Seeking a Primary Care Physician

Parent Q&A

  • MD for Chronic Condition Management

    (2 replies)

    Hi All -

    I have had chronic pain for many years, and have managed it well with many tools - one of these is pain meds.  My doc at kp retired; new doc wants me to suddenly stop meds.  He is virulently against trying cbd/thc and I feel trapped to handle my condition.  Only doc in his area who handles this now  I need a doctor at Kp in any east bay kp (or a recommendation of any system in Bay that handles chronic pain management well).  I work full time, physically active.  Want to stay functional.  

    I use opiates regularly and have Kaiser. When the opioid crisis really ramped up and I realized how much pressure drs are under to reduce rxs, I met w my doctor and reviewed my use.  I assured her that I’m aware of potential for tolerance and abuse, how I keep them to a minimum using other methods to deal w pain.. How I haven’t had substance abuse problems in past, etc.. Basically, I made my case. Im sure it helped that I’ve been seeing her for years.. it would be harder with a new provider. And also helped, I’m sure, that I’m a well-off White woman.. which makes me a little sick. I wish u luck, I worry a lot about my access being cut off. 

    I'm sorry to hear this.  I don't have any suggestions for physicians, but I too had the same situation and I feel for you.  My long time doctor left and some young kid just out of medical school took his place.  I was irate some young kid was telling what was best for me.  A friend of mine who's a physician with Kaiser once told me that they're given incentives to get people off of traditional pain meds.  I refused to take the mind numbing garbage they tried to push on me.  Thankfully, this happened to me in December a few years ago, so I was able to switch insurances and find a doctor who's more open minded to treating chronic pain issues.  Unfortunately, with the current environment with people abusing medication, it's quite tough to find doctors who are willing to prescribe the only things that work for some people.  Good luck.    

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  • Need new primary care physician!

    (2 replies)

      I'm desperate to find a new pcp who is covered by Blue Cross / UC Care. I far prefer someone in Berkeley or Albany rather than in Oakland's Pill Hill. I have a few health problems that have taught me to be very selective about doctors. I need someone who works full-time, is very responsive and kind, a good listener and record-keeper, available for last-minute appointments in some circumstances, medically excellent (naturally), and runs an organized office with pleasant and efficient staff members. Please, please send me your recs!

    Not certain if she’s a provider for your insurance group but I’d recommend Dr. Rong Huang, internist. She’s located at 400 Evelyn, Albany (next to El Cerrito Plaza parking) 510-524-4040. Dr. Huang is all the things you described.  

    Good luck!

    I recently began seeing Ana Hanas at Hana Holistic in Berkeley.  With a complex medical issue myself, he has taken loads of time at each appointment, seems to listen well and works collaboratively with me.  I find that I have been able to get appointments when I need them.  So far, i have been pleased with the care I have gotten from him.

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  • Seeking Healthnet Primary Care Provider

    (0 replies)

    We are seeking to change primary care providers. Live in San Leandro, but can travel for the right fit. What we are hoping for is a provider with a wellness/whole person perspective. Keto- or low-carb friendly would be a nice change from where we are now. My specific issue rn is possible hypothyroid. Thank you for any referrals you may have.

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  • East Bay MD recommendation - Blue Shield

    (3 replies)

    I just found out my beloved doctor is retiring. I have Blue Shield coverage and am seeking recommendations for a compassionate, experienced female general practitioner in Albany, El Cerrito, Berkeley or nearby. Thanks!

    I'm sure she's been recommended on this site before, and may not be taking new patients, but I wholeheartedly recommend Nina Birnbaum. She's in Albany and is smart, thorough and compassionate.  She is often overbooked, however, and I don't always get to see her.  But when I do, I know that it's worth staying in her practice. She's great.

    Doctor Amal Sawries at Sutter Health is very good.  She helped me navigate through a major surgery treatment last year.

    I highly recommend Marcia Charles-Mo at East Bay Pediatrics!

