- 1744 Alcatraz Ave Berkeley, CA 94703 Tel: (510) 652-1720
- 1178 San Pablo Avenue Berkeley, CA 94706 Tel: (510) 524-9400
I'm also a foster parent and have been really happy with Kiwi Pediatric (on the border of Oakland and Berkeley). I've only tried one medi-dent provider and didn't feel good about it and there seem to be very few out there. I decided to just pay out of pocket for dental for now.
We have a 2 month old and are loving Kiwi Pediatrics in Albany! Congratulations to you and best of luck finding the right care!
My daughter pediatrician is Dr. Salsburg fron Kiwi Pediatric. I think she is wonderful.
I made my research 2 years ago when I was pregnant and Kiwi Pediatric and Berkeley Pediatric where the most recommended
My stepson (11 years) goes to the Bayside Medical Group from Stanford Children Health and they are nice to
We have Anthem Blue Cross insurance
Hi we go to Kiwi Pediatric with Dr. Elizabeth Salsburg and we love her
We go to Kiwi pediatrics
They are very nice and accept that that insurance
We love Kiwi Pediatrics. There are two female doctors (and two male). They are so attentive to the kids and really care about them and our family. They have called in prescriptions for us while we are on vacation, they have stayed after hours to stitch up a head wound, we will email them pictures of rashes or cuts and they will tell us if we need to come in or if it something we don't need to worry about.
I love that they give out bike helmets at the beginning of school to kids who don't have them, they give out glowsticks at Halloween so kids will be more visible to traffic, give out books so kids will read. They talk to our kids about nutrition in such a way that they take it to heart. They have two office, one on Alcatraz Ave in Berkeley (right near the border with Oakland).
They are a fantastic group. I particularly love Liz Salsburg but all the doctors are good.
We love Kiwi Pediatrics. They keep up-to-date on best practices, can get us in when we need to be seen (including after hours for urgent issues), and have had us send pictures of rashes, etc. when we are traveling to let us know if we need to take the kids to a local doctor or if it can wait until we get back.
We have been very happy with Kiwi Pediatrics for our three kids. They have been great about addressing the issues and questions we've had, stayed after hours for us to come in for an urgent issue, had us email pictures of bug bites/cuts/swollen eyes from vacation spots to tell us if it was something to worry about (no/yes/no), and just generally been fantastic, helpful, and engaging. They are a bit of a drive for us after we moved but I can't imagine taking our kids anywhere else. 510-652-1720 (Alcatraz) or 510-524-9400 (San Pablo). We particularly like Dr. Salsburg but everyone there is great.
I love Dr.Salsburg at Kiwi Pediatrics SO much. I love the whole group. They were originally recommended by my midwife and then the NICU docs when my son was born, as he had a heart condition at birth. Eight years later we are still there and I expect to stay until we leave the area. This is a practice that serves the community with doctors well-known and loved by the local hospitals. I had a parent in academic medicine so that is my lean BUT more than that I respect a practice that serves the community and takes medi-cal. Do you wait sometimes? Yes, but that is because these doctors will sit and listen and give you attention. Simply put, they are wonderful.
We love Kiwi Pediatrics. They are very responsive to our concerns and have been great about answering questions that we call in or email to them. Twice we have been travelling and have sent a picture of something that happened to one of the kids and they emailed us back with advice about what to do. We have gone in after hours to get stitches. The doctors are up-to-date on the latest research and can answer obscure questions. And they are really nice.
But the thing that I love the most is that they work hard to prevent kids getting sick or hurt. They do stuff like give out bike helmets to low-income kids and pass out glow sticks at Halloween so kids will be visible to cars. They give out books to kids and have a "Take a Book/Leave a Book" shelf in their Berkeley office.
Our daughters have been patients at Kiwi Pediatrics for 8 years. We have been very happy with the care that they have received. The staff is always friendly and the doctors are very knowledgeable. They take a lot of time to answer questions and engage with our kids. I have never felt rushed there. The facilities are not fancy but do not let that deter you! I highly recommend.
Archived Q&A and Reviews
RE: In search of Alta Bates pediatrician
We love love love Kiwi Pediatrics! We've had a doctor answer the phone when we call outside of normal business hours who then waited for us to come in to see us for an urgent issue. They have a person answering the phone (though sometimes we are put on hold for 2-3 minutes) and always get callbacks from the doctor on the same day. Anon
Re: Pediatrician for complicated medical problems
Dr Winokur and the other docs at Kiwi Pediatrics have been amazing. They were recommended to us by our sons cardiologist after he was discharged from a 4 month ICU stay. 4 years later we still can't say enough good things about them! Jaime
Re: Intellectual Pediatrician near Berkeley?
Have you tried Kiwi Pediatrics? They are excellent about answering questions and sometimes they even cite papers when telling me why they are recommending one treatment over another. Dr. Kittams is the one most likely to cite papers, but I like all the doctors and they all take the time to answer questions. I've never felt rushed. I have 3 kids and they've been going there 8+ years. Kiwi fan!
I wonder how many people will post for the esteemed Dr. David Kittams ( Kiwi Pediatrics) 510-524-9400. WAAAAAYYYY too much information for me; I did not choose medical school for a reason! But, he is well-recognized for his knowledge and willingness to share. Thank you !
Re: Pediatrician in Oakland who accepts Healthy Families
We are very happy with Kiwi Pediatrics. My son has been going there since infancy, and we have actually turned down Kaiser insurance for him so we can continue there! All the docs are good and the nurses are very helpful too. We go to their location that is on Alcatraz, not sure if it's south Berkeley of north Oakland. Like Kiwis
Re: Peditrician who has experience with foster kids and their issues?
We would recommend Kiwi Pediatrics, they have an office in Albany on San Pablo, and another on Alcatraz in Berkeley. They are both affiliated with Children's Hospital as well, and have probably 25 years experience each. They have worked with foster parents, and some of the special needs that the children in the foster care system bring. Best
Re: Pediatrician open to co-sleeping and breastfeeding
We love Dr. Liz Salsburg at Kiwi Pediatrics (http://kiwipeds.com/). They have an office on Alcatraz (652-1720) and another one on San Pablo. She is VERY pro- breastfeeding; one of her big activities is working at Alta Bates to promote breastfeeding. We've co-slept with our various kids on and off and no one in the office has ever said anything about it.
She spends a LONG time with us at appointments. She listens to and addresses all our concerns and has really taken the time to get to know our kids. I really like that they treat the whole child. Our oldest just had his 7 year check-up and they not only asked about his general health but also whether he wore sunscreen, used a seatbelt, flossed his teeth, wore a helmet while riding a bike,....
They give out bike helmets to low-income kids, glow sticks at Halloween, books to all kids. They have had us come in after-hours to save a trip to the emergency room, will give us advice over the phone, and have given me and my husband shots in their office to save us a trip to our doctors. Anon
Re: Does your pediatrician take Medi-Cal?
