, but it was very minor stuff with a very small infant. I would not recommend another member of the practice, Dr. Gerwein, for a special needs kid--although she is wonderful on normal childhood stuff, she was generally unconcerned about my child's many delays and missed milestones because they were individually within normal limits; but my child turned out to have significant sensory integration concerns causing those delays and was (and is still, over a year later) elgible for Regional Center services!
That said, we are now seeing Dr. Diane Halberg at the Claremont Clinic of Children's Hospital Oakland, and she is wonderful! We originally saw her through the Center for the Vulnerable Child there, which is aimed at foster children, I believe, and they see a lot of kids with a vast array of special needs, as well as so-called normal kids. The only downside is that it is often crowded and the process is slow--I've never felt rushed with the doctor, but I've learned to build in much more waiting time than than I did at other practices. But, their lab services are right there (and very good with little kids!!!), the pharmacy is right there, they are very responsive to our many concerns with two special needs kids, and they are totally coordinated with Children's! I have also really liked Dr. Gizzo, whom we have seen for same day things a couple of times there--seems like a good doc and a real sweetheart! love our current doctor
I want to give another view of our experience with Janet Perlman and Katya Gerwein. I am sorry to hear about the disappointing experience with Katya Gerwein. But I want to balance this with our own which is very different. We have nothing but great to say about her. We have a special needs child with an array of issues from mild to more dramatic. We have always felt totally supported and extremely confident with Katya Gerwein's care. She never failed to ask if we have new observations that we would like to get attended to. She always suggests or refers to specialists when we ask for. When she was not available we have seen Janet Perlman and Tina Hong, who are equally caring. If anything, our experience is that all of them are rather cautious than dismissive of our anxieties, and were happy to refer us for extra evaluations. Happy mom of happy child
We highly recommend Dr. Jenna Sieff at Bayside Medical. From the moment we met her at our ''preparent meeting'' we knew that she was the pediatrician for us. Dr. Seiff comes into the room and sits down- makes time for her patients. She is an excellent listener and exudes cool confidence. Dr. Seiff's calm demeanor and good sense of humor make you feel at ease. As a first time parent, I had/have many concerns. Every time I have called Dr. Seiff's office, she has promptly returned all of my phone calls. Dr. Seiff empathizes with first time parents and offers clear, concise explanations. On occassion after speaking with Dr. Seiff, she wanted to see our son, and we were able to get an appointment the same day. We also appreciate how open and flexible Dr. Seiff is in regards to vaccinations. I know that Dr. Perlman has been around for a long time and has a big following, but I wouldn't change our pediatricain for anything. We are thrilled Dr. Seiff is our pediatrician. Signed: Tara
Re: Kiwi Pediatrics
This doesn't quite answer your question, but when we were selecting a pediatrician, we chose between Kiwi and Dr. Perlman at Bayside Pediatrics. We felt like they were aligned philosophically. We chose Dr. Perlman, largely because of location and personal recommendation, and we have been incredibly happy with our choice. martha
Re: Queer-Friendly Pediatrician
My son goes to Dr. Perlman and I like her, and my obgyn--Hank Streitfeld--told me he refers his lesbian mom clients to her.