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  • Need fantastic male doctor for 50 yr old man

    (1 reply)

    My husband was just diagnosed w/ very high cholesterol. He is very health conscious and excercises 6 days a week. He is not overweight and in fact is quite fit. However his father and brother both have it so it was not entirely  surprising to get the diagnosis. The Dr prescribed statins and right after starting the statins his gout returned ( he had one episode of gout 4 years ago after a long trip abroad in a country with very few dietary choices.) The gout is so bad that he can hardly walk. His Dr said he does not think the two are related but we cannot believe he would get gout after 4 years without it and we feel it has to be related to the statins. Throughout this process it has become clear that we don't feel this Dr is a good fit and would like to find someone new. He would like a male doctor who has experience treating people with these types of issues and who is smart and has great listening skills as well. He is very afraid the cholesterol issue will eventually kill him and he is afraid! 

    Berkeley, Oakland, Albany preferred but he will go to SF for the right person.

    thanks all!

    There is a definite connection between statins & gout, but your current doctor may have reasons for thinking the two not related in your husband's case. 

    In any event, I highly recommend Nelson Bunin of the Albany Medical Group [still so named although the office is now in Emeryville]:

    I'm very happy with him.  It may be statins for me some day, but we talk the pros and cons each visit, and it's my call. 

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  • Need a great primary care physician who takes Sutter Health Plus insurance

    (1 reply)

    I've had my awesome doctor for about 10 years, through 2 pregnancies, and her office no longer accepts any individual health insurance plans:( I am switching insurance to Sutter Health Plus and looking for a new primary care physician (preferably female).  Please please recommend your doctor you love and trust. thank you!! Feeling sad.

    I really recommend my doctor, Nina Birnbaum, with one giant caveat: you probably won't get to see her very often.  She is guiding me through a recent diagnosis and she looked at my chart and said, "Oh, I haven't seen you since 2013!"  Of course, I have had to see other docs in the practice since then, because Dr. Birnbaum is so overbooked.  But she is smart, thorough, thoughtful and sympathetic, so if you are lucky enough to be seen by her, you will be in good hands  All that said, she may not even be taking new patients.

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  • Looking for a PCP with holistic approach

    (2 replies)

    Does anyone recommend a primary care physician that offers a holistic approach? I have Sutter Health Plus HMO and would love to find a covered physician that I can align with in a health partnership, someone who appreciates a wellness model vs. a disease model. I would love to find a physician who prioritizes nutrition, and is willing to have a conversation about vaccinations/flu shots etc. instead of just repeating the CDC recommendation. 

    Francine Yep, at Sutter Oakland (pill hill). I was referred to her by someone who has chosen not to give some vaccines to her child. Dr. Yep (who goes by Frannie) is a family physician, so I see her too. I struggle with chronic inflammation and gut issues. Since I had already tried her first-line approach (diet), she gave me a referral to a functional medicine doctor in Berkeley. Insurance doesn't pay for that, but I mention it because this shows that she is not locked into a narrow medical model. I think she received some training in traditional Chinese medicine, though I may be misremembering.

    I would recommend not focusing so much on the PCP, but on finding the right the nurse practicioner in the PCP's office. In my experience, nurse practicioners spend much more time discussing and listening, and providing whole-person advice (sleep, nutrition, exercise, stress management, in addition to following CDC recommendations). I don't have one to recommend specifically at the moment, but at my previous doctor's office I always asked for my annual appointments with the NP.

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  • Desperately Need Adult Primary Care Doctor Recommendations

    (1 reply)

    I am looking for a great internal medicine/primary care doctor for an adult. Can you recommend yours or someone you know? Here are some of the characteristics we are looking for:
    -great bedside manner
    -well-trained and current
    -office in Berkeley or Oakland
    -taking new patients
    -is fairly accessible (to schedule same-day appointments, reply to email, etc.)
    Doesn't matter whether he/she accepts insurance or not. Thank you!

    You should look into One Medical Group. They have a primary care office in Berkeley and family practice in Oakland. Easy access, and providers are all very personable and kind.

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