My son has Medi-Cal. We go to Kiwi Pediatrics. They have an office in Berkeley and one in Albany. Medi-Cal mom
Our doctor takes Medi-Cal: Kiwi Pediatrics (652-1720). We particularly love Dr. Liz Salsburg and Dr. Benjamin Jarrahi, but really like the other two as well. Everyone there really takes the time to listen, they are good about calling/emailing back to answer questions, they will give me and my husband various shots (e.g. flu) to save us a trip to our doctor. They really focus on treating the whole child and whole family.
One of the things we particularly like about them is that they DO take Medi-Cal. They recognize the importance of health care for all and don't just limit their practice to people with good insurance. Kiwi Fan!
Re: Woman pediatrician who takes Medi-Cal
Try Kiwi Pediatrics (652-1720) in Berkeley. They used to take MediCal, not sure if they still do. We've gone to them for years and adore them. There are two female doctors, Dr. Salsberg and Dr. Winokur, both of whom are great. They call us back, give sane advice, and are great with our kids. (We also like the two male doctors in the practice.) Anon
Re: Bayside (Pinole) or Kiwi Pediatrics?
We LOVE Kiwi Pediatrics, which is a good thing because we are there quite a bit. We've seen all 4 doctors and like them all, though I'm not quite as wild about their NP.
They can always fit us in on the same day for an urgent issue. Once our son cut his head about 6pm on the Friday before a 3-day weekend and we called, hoping someone would be there. Dr. Winokur picked up the phone, told us to come right in, and took care of him. So we didn't need to wait in the emergency room for 6 hours to get him stitches. Yay! This was not the only time that she has answered the phone after-hours and helped us out.
We have emailed questions and requests for prescription renewals and always gotten a prompt response. We were asked to email a picture of a rash so we didn't have to make a trip in. They are also great about answering pages after-hours.
We fully vaccinate, though we've spread them out and they are fine with that. Kiwi fan
Re: Pediatrician Open to Alternative Vaccine Schedule?
We go to Kiwi Pediatrics (652-1720) and are very happy with them. They are pro-vaccine, as are we, but I don't feel good about giving a baby a huge number of shots at once. We space them out, getting 1-2 on the appointed day, then coming in a couple weeks later for another 1-2, then a couple weeks later for more,... until we're done with that round. The doctor just told us which one(s) were the most urgent to get in that batch and we got those first. Not sure how much of an alternative schedule you want, but certainly for our slightly modified schedule, we didn't get any grief. Kiwi Fan
Check the archives, this was discussed a few months back. Our pediatrician (Kiwi Pediatrics) were open for us to have an alternate vaccine schedule and also to refuse vaccines. We just had to sign a waiver form. anon
Re: Gay-friendly Pediatrician near Berkeley
Kiwi Pediatrics is a great practice. I think one of their docs imight be queer and they've always been fantastic with us (two moms). They are incredibly responsive (we have a kid with very complicated medical issues) and front office staff is very, very friendly with us. We have Dr. Winokur but have also worked a lot with Dr. Salzberg. Love them both. Jaime
Re: Best MediCal Doctor in Berkeley
We have been taking our three kids to Kiwi Pediatrics since the oldest was born 5 years ago. The doctors and front office staff are very nice, we have always been able to get same day appointments when we needed them, we've been seen after-hours for urgent issues, and the two times we've had to take our kids to the hospital, they've called ahead to ease the way. I highly recommend them. 510-652-1720 Happy patient
Re: Post Docs seeking Pediatrician, Primary Care, and Dental
There's Kiwi Pediatrics, which is right next to the McDonalds next UC Village on San Pablo. It's only a 5-10 minutes walk depending on where you live in the Village. There are 3 docs there. You can read the reviews. I like them and I know lots of Village parents go there.
Dr. Winokur at Kiwi Pediatrics has been quite tolerant of my very alternative vaccination schedule. concerned Mom
We go to Kiwi Pediatrics in Albany (they have an office in Berkeley) and we're on an alternate vaccine schedule. They didn't argue too much w/ me when I proposed it on our first visit. I just had to sign papers. And when I talked to the pedi, it sounded like they've got many families they see who don't get any vaccination. They do try to get you to get vaccinated, but it's not to the level of badgering, so I've been okay w/ it. Their new doctor though (I don't remember her name) is a bit more forceful and I did not like her attitude so I just make sure we don't see her during our visits. anon
Re: Pediatrician for 14 and 18 year old daughters
My daughter (now 18) has been going to Kiwi Pediatrics since birth. She has seen many of the people in the practice, all of whom have been great. Her primary pediatrician there is Dr. Robin Winokur. Robin is friendly, funny,and low-key.
I did interview two other pediatricians before my daughter was born, and chose Kiwi because I really liked Dr. Winokur. Nothing has happened in the past 18 years to make me change my opinion of her, or the practice. We also saw Dr. David Kittams many times. He also is a wonderful pediatrician.
We have HealthNet, so I assume that Kiwi still takes new patients with HealthNet.
The practice has two offices listed below. We go to the one on San Pablo. It's a bare-bones kind of office. It seems like the practice hired more staff, so the last few times we went, my daughter was seen pretty much at the time of her appointment, i.e., no long wait like at many doctor's offices.
Contact info: 1178 San Pablo Ave, Albany - (510) 524-9400 1744 Alcatraz Ave, Berkeley - (510) 652-1720 Janet
Hi, If your kids are patients of Kiwi pediatrics (Dr. Kittams, Dr. Winokur, Dr. Salzberg), would you happen to know if there is a consent form that they ask you to sign if you delay /refuse some vaccinations?
I interviewed several pediatricians who require a form like this, so I wanted to clarify this issue before I pay for the prenatal meeting with one of the Kiwi doctors.
Also, I am curious about people's recent experiences with Kiwi in general - is it easy to get the same day sick appointment, are you happy with how after-hour calls are handled? I called them a couple of times to find out more about the practice and thought the secretary was somewhat unfriendly and not very helpful. Lydia
My daughter was a patient of Dr. Winokur at Kiwi Pediatrics for the first 4 years of her life. They never asked us to sign a consent form... we delayed all of her vaccinations. Dr. Winokur would just ask us ''which vaccines do you want to do this time?''
We left the practice about a year ago because it was very difficult to get same-day sick appointments and they didn't return quite a few important calls. I found the receptionists to be pretty rude at times, though I think that they were just put in a tight spot because often there was just one doctor in the office. We rarely got to actually see Dr. Winokur. Usually it was a nurse practitioner (both of whom were great, once you got in to actually see them).
We switched to Berkeley Pediatrics, Dr. Lisa Kalar. Dr. Kalar has been willing to work with us spacing out our kids' vaccines (I don't think that they take patients who are not going to vaccinate at all). I absolutely love her. She has such a WONDERFUL bedside manner for parents and kids. She gives us lots of time for questions. If she's in the office (she doesn't work every day) we always get to see her for a sick appointment. They always get us in in a timely manner when one of my kids is sick. Recently my daughter was really sick over the weekend and the doctor on call met us at the office on a SUNDAY MORNING to see her! I can't say enough about how happy we are there.... Happy Berkeley Pediatrics family
Hi, We've been going to Kiwi for over 4 years and we like it. The office staff is not always stellar in terms of paper work(though the Alcatraz office is very nice), so don't judge by that. I'm not sure if they require a form, but it wouldn't shock me. I have a family child care and I am required to get a signature for all alternate/non vaxers. It might have something to do with disease control tracking (herd immunity is null at less than 70 or 80% vaccinated, and several childhood diseases are on the rise again) so they may be required to report.