We have seen Dr. Perlman just a couple of times, and have not experienced any problems at all...We usually see Dr. Katya Gerwein in the same office, and she has been as warm and friendly (as well as caring and competent) as you could desire to my partner, daughter and I. Being gay has completely been a non-issue! I highly recommend her. happy moms
Re: Lamorinda Area Pediatrician
Katya Gerwein at Bayside Pediatrics is absolutely wonderful. Our twins have seen her since birth, and we look forward to every appointment. She is informative, supportive of our parenting decisions, and very warm and caring. She even called us while on vacation to check in with us on some issues we were having. We feel very fortunate to have found her. We have met a few other Bayside physicians (Drs. Linn and Holder) during drop-in appointments, and have had pleasant experiences with them, too. We also like the office and medical assisstant staff at the Oakland office of Bayside Peds very much - they are kind and helpful. Happy Bayside Peds family
Hello! I am looking for a new Pediatrician for my children I was highly recommended to see ''Dr. Wolffe'' when I called they said that he no longer worked there and that he was now working in Lafeyette. I am looking for recent recommendations for doctors at Bayside. Apparently, Rainbow is no longer in existence and they are all Bayside now. The lady at the front desk explained some of the sudden changes to me and assured me that all the doctors were wonderful. I would like to know your opinion. I am looking for someone anywhere between the cities of Albany and Hercules. I really would not like to travel any further than that. But, if you've got a great Pediatrician who works in Berkeley, Concord or Walnut Creek I would be willing to think about it for someone who LOVES their job. I also need someone who is a part of ABMG(Alta Bates) and takes Health Net Thanks In Advance!
Mommy looking for EXCELLENT care for my wee little ones
I'm so sorry your medical practice dissolved! But I do have a great pediatrician for you: Dr. Anna R. ''Becky'' Kerr, who (last I remember) works out of the Alameda and Walnut Creek offices. Great listener, takes her time, delights in kids, understands the hard stuff. I cried when I had to change to Kaiser and knew we'd be leaving her behind. Feel free to email with more questions. Jennie
Rainbow Pediatrics became Bayside as of Dec. 31st, 2004. The staff at Bayside is still getting their stuff together. I just took my son in for his two-month well baby check last week, and we went to the office on San Pablo. When I saw Dr. Zwerdling a month ago, he said the office might move, but someone would contact me if that happens. No one called, and we showed up at the San Pablo Avenue office. The woman there said that Dr. Zwerdling was not seeing patients there, and that we needed to go to the Appian Way office. When we got to the Appian Way office, they had no record of my appointment. After much complaining, the receptionist said the doctor could see my son, but I might have to wait awhile. Our original appointment was at 2:30pm; we saw the doctor at around 3:30pm. We were promised the next appointment would be smoother. I certainly hope so.
But on another note, we really like Dr. Zwerdling, and he is still practicing in Pinole, either at the Appian Way or at the San Pablo Avenue office. Both Dr. Zwerdling and Dr. Wolffe saw my son while at Alta Bates, and they were both very good. Bayside did say they would continue to take the same insurance as Rainbow did. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
We have been searching for a wonderful pediatrician, and we finally found her! Dr. Katya Gerwein with Bayside Medical Group (510 452-5231) has offices in Oakland and Berkeley. She is warm, kind and considerate with our children, thorough in her examinations and spends the time to talk through any concerns I might have. She will offer her opinion on vaccines, among other medical issues, but respects parent's rights to make the final determination. She also administers the vaccines personally which I really appreciate. Most importantly, she knows how to connect with my kids (3 and 5) who can be shy and uneasy with unfamiliar people. Lesli
Saw that several people have written looking for information on pediatricians. We have had very good luck with Rainbow Pediatrics in Pinole. Specifically, Dr. Lainey Pleet, though we have seen others in the office as well. I don't know if they take Health Net as we are on Blue Shield. Malcolm
Highly recommend Janet Perlman at Bayside Medical Group. Very open to various vaccination philosophies, plus she's smart and reassuring. debbie
I know she is already listed in the previous recs but I just want to re-iterate: Janet Perlman, Janet Perlman, Janet Perlman. She is thoughtful, thorough, gentle, kind and has never ever given us grief for any of our decisions (including home birth and no vacs). I have friends who have gone to other groups who are presented as being ''open'' to non-vaccinated patients and have been lectured for hours about their decision. Dr. Perlman has always been supportive and we look forward to our visits with her. proud mama
We are looking for a new pediatrician for our 22 month old and new baby due in December. We have HealthNet HMO insurance. We want a pediatrician who is respectful of spacing out/delaying vaccinations. We were referred to Dr. Gerwein at Bayside Medical Group. I looked through the archives and did not see anyone refer to her. Has anyone had any experiences with her or other recommendations? thank you! suz
We love Janet Perlman at Bayside Medical Group. We haven't seen anyone else in that practice, but she is very open to alternative vaccine schedules. debbie
I wanted to second the recommendation I saw posted for Katya Gerwein, M.D. (Bayside Medical in Berkeley @ 843-4544 and also in Oakland). She has been our pediatrician for our 14-month old son since he was 6-months old. She has helped us through some everyday matters (sleep, nutrition)as well as some more serious ones (possible seizures, reflux).