That said, when we considering the vaccination question with our son, they were very open to our conversation. They were definitely wanting us to vaccinate (almost all doctors and western med professionals want you to), but were fine talking to us about it, and let us make the decisions.
Same day appointments are usually easy, as are phone calls when you just need some pink eye meds or something (though they advocate breast milk for most pink eye. It works!). For after hours stuff though, we go to Night Owl in Pleasant Hill. They are open weekends and evenings and are awesome for the inevitable Saturday night ear infection. Kiwi mama
I can't answer your question about vaccinations, but since you asked about overall impressions of Kiwi, I figured I would write in. We've seen them (mostly at their San Pablo office, but sometimes the Alcatraz one) for the past 3 years. Our primary doctor is Dr Winokur, but we've seen all the doctors in the practice over the years. I like them all a lot. All the doctors seem to be extremely knowledgeable. I like the fact that they don't rush to push antibiotics...they have a ''wait and see'' policy unless it's medically necessary to drug the kids. Winokur is a bit more ''businessy,'' than the others but is still really kind to the kids.
I have a few complaints: It's often hard to get a same-day appointment. I have had to just bring my sick kid in and wait in the waiting room in hopes that they could eventually squeeze me in. However, to give them credit, when my kid has been REALLY sick, they have always found a place for him that day, even if they have to do it during their lunch hour. They don't have evening or weekend hours. They have a hotline to call after-hours...you get to talk with a nurse or dr (often not from the Kiwi group) but you can't see anyone except at the emergency room.
The after-hours thing is annoying, but not enough to make me switch practices. We are generally really happy with Kiwi. Content Kiwi Mom
I did not defer the shots for my daughter so can't comment on the form. However, I can comment on the office staff and Dr. Salsburg. My daughter began seeing Dr. Salsburg at the 2 week wellness check up and she is now 3. I have been very happy with Dr. Salsburg's service.
However, I do agree that the office staff don't appear to be the most professional whether in person or over the phone. I am currently dealing with my second billing issue with them. Both times my claims were denied because Dr. Winokur whom my daughter has never seen check off some box making her condition a pre-existing condition. Both incidents were for one of those you come home from work and find your child sick. Neither case was a preexisting condition. So you call the afterhour number. Which by the way I am happy with their service. But calling the office to try to get someone to explain the billing issue has been a headache. c.
I have three children, the oldest of whom is 10 years old, so I've been to the MD a *lot* and I love Kiwi pediatrics. They were recommended to me by another pediatrician who sends her kids to them! They take a very practical approach which incorporates how your family's life works. They will suggest several alternatives when appropriate. They do not demand you do anything, nor do they guilt-trip. They do give candid opinions and I appreciate that. Dr. Winokur is our primary. I have to say I rarely have trouble getting in to see her, and if it's a same-day sick kid visit they'll tell me if it's an appt with the NP, and if it is, I have the option of asking for an MD instead. I also really like Salzberg, and Kittams is a good doc too, though our personalities don't mesh as well. (Someone posted about Robin [Winokur] being kind of ''businessy'' but I think she's shy, frankly. Once she warms up to parents she laughs a lot. And she's always great with kids.) I also really like their NPs. I've had their MDs call me on the weekend and at night long after office hours. I think they're very compassionate and generous with their time. Finally, I support them because they take MediCal, which many pediatricians won't do because the reimbursements are so low. But they believe in community health, so they do their part. Clearly they see their work primarily as a calling and a profession, not a money-maker. I just wish I could find a GP for myself as terrific as they are. Wouldn't change for anything
We've only been using Kiwi for about a year and have no other practices to compare it to.
That said, yes, they do require that you sign a form if you refuse/delay vaccinations. In general, I'm please with how they don't push too hard on the vaccination issue. The nurse didn't push too hard the first time. And thereafter the doctors just reminded us that we can come in whenever to get our vaccines.
Never had to do a same-say sick appointment. I've called 2-3 times with questions when baby got sick. Usually I end up leaving voicemail and the NP calls us back in a few hours. Both instances they recommended we wait it out.
We use the San Pablo office and yes, I also find that the secretaries are not really friendly. The office is pretty old. The waits are really long sometimes if you have midday appointments with doctors. Appointments with doctors (for wellness checkups) tend to be feel rushed, even if they answer all your questions. We rotated through all the doctors and nurses for each of our wellness checkups in order to see which one we like.
I think I like the doctors approach. I got the feeling through our phone calls that they tend to take a wait and see attitude rather than prescribing medication immediately. Though for all I know it could be because they're really busy and don't want to us to go in unless it's obvious we need to. That said, I really don't like feeling like we don't get enough time w/ the doctors, so we're looking at Private Pediatrics. But they don't seem to have as lax an attitude on vaccines. anon
Re: Pediatrician open to no/few vaccines?
Hi, we are ''up to date'' with our vaccines, so I can't say from first-hand experience that we would be totally supported if we had chosen not to. However, I can recommend our Ped's practice: Kiwi Pediatrics (Dr. Kittams, Dr. Winokur, Dr. Salzberg). They have been very willing to discuss my concerns about some of the new vaccines and have been willing to let me hold off on one of them. I also remember their names coming up in a similar post about 6 years ago when we were also looking for a ped. Though, that is second-hand information. anon
Recently our 1 year old son was sick and we took him to see his doctor (Dr. Salzberg) at Kiwi Pediatrics. She gave us her pager number and told us to page her any time if his condition worsened. It did and she sent us to the hospital. She called there us at midnight to tell us the results of his tests and what they meant and what the next steps were for us. It was great having someone that we knew and trusted looking out for our sick son. I wanted to put in a plug for Dr. Salzberg and the other kind, dedicated doctors at Kiwi Pediatrics. Mom of a (now) healthy kid
We are moving to El Cerrito from SF and looking for a new pediatrician for our 9 month old. There were comments in the archives on the Berkeley Pediatric Medical Group (on Walnut St) and Kiwi Pediatrics on San Pablo, but the comments were from June 2006. I'd love to hear any more recent experiences. At the Berkeley group we could see Drs Cuthbertson, Davenport, Franks, King, Kulshrestha, or Lang; at the Kiwi group, we could see Drs Kittam, Salsburg, or Winokur. I would really like a doctor who will take the time to answer my questions and is not afraid to give advice (our current doctor is a fan of the Socratic method, it seems). Extended or weekend hours would be a plus. Thanks! Susan
We've been taking our 16 month old twins to Kiwi pediatrics since their birth and have been very happy with them. David Kittams is their main doctor, but we've also seen both Dr. Salsburg and Dr. Winokur. David Kittams is fabulous for spending as much time with you as you need and answering all of your questions. He is generally just a very nice and very smart guy. And I'm embarrassed to admit that when our twins were only a couple of weeks old and we were having problems with our daughter (very bad reflux, failure to thrive) we actually paged Dr. Kittams at 4 am with an utterly ridiculous, non-emergency question, and he talked to us for half an hour and was so reassuring -- I think he's very understanding of new parents! Not that I'm recommending paging doctors for non emergencies...