She is wonderful about being in touch by phone, gives us the time we need in her office, and really listens to what is going on with our son. She has been supportive around some of our alternative approaches, including our initial homebirth, our use of homeopathy and our approach to vaccination (she is generally on board with the CDC schedule, but supports our choices to forgoe some). Rather than taking our son's care out of our hands, Dr Gerwein makes us feel that indeed we are the primary care providers for our son and her job is to facilitate that care.
Please feel free to e-amil me with any questions. caitlin
Re: Pediatricians in Pinole
Hello, I recommend Dr. Charles Woodard at Bayside Pediatrics. He has been my son's doctor for two years. The office wait is usually brief, and Dr. Woodard gives as much time as needed in the examining room. He has a great bedside manner for the little ones. He's soft spoken, and sweet natured, as well as quite intelligent. He's also easy going, and extremely fast when administering shots. One time my son peed on him, and he didn't blink an eye. Dr. Woodard always calls me back within an hour when I call the office with a question, and he never rushes through the call. Dr. Woodard is open to alternative medicines (he doesn't look down on them), although he doesn't prescribe them, he once suggested I give diluted chamomile tea to my irritated tiny infant. If you email me, I would be happy to talk to you about our experiences with Dr. Woodard and Bayside Pediatrics. We first went to Rainbow Pediatrics in Pinole, and we did like Dr. Z a lot, but I like Dr. Woodard even better. We also find the office at Bayside Pediatics to be much cleaner than Rainbow Pediatrics. I suggest you visit both offices, as they both give a free consultation. Good luck! grace
I'd like to second the recommendation for Dr. Charles Woodard at Bayside Medical in Pinole, on Appian Way (http://www.baysidemed.com). He ROCKS! He has a dry sense of humor that my husband and I really enjoy, and we always come away feeling better about ourselves as parents. During our son's one-week-old exam, when we were still sleep-deprived and shell- shocked, we confessed all our fears and doubts to Dr. Woodard, who had the courage to say: ''Newborns are terrifying.'' Just hearing him admit that made us feel better. We later found out that his shot-giving technique is AMAZING. He has those four needles in and out so fast our son doesn't even know what happened. He (the baby, not Dr. Woodard) cries for less than one minute. I just can't say enough about how much he's helped us. The office is clean, the staff members are nice and you hardly ever wait more than 10 minutes. On a related note, we had to go to Bayside's Telegraph Avenue office in Oakland last weekend, and had a great experience there, too: Clean office, nice receptionist, same-day appointment and no waiting! I can't say enough good things about this organization in general and Dr. Woodard in particular. Jennifer
We love Rainbow Pediatrics, especially Dr. Pleet (Helen?). We were with them only briefly, but if our insurance had covered it, would have stayed. Extremely helpful and friendly support staff, and appointments handled in a timely manner, with no long waits between the wellness visits and the shots portion of the appointment. Christine
when we first arrived in the area we went to Rainbow Peds. I really liked Dr. Zwerdling and Nudleman(?) I wasn't as happy with Dr Pleet. She may have been having bad day but I still wouldn't recommend her. We now have Kaiser and we like Dr Leo and Dr Dressler. b3
Dr. Pleet at Rainbow Pediatrics in Pinole has been wonderful with all of the adolescents I have taken to her over the past 5 years. She has a calm, concerned, caring attitude that EVERY patient I have brought there has totally related to. (I am a nurse in a residential program/school for severely emotionally disturbed children/teenagers.) I have every reason to believe she is equally outstanding with younger children. I suspect the previous person, with the negative experience is right, Dr. Pleet must have been having a bad day. Lori
I just moved to Oakland a month ago and need to find a pediatrician for our baby (due April 5th). My OB recommended either the Primary Pediatric Medical Group (Oakland) or Bayside Medical Group (specifically, Dr. Linn). The archives are fairly dated so does anyone have a recent point of view on either group in general, a specific doctor at Primary and/or experience with Dr. Linn? Thanks!