Dr. Salsburg is also great. I don't have as much experience with Dr. Winokur but I know a lot of people like her too. The office doesn't have weekend or late hours, but I've never had trouble getting a same day week day appointment when I've had a concern and in fact a couple of times when I've called at the end of the day Dr. Kittams himself has answered the phone and answered our questions.
I can't comment on the Berkeley Pediatric Medical Group, but I can wholeheartedly recommend Kiwi. Happy Kiwi mom
[Editor] reviews were also received for Berkeley Pediatric Medical Group
Re: Berkeley Pediatric Medical Group
i have a 4 month old and we were recently looking for a pediatrician as well. in addition to berkeley pediatrics group, we were recommended kiwi pediatrics (drs. winokur, salzburg, & kittam). they have locations on san pablo ave and alcatraz ave. so far, we have been very happy with our experience there. we've seen all 3 doctors and all seem very well-informed and supportive of our decisions. their office on san pablo isn't the most glamorous, but the quality of care is excellent. highly recommended new mom
We are expecting a baby very shortly, and we are still wondering about which pediatric group to go with. I checked the bpn archives, and all reviews are over a year old. We visited Dr. Salzburg at Kiwi pediatrics on Alcatraz, and were left with an ok impression. The practice's philosophy of care matches up relatively close with what we are looking for, but the treatment/consultation and waiting rooms were tiny, parking was scarce, and frankly, the location was a bit sketchy. Anyone have a more favourable opinion of this office, or the Kiwi office on San Pablo? How is the front office at that location? Any opinions on the other doctors in the practice? Dr. Salzburg is set to go on sabbatical within the next month or so. Thanks in advance for your advice, we are hoping to find a pediatrician and location that suits our needs.
We've been using the San Pablo office of KIWI for almost 17 years, and have been completely satisfied with the excellent care form all of the doctors and nurse-practitioners. Parking is easy there (in thier lot). The waiting room is a bit small and perfunctory, but the care is always top-notch. Friendly reception staff, too R.K.
I have been taking my boy to Kiwi Pediatrics in Albany, on San Pablo since being visited at Alta Bates by David Kittams, MD, at my son's birth, and will be taking my soon-to-be-born next baby there as well. While Dr. Kittams is my child's primary doctor, I have happily had appointments with a few others in the practice as well, including the PA, and have always been very satisfied. Dr. Kittams, in particular, is so warm and friendly, and really takes the time to get to know you and your family and not just do the basics. Despite being a ''well- seasoned'' doc, he keeps himself up to date and seems to truly love his work. While I have had to wait in the examining room at times, the wait has always felt worth it, and has always come with profuse apologies. As well, I have never felt hurried during an appointment. Kiwi Pediatrics is very welcoming to diverse families of all kinds, and low income situations. Kiwi's nurses are truly amazing in their skill at delivering shots quickly, and as painlessly as possible. The front office is small, but has toys, and I've never spent much time in it. The office staff seems efficient and friendly enough. A Happy Kiwi Consumer
I had the same reservations about Kiwi Pediatrics location and office facilities when I took my 5 day old son there. Being a new mom I didn't know what to expect but I almost did not stay for the appointment. I'm very glad I did, though. Dr. Salzsburg has been fantastic, very supportive and wonderful with my now 5 month old son. I was having a very difficult time nursing and she spotted the problem right away and got us in within a week to a top specialist (he needed a frenectomy). We've been nothing but pleased. Good luck! btw
Don't judge a book by it's cover! Both my children are with Kiwi Pediatrics, and I really love the Dr.s and staff there. They are kind, honest and speak directly to my children with great respect. I have met Dr. Salzberg, Dr. Winnoker (Dr. Robin), Dr. Kidams and a few interns. They have ALL been great and most importantly my kids feel completely comfortable there. As a Mom, they always manage to fit my child in when an issue is urgent. They are always causious with medication, never over medicating but ALWAYS medicating (in the case of my daughter's pneumonia - immediately and with great haste!!!)when necessary. I have consistantly, for going on 10 years been very happy with Kiwi Pediatrics and can't imagine (actually refuse) leaving. As for the offices - I guess I've never notices what you are uncomfortable with. They are clean. What more do you want? Keley keley
We've gone to both practices and while I liked the doctors at Berkeley Pediatrics I wasn't that crazy about how they handled sick appointments. Sometimes it was an argument to bring in my child and when I finally did the wait was very long. At Kiwi pediatrics they are really great about giving you a quick appointment for any reason. We are please with Dr. Salzburg but also like the nurse practictioners. Yes the office is not that impressive looking but the service is very good. I have switched practices a few times and am very happy with Kiwi but I also heard of a wonderful practice in Hercules. It's definitely more of a drive than Berkeley or Albany but I'm sure the care and service is top notch. We had seen Dr. Pleet at Rainbow Pediatrics (now not around) and that same Dr. has started her own practice in Hercules. It's called Herculean Babies Pedriatics and I'm sure it's terrfic. The number is 964- 9647. Good luck. Happy for now
I'm sorry for your sake that Dr. Salzburg is going on sabbatical - she was our son's pediatrician for 1.5 years and she is absolutely fabulous in every way. Yes, the office is a little shabby, but the location is actually fine, not that sketchy (close to Sweet Adeline - a very nice bakery - and easy to park there). But Dr. Salzburg and Kiwi Pediatrics in general are great. Every visit, Dr. Salzburg treated us like old friends - remembered my son from visit to visit, and even asked me about how things were going with me, and remembered details of our lives. She respected our parenting choices (including my continued breastfeeding, sometimes cosleeping, no circumcision, etc). My son loved her. She was really super gentle with him and he never had any negative reactions to going to the doctor, even though that's where he got shots.
That's another thing - the nurses and office staff there are great also. The woman who gave the vaccinations could get the needle in and out before he even realized he was getting a shot. Several times he never noticed at all, even after the fact.
We also saw Dr. Winokur at that office, and she was also great. We only saw her a couple of times though, so I can't really comment further.
I was so sad to leave that office when my work changed our insurance to Kaiser... we like our pediatrician now but don't get anywhere near the same kind of special, personalized care anon
I have all four of my kids at Kiwi Pediatrics and I love the office. we go to the Alcatraz office but started out at the Solano one. The neighborhood is fine, I have never had any problems there. The parking can be tricky but I usually find parking on the street right in front of the office or in front of the stores around the corner. The office is very personal but not fancy. In my opinion these doctors are not in business to make a lot of money so they are not going to impress you with a fancy new shiny office. The people are caring and very very good at what they do - taking care of children. I have seen all the doctors - Dr Kittams, Dr Salzberg and Dr Winokur. They are all wonderful and go out of their way to help. They all came in once and sometimes twice a day to check on my newborn who was in the NICU recently and then Dr Salzberg came back to the hospital after her rounds on her lunchbreak to see my newborn before he went home so that I wouldn't have to bring him into the office the next day. Dr Winokur called not once but twice on the weekend to check on my older son who had a rash to make sure it was getting better and not worse. Dr Winokur is listed as one of the 100 best doctors in the Bay Area year after year. Dr Kittams is thorough, careful and precise. The staff at the office is always very helpful, they remember my kids names etc. They have always gotten me in to see someone on Friday afternoon when the cough or whatever is starting to worry me and we're heading into the weekend. I can't say enough good things about Kiwi Ped. It's the people that make a good pediatric office, not the decor or parking kiwi ped mom
Our son (2 1/2) and daughter (4 mos.) are Kiwi patients. We have been VERY happy with the practice! We primarily see either Elizabeth Salzburg or Robin Winokur, and occasionally David Kittums -- we were just in the office last week with Dr. Salzburg and she is going on sabbatical for 4 months to England with her family starting in August. We have found the physicians to be very responsive, kind and thorough, and the rest of the staff to be great. Whenever I have called with a question for one of the doctors, I have received a callback that day. The practice does provide care to a diverse patient base, and the office is in a funky neighborhood, but we find that to be refreshing -- and we have found parking to be super easy -- street parking usually right out in front! Email if you want more info -- my son won't let me write any more now! Stephanie
although the alcatraz location started out great for us (we literally lived a few blocks away) & the actual doctors were ok enough, i have an endless list of complaints about kiwi pediatrics ~ here are a few i think of off the top of my head:
*when waiting at the nurse's window to check in or out, we were often ignored while the nurses talked on the phone (which is understandable if it's another client, but most of the time you could obviously tell it was personal), to each other (same comment as before), or even filed their nails (literally! this happened more than once). i also saw this happen to many other clients, though i did see a few treated with more warmth.
*the last time we had an appointment, we arrived 15min early (my personal policy) & waited for an hour without anyone explaining to us what the hold up was. my 3 1/2 yr old was having a hard time waiting & getting hungry & tired & upset when he saw others come in after us & get called back before us. so i encouraged him to ask (thought it would be a safe place for him to practice some autonomy as he's a fairly shy/clingy child) he went to the doorway of the nurse's area (did not go in) & said ''excuse me, when is my turn?'' (we'd practiced what & how to ask) & the nurse said quite curtly ''it will be your turn when it's your turn, you need go sit down & wait & stop bothering me'' my son returned to me absolutely crushed! i comforted him & tried to calm down. i then shared my perception of the situation (focussing on being respectful) with the nurse & was told she was ''busy'' & the doctor would see us when they had a chance. we still were not given any estimate of time, or our place in line, or anything. when i relayed the experience to the doctor they said they'd been backed up & were sure the nurse didn't mean to 'upset' us (no one ever really took responsibility or offered an apology or even empathy)
*there has been an off-limits piano in the cramped waiting room for at least the past 4yrs ~ what's that about?! *lol*
*their hours are ridiculous (10-12 & 2-5 m-f)
*every time i've tried to get an urgent care visit, it's been an incredible hassel ~ we're treated as if we're inconviencing them.
i've tried to switch a couple of times but medi*cal is kinda tricky ~ if you have /any/ appointments of any kind scheduled they get cancelled & i have to get my son's dental needs taken care of first. i would highly recommend finding a different doctor. wishing you the best of luck & congratulations on your new adventure, a very dissatisfied customer
We *love* Kiwi Pediatrics. We go to the San Pablo office, though. I've never been to the Alcatraz one. The San Pablo office is in a fine neighborhood, but it too is a little dingy and has a small waiting room. But the doctors are really good - - in addition to Dr. Salzburg, we like Dr. Winokur a lot, and Kittams has also been fine too. The front office can be brusque, and you often get voicemail when you call, but they are quite good about returning calls promptly and are competent and efficient.
The practice has been very responsive to us, from when we were freaking out when our son was a week old and his temperature kept dropping below 97, to when he had an on-and-off ear infection for three months. In the latter case one of the nurse practitioners gave us her personal cell number as well as pager over the weekend so that if we ended up needing antibiotics she could call a prescription in. The visits also allow lots of time for questions, and when we've needed to be seen quickly, we have been.
No place is perfect, but we like Kiwi a lot and think that the most important pieces are all there Happy with Kiwi
Re: Pediatrician for newborn who accepts United HC insurance
I have United HC insurance (specifically their Definity Health program) -- and both my children (age 13 mos and almost 5yrs) go to Kiwi Pediatrics (they have an office on Alcatraz and one on San Pablo btw Marin/Gilman). I've been going to them since both my children were newborns -- and like them! Hope that helps! anon
Re: Queer-Friendly Pediatrician
Dr. Salsburg is our son's doctor and we LOVE her. She's very friendly, takes time to answer all our questions, and calls us back promptly. We aren't a queer family but she didn't blink when I was talking to her about my sister and her wife. anon
I wish to second the recommendation for Dr. Salzburg, and indeed the entire practice at Kiwi Pediatrics on Alcatraz in Berkeley. They also have an office deeper in Berkelety on San Pablo.
Our pediatrician, Robin Winokur, is not just a highly-regarded clinician: she has an excellent, warm, kid-friendly demeanor. I never feel rushed in that practice. Though I am not queer myself I would recommend her to any of my queer friends w/o hesitation. I see all kinds of families in the waiting room and it is simply a very welcoming practice.
I also respect the practice b/c they take MediCal which many practices refuse to do. I will say that their receptionist, Hazel, is brusque. After eight years with the practice I've come to respect her knowledge and efficiency. Still I look forward to the day she cracks a smile. Get past her, however, and the rest of the staff is fabulous.
My closer: I chose Dr. Winokur because a friend who's a pediatrician takes her kids there. Hard to say better than that! anonymous
We are currently shopping for a pediatrician for our soon-to-be- born baby. I read very good things about Drs. Winokur and Kittams in the archives, but didn't see anything about their other partner, Elizabeth Salsburg or the doctor who is subbing for Kittams during his sabbatical, Dr. Wang. What can you tell me about either of them? I really liked Dr. Winokur, but aside from well-baby appointments, it seems like you have to see whomever is available. Also, how long is a typical wait in the office for an appointment? We had to wait quite a while (it was the end of the day)- is that common? Finally, what has been your experience with using the Children's Hospital Pediatric Advice Line, which is what they want you to use during evenings and weekends? Thanks! milli
We have Dr. Salsburg and are happy with her, she follows thru has called several times to elaborate on things shes looked into, very proactive, orders tests to be safe even if chances are small that something is wrong. But have your questions written down. I sometimes forget to do this and there is always a little bit of a rush and I can't remember everything. But she has been very responsive when I call. As for same day appts I always get them when needed no problem, but only once have I gotton Dr. Salsburg, every other time I get either Martha Richards (I think it's Richards) or Carolyn Conlin, both excellent nurse practioners. I have had to do some waiting, but not every time. The NP's are more on schedule than the doctors in my experience. My neighbors ped is Kittams and she says she usually has to wait quite a while, but says he is very thorough and takes lots of time with you. I have spoken to Winnokur on the phone and she double checked a diagnosis once, sharp and knows her stuff. Not especially motherly. The childrens people are great, but don't expect them to always agree with Kiwi, but they have always been friendly, helpful and informative.