Dr. Linn has been my daughter's pediatrician since she was 1 1/2 yrs old - she is now 6. We have had a very good experience with Dr. Linn. He is very caring, responsive, takes time in appointments, and very informative and proactive in discussing medical concerns or potential issues. My daughter really likes him too. Anon
my 8 month old's pediatrician is janet perlman at bayside (who we love), but we've also seen dr. linn twice for same day appointments and really liked him. he has a gentle, thoughtful manner, seems very knowledgeable and is very easy to talk to. he also has a baby close to my son's age. good luck! happy w/bayside
I took my son to Bayside until he was about 1.5 yrs old (we had to switch to Kaiser for financial reasons). We saw Becky Kerr of Bayside at the Alameda office. **LOVED** her. She was the main reason I regretted the change to Kaiser (which has been, admittedly, fine). On weekends or for urgent appointments, we saw Tina Hong at the Oakland Bayside office. I liked her a lot, too, but be aware that she can talk really fast. She is willing to stop and explain things, though. I saw Dr. Linn while we were still at the hospital and he seemed very gentle. Good luck with your decision. Jennie
Re: Pediatrician for homeborn baby
For the family looking for a pediatrician after a home birth, I would be happy to see your baby. I work with Janet Perlman (who has had two home-births herself) at Bayside Pediatrics in both Berkeley (2915 Telegraph, 510-843-4544) and Oakland (3100 Telegraph, 452-5231). We take all insurances. I grew up in Berkeley but spent most of the past 14 years in Boston (trained at Harvard and Boston Children's Hospital) and arrived back here a little over a year ago. I have taken care of many children who were born at home and am happy to see the baby soon after birth (I will sometimes do home-visits if able to). I also have both professional and personal experience with breastfeeding, sleep, and development. I see many families who are simultaneously seeing a pediatrician and an alternative medicine practictioner. I would be glad to meet with you either before or after the birth. I wish you all the best on your upcoming birth. Katya Gerwein, MD
We never talked to her about coming to our house for the first check-up, but we LOVE our pediatrician, Janet Perlman, at Bayside Medical Group - 843-4544. Your midwife will check your baby during the first day of life, and then you can go see a pediatrician (or nurse practitioner or family doc) on day 2 or 3 if all is well. Janet is smart, warm, and open-minded. She is very supportive of homebirth. Debbie
We are pediatrician shopping, and are considering using Janet Perlman for our soon-to-be-born baby. I read the comments about her in the archives, but they seem to be a bit out of date (she now practices only in Oakland and Berkeley and is in the office 3 days/week total). I want some feedback on the other peds in the Oakland practice (the archives don't specify who practices in Oak.), and general impressions such as: how often are you able to see Dr. Perlman when your child is sick, what is your experience with waiting time for appointments, have you used the lactation consultant on staff and was she helpful (and was it covered by insurance), and any other information you can think of that will help us to make this decision. Thanks! milli
We love love love Janet Perlman. Our son is 6 months old, and he hasn't been sick, so I can't address that concern, but we've never had to wait more than 10 minutes for appts, except one time when she had 12 kids in the hospital that she had to make rounds on before getting to her office, and then she apologized profusely. She's laid back, open-minded, smart, very reassuring. We haven't seen anyone else in the practice, but Mike Linn is a friend of ours and we think he's great, too. A mom in my moms' group was unhappy with her pediatrician, and we referred her to Janet, and she's been very happy. Have a wonderful birth! Debbie
My daughter sees Dr Perlman & although we don't always get to see her personally, the rest of the physicians there are great. When my daughter slipped into a diabetic coma, Dr Woodard came to visit us at the hospital on his day off and when I had questions about some possible abuse, the staff there couldn't have been more comforting and helpful. I can't say enough good things about that group in general. Steve
We selected Janet Perlman based on her flexibility with vaccinations(our baby is 5 weeks old). We have visited her twice. The staff is very friendly, but I've noticed the office is always very busy since Bayside Medical group serves more than just pediatrics. The rooms are a bit cold (maybe that's typical) and they don't have a separate room for sick children. Other than that, I have been pleased with the care she has received. elisa
You asked about Oakland Bayside Pediatrics doctors in general, and Dr. Janet Perlman in particular. Before we switched to Kaiser, we used Bayside Ped exclusively, and periodically had to go to Oakland for same-day or urgent appointments, as Alameda is not open on weekends. We saw Dr. Hong there. I really, really like her. She is funny, answers questions, listens well, and is a good and careful doctor. She sometimes talks *really* fast, so if this bugs you, you should be aware of it. I interviewed Dr. Perlman while looking for pediatricians, and found her to be open to alternative medicine but still rather firmly based in traditional Western medicine. (shrug) I kind of didn't expect that. But I have friends who love her, and I might have used her if I had not been so enamoured of Dr. Kerr and the convenience of the Alameda office to my work and my daycare. If you are willing to travel to Alameda, the Bayside Pediatrics office is just off Park Street and there is ample street parking. And I loved, loved, LOVED working with Dr. Kerr there. She is wonderful. Takes lots of time, clearly loves her patients, listens carefully, and answers all questions thoroughly. We would still be seeing her if finances (and the medical plans through work) didn't force us to change to Kaiser (which I was rather surprised to really like). Good luck with your decision. (We saw Dr. Kerr from 4/00 through 7/01.) Jennie
My son sees Dr. Shenkin at Bayside and we have been very happy with him. I also have a neighbor who see one of the other Oakland Drs. and has been very happy. Overall, I think Bayside has a great set of Drs. and a positive team environment. They have also always been great about returning my calls when I have questions. stephanie
Hi, I didn't see the original post, but Janet Perlman has been our pediatrician for the past year and I think she's great. She has always been considerate, pretty much on time (at the Oakland office), and taken as much time with us as we need (answered questions, found out how we're doing, etc.). She seems genuinely kind, friendly. I do think she has a pretty relaxed approach to things-- which can be very reassuring but I can also see how something could slip past her, as another parent wrote. I definitely think you would have to take the lead in terms of finding out extra info, but that she's patient and available for providing it. So it just depends what you are looking for. We have been happy so far. anon
We're looking for a pediatrician in the Hercules/Pinole area. My OB recommended Bayside or Hilltop Pediatrics. We've checked the listings on the website, and things look decidedly mixed for these practices--but the info is a little old. Any particular doctors you would recommend? Or other practices? Thanks in advance! Wendy
We have been very happy with Rainbow Pediatrics in Pinole, off Appian Way. It is a group practice and we have liked all the practitioners we have seen there. There has been some turnover in the medical staff over time, but we have liked them all. Dr. Zwerdling has been there the longest (I think) and is very knowledgable and experienced. The office staff has always been helpful and friendly. Phone number is 724-6269. Wendy