We had to switch from our first pediatrician (at Rainbow Pediatrics) because of insurance issues. If I have any regrets about this, its that sometimes I feel a little rushed. I only notice this because our previous pediatrician never seemed rushed and I never went home having forgotton an unwritten down question. In the scheme of things it's a small complaint and I feel we are getting quality and compassionate care. anon
We've been using Dr. Winokur and Kittams office since my 13- y.o. was born, and we've been very happy there. I cannot say anything specific about the two newer physicians there, since we have never seen them, but we do like the nurse practitioners we've seen. We go to their San Pablo Ave office (near MacDonalds close to Gilman) and rarely have to wait very long in the waiting room (at least compared to my own doctor!). Occasionally there is a longer wait, since there may be more than the usual number of sick patients they have to fit in. They always fit in sick kids that day. Overall, we love the office, and find all the professionals competent and friendly, and feel our concerns as parents are really listened to. We have not been thrilled, however, with the Children's Hospital advice line. We've only called a couple of times, and they always end up sending us in to their emergency room (and we have a fairly large co-pay for that). It seems they don't want to take a chance of giving the wrong advice, and want a physician to actually examine the child. Of course, this always takes hours. It makes us reluctant to call them. That is a downside. R.K.
Hello, We have been seeing the Dr's at Kiwi for two years (although not Wang) with very happy results. Dr. Kittams was our son's main Dr. in the beginning, but have actually opted to see either Winokur or Salsburg instead for most checkups. Dr. Salsburg is very friendly and welcoming and just a pleasant Dr. Our son likes her, too! I'm not sure if vaccinations are an area of ''concern'' for you or not, but in regards to that she does offer her advice but seems to respect your decision, too. (We have not fully vaccinated.) We have had to have several referrals (to Children's Hospital for inguinal hernias, allergy testing through blood testing and have had no trouble getting the referral.
I've also used the advice line at Children's. They get back to you quickly, according to the urgency of your child's situation and have given helpful advice. gldsbubba
We are devoted Kiwi patients. We came to Kiwi after a bad experience with the big, and popular, Berkeley Pediatrics. Though the facilities aren't that of the bigger snazzier pediatric offices, the care is excellent! Any and all of the doctors and nurses are fantastic. We love Robin (Dr. Winokur) and Dr. Wong is amazing with kids, though he's only around for the next year. Dr. Salsburg is great. Carolyn and Martha are the nurse practitioners and we'll gladly see them any time the doctors aren't available - in fact, we usually see Carolyn for our well-child checkups. The front office has improved markedly - Alcera and Ronda have helped us out tremendously. And, the Advice line has been literally a life saver for us. They will get you an urgent care appointment after hours if you need it, so that you won't have to wait in the long lines at the ER at Children's - an major time saver. We recently had a lot of sickness at our house (that darned RSV virus) and got to see all the Kiwi's in action. Hope you have a positive experience too, if you decide to join. Good luck. Kiwi afficianato
Our pediatrician is Robin Winokur, but we have seen a lot of Salsburg and Wang, both of whom are great. My baby is a year old, and they are very sweet and attentive to her -- they relate to her well and are quite kind. Salsburg has more experience than Wang, but they are both good at answering all of my questions (I usually have a lot of questions!) and taking as much time with me and my baby as I feel I need. I think all of the doctors at Kiwi are great and I recommend them without hesitation. Amy
We've been going to kiwi pediatrics since our son was born 16 months ago. We've seen all the providers at least twice and have been really happy with all of them. Dr. Salzburg is friendly, easy to talk to and VERY pro-breastfeeding (though I'm quite sure she won't be judgemental if breastfeeding is not your choice). Both times we saw her for well-baby check-ups, she took lots of time with us and made sure that all our questions were answered. We've seen Dr. Wang once for a well-baby visit and once when our son spiked a big fever. Both times he was very friendly and professional and took all the time we needed. Our son really liked him, too. He's the newest doctor in the practice, but he seems to know his stuff and he doesn't seem to have any ego issues about asking the more experienced providers for advice when he feels it's warranted. As far as your concern about not being able to pick your provider for sick child visits, that's not really something we worry about. We feel equally comfortable with all the doctors (in fact, in the car on the way home from our last appointment my husband and I were talking about maybe picking a primary provider from the four of them so that our son could get to know that person well, but we couldn't decide which one we liked best). The last time our son was sick, I called at 4:00 pm and the front office person managed to get our son's chart from their Alcatraz Ave office to their San Pablo office for an appointment at 5:30. About the Pediatric Advice Line, I've only used it once but my experience was good. The nurse was calm and helpful and then the next morning Dr. Wang called to make sure everything was okay (even though I had not requested that a doctor call back). Kathryn
I have been taking my son to Drs. Winokur and Kittams for some ten years and have been very happy with them. About long waits, well, this can happy anywhere and it's generally better to go for morning appointments if possible. But even for the afternoon, most waits are no more than 10-15 minutes. Last time my son, now 13, was in for a check-up we saw Dr. Wang, a young man who had a very relaxed and friendly manner and who seemed knowledgeable and patient. I have only spoken to Dr. Salzburg over the phone about a prescription, but she seemed very nice and pleasantly practical. I would recommend the ''kiwi'' practice wholeheartedly. Dianna
We take our 17-month-old to Kiwi Pediatrics, and we have had nothing but good experiences there. We almost always go to the San Pablo office, by the way. Dr. Winokur is our regular pediatrician, and she is absolutely great -- a doctor who listen to parents, but also makes direct contact with the child. She never seems rushed in appointments, despite the busy schedule. We do, however, always try to schedule our appointments in the morning, preferably first thing, because that way we won't run into back-up from earlier crisis situations. Dr. Salzburg, whom we've also seen, is a gem: she seems to be the one who does a lot of the call backs, and her advice is always calm, sympathetic, and reasonable. The NPs in the practice are also winners -- I think they have a group ethos of listening well. The nurses in the office are good, too: the one who has given most of the vaccines to our daughter appears to have a velvet touch, since we get very little crying. The off-hours hotline is good, though it's somewhat frustrating that it's not available in the mornings before the office opens. One last observation is that we chose this practice because they seemed to be less judgemental and less likely to hand down absolute doctrine than some of the others we looked at. While they encourage vaccination, I've been told they don't get too preachy if you want to defer some of the controversial vaccines, and certainly, when our daughter had an ear infection, there was no rush to dose her with antibiotics, and she was able to recover on her own -- we liked that. They've also been great about offering feedback that doesn't feel judgemental on feeding, sleeping, and behavior issues. Alexa