I highly recommend Rainbow Pediatrics in Pinole (1063 San Pablo Ave, sutie B near Appian). When we were looking for a pediatrician, I visited Bayside, Hilltop, and Rainbow Pediatrics. I interviewed 2 pediatricians, one from Babyside, one from Hilltop, and then 2 from Rainbow Pediatriacs. I was so happy when I made it over to Rainbow Pediatrics, because I had not been impressed with Bayside or Hilltop. I'm sure they are fine, but at Rainbow Pediatrics, I am extremely impressed at how friendly the entire staff is, and how prompt they are for scheduled appointments. I have now seen three doctors (Dr. Helaine Fleet, Dr. Zwerdlinger, and Dr. Wolffe Nadoolman) and the Nurse Practioner (Geroganne Walker) and have been happy with all of them. Dr. Wolffe Nadoolman (goes by Dr. Wolffe) is incredible. He so clearly loves his job. He is so patient and kind to our daughter. He is very thorough in his exams, he takes time to answer all our questions, and he never makes us feel hurried. When our 15 month old daughter got a serious illness and needed to spend a few days in the hospital, Dr. Wolffe was incredible! He went above and beyond the call of duty. Even when he wasn't on call, he came to visit us in the hospital in Oakland, he called to get updates several times a day, and kept us up to date on what the hospital tests were saying. His dedication made us know that our daughter was in good hands and getting the best possible care. I can't say enough good things about him and the office! Rainbow Pediatrics' phone number is 510-724-6269. Marie
My three children have gone to Rainbow Pediatrics for years, from infancy till off-to-college. It is located in Pinole at 1063 San Pablo Avenue at the corner of San Pablo and Rogers Way, just a few blocks south of Appian. Park in back off of Rogers Way. Phone 510-724-6269. We see Dr. Michael Zwerdling (primary) and I also like Dr. Wolffe Nadoolman ('Dr. Wolffe'). There is a woman doctor too, Dr. Pleet - as it happens we have not met her. A nurse practioner works there also. We have felt well taken care of there. Bonnie H.
Editor note: as of Jan 2006, Lisa Asta no longer works with the Bayside medical group.
You asked for information on Dr. Lisa Asta. I don't have much personal experience with her, but my 7 mo. old son has been seeing another doctor in her practice (Bayside Medical). In terms of more general information about the practice, we've had a mostly good experience. The nurses are friendly and professional (better in person than over the phone), appointments are fairly easy to get (even same day as long as you are flexible about who you see), doctors don't keep you waiting too long, parking is easy, and you can go to satellite offices if you need to. (We once went to Oakland for a Saturday visit.) Our only negative experience has been in regard to their billing. Their billing office seems to start with the assumption that you are a deadbeat and are not going to pay unless they browbeat you. If you don't pay the bill almost immediately, another more demanding letter arrives. My family has good insurance and we have never not paid a bill, so I find this a little off-putting. Also, we recently recieved a bill that included some items that had already been billed and paid. A few days later we received a corrected statement demanding immediate payment of the reduced amount (which was less than $5). There was no acknowledgment that the previous bill was a mistake, so if I had not been paying attention, I would have overpaid. As you might be able to tell, their methods bother me, but so far not enough to leave the practice. Hope some of this helps. A.M.
We've been seeing Dr. Asta for abt 2 years now and we like her very much. She has never been patronizing and she always answers my questions clearly and completely. I've found that she has a good sense of humor and a very down-to-earth attitude. Sometimes she's rushed, but she will still take the time to answer all your questions and her follow-thru is great.
Now the office, that's a different matter. Their billing office is completely out of control (as noted in a previous post). They misbill and then demand immediate payment. Every time you go to the office you get the little purple piece of paper with an amount they claim you owe. There's no accounting or justification for the amount, and it's always wrong! We've been fighting about a $25 copayment for several months. I refuse to pay it because it's wrong, and they refuse to fix it. In regard to the office, I made a 2 and 4 yr old well baby with Dr. Asta, but the office messed up and when we arrived we were scheduled another Dr. that I don't like nearly as much.
Right now we're at an impasse with the billing office. However, I still go to Dr. Asta because I like her very much. I hope this helps. JB 2001
I highly recommend Dr. Janet Perlman, who has an office in Berkeley and in Oakland. The one in Oakland is called Bayside Medical Group. Our son was born with clubfeet, has had casts on his legs every week, surgery, the stomach flue, constipation, etc. and is only 9 weeks old. Needless to say we have had many questions and concerns. Dr. Perlman is smart, competent, compassionate, and available. We think she's great. Sarah and Jay
I have been taking my 2 children to Bayside Pediatrics now for 5 1/2 years. This practice is also in Alameda where Budd Shenkin, Tina Hong and Beverly Estes are in practice. I can say that they are all great. Dr. Shenkin sees patients a little less frequently these days as he is more immersed in Summit administration duties. Tina Hong is very attentive and efficient. She gives me the feeling of really knowing her stuff and always remembers us when we come in. Beverly Estes also carries a special place in my heart as she was the attending Doctor when my son unexpectedly ended up at Childrens Hospital at 9 days old with a fever. This is a very frightening experience because they put the baby through a barrage of tests, including spinal tap and keep you there for observation for 3 days. In my scared and new mom state she was there for comfort and eased my fears. She came in everyday and called as well. I also recommend Dr. Lynn. I don't know if he visits the Alameda office or not. On another note, none of these doctors are Antibiotics pushers. Karen
I have used Dr. Tina Hong for the past couple years for my 3-year-old and more recently for my 4-month-old and think she's terrific. She takes as much time as you need to answer your questions, even if you think they are silly little ones. The only problem is she often runs behind schedule (30 minutes or more). I just arrive late and count on waiting. She's worth the inconvenience. Katie
I don't know of John Whalen, but I can give you feedback on the other 4 pediatricians, and a new recommendation. I interviewed Laura Saldivar when I was choosing pediatricians, and she had come highly recommended, and did like her. I also interviewed Beverly Estes, and just didn't seem to click with her. My later experiences with her at Bayside confirmed that--she is a fine pediatrician but has more inflexible ideas about child-rearing than I do.
I adored Tina Hong, and chose to see her as much as I could when our regular pediatrician was available. She talks really fast but is happy to stop and explain anything you don't understand, and is also very comfortable giving you ideas of what you might expect with some disease or antibiotic or developmental stage.
But our main pediatrician, who I recommend to you most highly, was Anna Rebecca Becky Kerr at Bayside in Alameda. She is absolutely top-notch, personable, patient, kind, and a great listener. She also has a teen daughter and being a parent clearly colors her recommendations (in a good way). I was very, very sad to leave Dr. Kerr when we switched to Kaiser for financial reasons this fall.
Best of luck to you in your decision. Jennie
Re: Need a new pediatrician
I can heartily recommend our pediatrician Dr. Janet Perlman, who practices at Bayside Medical Group on Telegraph, near Pill Hill, in Oakland. We've seen her for over 7 years, and she is low-intervention, extremely supportive, and open to non-conventional interventions such as homeopathy. She is very restrained on antibiotics, which I have really appreciated. Meghan
Hi, We have had fine service with Dr. Perlman at Bayside Pediatrics, at Summit. She delivered our twins, and has been there for all little troubles for eleven years. Sometimes an associate as the office is busy, but no complaints! Kevin
RE: pediatrician who supports alternative choice ...