We love Doctor Robin Winokur! We have had nothing but good experiences with her, her staff, and her associates since we started taking our newborn daughter there last year. The office looks a little downmarket, and the hours are somewhat limited, but I always get called back if I have a question, and the doctors and n.p.'s in the practice are sympathetic and supportive, willing to talk to the neuroses of new parents without making us feel like ninnies. Plus, the nurse who has given our daughter her shots is an artist -- she does it so quickly and so skillfully that the baby hardly cries at all. Alexa
We have been very happy with the pediatricians and especially the nurse practitioners at Dr. Winokur and Kittams' office on San Pablo Ave. near Harrison (unfortunately right next to McDonald's). You could take the bus or even walk from Solano and San Pablo. We had less satisfying experiences at two other local practices, so we have been thrilled that this one is working out well. The only drawback is they don't start answering their phones until 10 a.m., and it's sometimes difficult to get seen with a sick child until much later in the day if you call right at 10. The receptionists are no more gruff than you'll typically find in this area, and the nurse practitioners are really personable. We've actually only seen the doctors for our physicals and one or two sick visits, but I'm certain we could see a doctor if we insisted. Maria
Unfortunately, I didn't have nearly so positive an experience with the Kittams/Winokur office as the two folks who commented in the last letter. One post said that ''The receptionists are no more gruff than you'll typically find in this area...'' I, and my mom friend who also quit seeing them, felt that one of the receptionists was particularly unhelpful and combative even when the office wasn't particularly busy. For example, one time when I brought my child into the grimy waiting room that is for both sick and well kids, I went to the window to check in. When this woman did not turn around from her filing after I stood there with a squirmy baby for a while, I called out 'Excuse me!'' and gave our names. She turned around slowly, walked over to the window, pointed a six-inch fingernail toward the ceiling and said ''Can't you read the sign?'' At the very top of the window was a piece of paper with something like ''Back in a minute'' writen in fine ballpoint. I also must mention that I counted that day and there were 14 separate signs posted all around her window, most with an unfriendly tone. I spoke to the nurse practioner, who we loved, about this incident. The next time we came in, virtually all the signs had been taken down. However, every visit there was some new rudeness to us or to others in the lobby. I am still angry, because I bent over backwards to be friendly, punctual, and considerate in my dealings with the office staff to try to make it work, and they were just unbearable. It is such a shame. Carolyn, the NP, was great with our baby, and Robin answered questions I had on the phone in a very caring way.
Getting treated like a human at Berkeley Pediactrics now
Like a previous respondent to this question, I felt uncomfortable taking my children to Dr. Kittams' office in Albany. I found the clinicians to be caring and thorough, but the receptionist's behavior made me feel uncomfortable about the overall atmosphere of the office. Both on the phone and in person, she tended to be combative--for instance, saying, ''we're a business, not a charity'' when I brought my son in for his immunizations, and challenging my belief that my one-year-old needed to be seen one day when he was screaming as if in terrible pain for over an hour, biting his hands to the point that there were purple bite marks on them. I have felt much more comfortable since switching pediatricians--my children now see Dr. Perlman on Telegraph Ave in Berkeley, where it seems that the receptionists are a bit more laid back and responsive to parental concerns. s.r.
I feel compelled to comment in regards to Dr. Kittams office. My son was a patient of his for years and I have nothing but the best to say about all of the doctors in that office as well as the staff. Whenever I needed my child to be seen (emergenicies or regular appointments) they were of the utmost help. His staff was always helpful, courteous, and friendly. This also applies to his Berkeley office. My child is older and is no longer a paitent of Dr. Kittams, however, when asked for a pediatric recommendation I always feel comfortable recommending him and Dr. Winokour. By the way, I never felt uncomfortable with them or their support staff. I don't believe that you can find pediatricians who are more competent or caring. A. H.
Re: Pediatrician who has time for longer appts
We switched our Pediatrician to Robin Winokur recently. The office rarely has anyone else in the waiting room and she spends a lot of time with us. The other doctor in her office is not quite as alternative as she is, but he is not bad. Her office is located on Alcatraz in Oakland. Janet Pearlman in Oakland is also supposed to be good in terms of alternative medicine and attachment parenting, but I do not know about spending much time. She is open to interviews if you want to ask her. I hope this is helpful. Benedicta
I would recomment Dr. Kittams (510)652-1720 on Alcatraz in Berkeley. He is wonderfull and definitely takes the time to discuss all your concerns and is very patient and caring with children. He never seems to be in a hurry, is full of down to earth advice and gives great consideration to your peronal choises. By far outranks all the other pediatricians I've had to deal with! Lotte
We had the ''rushed doctor'' experience at Pediatric Medical Group, and we left mainly for that reason. We are now with Drs. Winnokur and Kittams in Berkeley on San Pablo Ave. near Gilman. Both the doctors and the physician's assistants take lots of time, yet I've never had too wait any longer than I did at Pediatric Medical Group. In addition, the two doctors and physician's assistants I've met were very personable and attentive to our needs.
We go to the practice of Robin Winokur and David Kittams. One thing I've really appreciated about them is that they do take time with us at each visit. I have never felt hurried by them and they always answer our questions, chat, etc. I have also found that both of them are good about being friendly and playful in connecting with my child, and also very patient during those times when she hasn't exactly wanted to cooperate. Their office staff knows us by name, and if we call with questions we get a call back from one of the doctors or nurse practitioners on the same day. Finally, when we have needed to go in or just wanted to go in on the same day because we had some concern, we have always been accomodated. Suzanne
Re: Limited Immunizations & Alternative Medicine
I have found Dr. Robin Winokur to be accepting of our decision to only partially vaccinate (basically, we did tetanus only). I gave her copies of the medical research papers on vaccination that I'd read from very straight sources (like JAMA, for example), so that may have helped her understand my position, (or atleast led her to realize that I probably wasn't going to change my mind.) I don't think she agrees with our decision, but she accepts it and hasn't pressured us to vaccinate once it became clear that we were informed on the topic. The vaccination issue aside, I feel very confident in Dr. Winokurs abilities and have been very happy with her focus and attention during the office visits. When my 18 month old daughter got a terrible stomach flu on a Friday evening last January, Dr. Winokur and her partner Dr. David Kittams, made sure that the Children's Hospital advice line nurses knew about what was happening with my daughter, and either Dr. Winokur or Dr. Kittams called two or three times a day over the weekend to find out how my daughter was doing. Her office is located on Alcatraz, just west of Adeline, less than a ten minute walk from Ashby BART.