I've found Janet Perlman (on Telegraph in Oakland and also somewhere in Walnut Creek) to be non-judgemental and accepting of non-vaccinated, home-birthed kids. Tara
Dr. Janet Perlman, Bayside Pediatrics in Oakland, is very supportive about vegetarian families. Our older daughter had anemia when she was small and Janet was fine with keeping her diet vegetarian. She's also open to alternative/complementary care and a great all-around doc. Meghan
I go to the Pinole Branch, and I have had very good experinece there: Lisa Asta is our regular ped, and I like all the Doctors I have seen so far except Beverly Estes, which, ironically, was the Dr that my Ob/Gyn originally recomended to me. She is very thouogh, and I have no doubt of her medical abilities, however, she is a bit hard with the babies. She wants to examine my 13 month old on the table instead of my lap, etc. I also LOVE the staff at Pinole. They always know who I am when I call, and whoever answers the phone (all nurses) can always answer my questions. They are great with kids. I don't know about the Oakland branch. -Lisa
I would like to recommend Dr. Stephanie Bennett-Strauss (Dr.Stephanie), Her practice is located in Lafayette. She has taken care of my son Nicholas (6 1/2) since he was 6 months old. She is experienced and smart. Her practice is warm ,friendly, and responsive. Her office number is 925-284-2864. When I had my son Nicholas I was practically on my own, my husband was a graduate student and my mom was thousands of miles away. Dr. Stephanie taught me how to take care of my infant son, her patience was infinite. This year my son had to have hernia surgery, and I watched her as she held him and explained to him why he had to have surgery. She handled the situation so well. She is a great doctor! Angela
We have really loved the care we receive from Rainbow Pediatrics in Lafayette. It has two doctors...Dr. Stephanie Bennett-Strauss and Dr Maria ___.
They seem to be very good and up-to-date. We haven't encounted long waits, they have a 3 person on-call pool, so chances are you know the person you are talking to in the middle of the night. We have always been able to get an appointment quickly for a sick child. We chose to delay vaccinations alittle, and to use homeopathic medicine (working with doctors from the Hahnamann clinic) instead of using antibiotics first. Dr. Bennett-Strauss was respectful of my choices and she did her job of being my child's advocate. For example, when my daughter had an ear infection, she would want me to use antibiotics. I would let her know that we were going to try homeopathics first and would follow up with ear checks to make sure healing was occurring. Dr. Maria has had some experience with herbs. She recommends using acidophilus after taking antibiotics (it helps repair the damage done to the digestive flora by the antibiotics). In other words, they seem to be interested in maintaining health by a variety of means. Dr. Bennett-Strauss is a wonderful teacher for both parent and child. There are so many choices and issues to discuss. Their # is 925/284-2864. Karen
Grace, I recommend Rainbow Pediatrics to your friend in Pinole. The doctors there have taken care of my children competently (and patiently) since they were born. (I have a son, 13, and a daughter, 11.) They have seen us through immunizations and well-baby check-ups, rashes, ear-infections, strep-throat, alergies--the usual!--and one or two more serious incidents. Health Net is accepted. We see Dr. Bennett-Strauss most often; she is very good.
1690 San Pablo Avenue, Pinole
From: Neema (2/99)
My partner and I go to the Berkeley practice where Valerie McFarlane works. We take our son to a different pediatric practice. I've seen Dr. McFarlane and she is very competent, compassionate and responsive. She negotiated with Pacificare for certain procedures for me and would call me at home to let me know how things were going. My partner has seen Dr. Hart who he said was wonderful and one of the PA's (a french-sounding last name, sorry I can't remember it) who has also been excellent. Our experiences with the practice--we've been with them for almost a year now--have been uniformly good. My mom, who is visiting from India, was treated by a substitute doctor who turned out to be a real gem.
My only complaint is that they are really crowded and seem to be overworked. Ofcourse this might be a temporary thing as Dr. Hart has not been available for some months. But when I am on hold for ten minutes or more waiting to talk to someone, I do wonder what would happen in case of a non-911 emergency.
From: Karen (3/98)
We use Dr. Stephanie Bennett-Strauss in Lafayette and like her a lot. Her # is 284-2864. Bonnie
We just had a baby daughter in February (whom we've put on the DHIP), and have been seeing pediatricians at the Bayside Medical Group, 452-5231. We've had 2 routine appointments to date (as well as a prenatal appointment to check them out, which was free), and so far we are pleased with them. We've seen Janet Perlman and Valerie McFarlane, both of whom seem very competent and friendly. They accept the DHIP. Karin