Go to Dr. Kittams/Dr. Winnokur! They're great. They applauded my having a homebirth, and have been very flexible about vaccinations. They are on San Pablo Ave, between Gilman and Marin, and the 72 bus stops about half a block from their front door. They and their two nurse practitioners are all EXCELLENT. Lael
As far as alopathic physicians go, I would recommend Robin Winokur. She was very accepting of homebirth and came to our home for my son's first visit. She is also tolerant of alternative viewpoints regarding vaccinations. She gives her opinion, but supports you in making your own choices. My son was seen by her for several years. Jody
Try Drs. David Kittams and Robin Winokur. Our homebirth midwives recommend clients to them. Our son ended up being born in a hospital, but we were supported in our intention for a homebirth. Our son is now nine months and we have yet to vaccinate. At every well-baby visit, the doctors have gone over the vaccination schedule and given their recommendations, but we've never had a problem when we responded, Not today. They have two offices, at 1178 San Pablo/Gilman and 1744 Alcatraz, which are accessible by bus. The San Pablo phone number is 524-9400. The Alcatraz number is 652-1720. Paul
I found Robin Winokur to be vaccination-flexible, though my questions had to do with delaying them instead of not doing them at all. She definitely thinks you should, and will say so, but doesn't pressure you too hard. Her practice partner, David Kittams, will give you a VERY hard time. They have two offices, one on Adeline a couple of blocks from the Ashby BART station. The other is near San Pablo and Gilman, I think. Christine
I am glad to hear so many parents are happy with Dr. Winnokur and are able to recommend her to others. She was also our home birth pediatrician, yet I found Dr. Kittums very straightforward about not continuing the care for my daughter due to my not vacinating her. I was very dissapointed and hurt, but that was many years ago. Hopefully things have changed for the better at their practice.
Re: Need a new pediatrician
I've been happy with Robin Winokur. We decided to only partially vaccinate (tetanus only), and I felt that Dr. Winokur was relatively open to that. (I'm sure she'd rather us do all the vaccinations, but she didn't pressure us, especially after I gave her copies of all the medical research papers I'd read on various vaccinations...). She has always taken time with our appointments, so I haven't had the sense that she's just itching to get on to the next patient as is sometimes the case with doctors. When I've had a question, I've gotten a return phone call within an hour or so.
When I moved to Berkeley I had a really hard time finding a doctor, for my 16 month old, who was supportive of our choice to not fully immunize and to use alternative medicine. After much scrambling around and getting over my naive shock I found Dr. Robin Winokur , Hills Physicians, who I really like.
Shes very open minded, professional and has a good sense of humor. The only draw back I've noticed is having to wait, up to an hour once, which is very hard with a kid. I have only heard of one other doctor in the Berkeley area who will even see un immunized children, and sadly I don't remember their name. Dr.Winokur's number is 510.652.1720. She has 2 offices so you may want to find out which one is closer to you.
I've been very happy with our pediatrician, Robin Winokur, for the kinds of reasons you mentioned. She's been very open about very limited immunizations and waiting to begin the ones we chose; she answered my questions clearly and didn't question my choice at all. She's open to alternative medicine, and has mentioned an alternative choice she had heard of at least once, though that's not her expertise; her practice is straight western medicine. She's smart, and thinks things through for herself, instead of going by the book. So I've felt like I've gotten good information from her, and not the pressure that I've felt from two other pediatricians to do things their way. I also haven't felt the fear I've felt in other doctors if I don't follow the standard protocol, maybe fear that they'll be held liable or whatever. Robin has given some good common-sense advice, when I've asked, about feeding, sleeping, etc., but seems to support all different points of view. When there was a possibility of a serious problem with our child, she talked it through with me, did some reading of her own on the issue, and was supportive of a very non-interventionist approach that I decided on, that two other doctors had argued strongly and threateningly against (and which turned out to be the best thing). She's known to be a good diagnostician when there is a real problem, which I think is due to her intelligence and ability to look at things in a fresh way. She's been very responsive on the phone when I've had questions. She has two partners whom I've also seen, David Kittams and Joli Niazi; they're both very nice, but I've found neither of them to be nearly as open nor as smart as Robin. So I just make sure to make my appointments with her. Her office is a little disorganized sometimes, but the staff is nice. I've had to wait a little while, but usually not more than a few minutes, and maybe once half and hour. She has an office on San Pablo and Harrison, and another on Alcatraz.
I know some people who take their children to the Hahnemann Clinic, for homeopathy with Christine Ciavarella, and who also see the medical doctors they have on staff there. I don't know these doctors personally, and I felt that I wanted to have a more standard pediatrician, but you might want to check there. I'm not sure if they could handle all the medical things that might come up with a child or not. But they would certainly have an understanding toward alternative points of view there.
My daughter has gone to Kittams & Winokur since she was born. She is now a healthy nine-year-old. I like both David Kittams and Robin Winokur very much. I have my daughter's check-ups with Robin now so that my daughter has the experience of having a woman doctor.
We go to the office on San Pablo near Gilman. The office is a little funky, but the quality of the care more than makes up for it. We haven't had any major illness or health problems, but we have gone in on the weekend a couple of times when we had concerns. (Once my daughter inhaled a plastic jewel the day before we were leaving on vacation.) My daughter once had an unusual skin condition, but Robin diagnosed it quickly. She said that it was only the fourth case that she had ever seen.
Both David and Robin are friendly and warm and relaxed. And I don't think that they over prescribed antibiotics, which I like. Before my daughter was born, I did interview two other pediatricians, but I chose Kittams and Winokur.
I don't have experience with Healthy Families, but do with two of the pediatricians you mention: Drs. Winokur and Kittams. Both my children have seen Dr. Winokur for the last 3 years and we have been very happy with her care. She is calm, and down to earth, and always speaks directly to the children first rather than the parents. I have always been impressed with her thorough annual exams and good public health-type questions about, Do you always wear your seat belt in the car? Do you have any guns in your home, etc.? to the kids. I've seen Dr. Kittams -- her partner -- less frequently, but also liked him. It can be a little frustrating to reach them in an emergency because they work out of two offices, but Robin Winokur has just given us her pager # on a couple occassions so we could get her directly and not go through office staff. Good luck.
The staff in Drs. Winokur and Kittams's office is great. the are warm and caring, and they always have time for your questions. I truly recommend Dr. Winokur.
Regarding the Pediatricians with the Healthy Families program: I had a very positive experience with the Kittams/Winokur group. I only used them for nine months when my son was a baby six years ago (my insurance changed and I had to switch pediatricians) but I thought they were great. Bright, open-minded, relaxed, attentive...very real people. My only complaint at the time was somewhat long waiting times before being seen, but I think it's because they spend a good amount of time with each patient. I would highly recommend them!
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 1997 09:31:44 -0800
Re: South Berkeley pediatricians: I can heartily recommend Dr. Robin Winokur, of Winokur and Kittams. They have an office on Alcatraz, just off Adeline. Dr. Winokur is a wonderful doctor, knowledgable and relaxed, fun for the kids.
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 1997 11:51:40 -0800
About the Winokur and Kittems pediatrics practice, we started with them when our daughter was born. I'm sure they're excellent doctors but we transfered to Berkeley Pediatrics because we felt that Winokur and Kittems were way overextended, being just two doctors with two office locations. This is fixable, of course, but it's something that should be considered when evaluating doctors in general.
To the person looking for a pediatrician, I really like my daughter's, her name is Robin Winokour and she is located on Alacatraz Ave in Oakland, her practice takes health net. She is very relaxed and she even came to our home after our daughter was born to do a newborn check up since our daughter was born at home.