Sutter Health Primary Care


2500 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704

Also at this address: Sutter Health Ob/GynsSutter Health Pediatrics

  • Primary Care Physicians (Nov 2020): Samantha Malm, Shannon McCune, Samara Nebenzahl, Shaili Parmar, Grant W. Wang

Parent Q&A

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  • New to town and need a doctor

    (1 reply)

    I'm new to the Bay Area and I have wacky insurance, so I am looking for a new doctor.  It looks like Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation in Oakland at 350 30th St Ste 100 will accept my plan, and the doctors there are Shirley Tucker Harris and Alan Cohen, and the NP is Wilson Mak.  Does anyone have experience with this practice?  I'd love any input. Thanks in advance.

    I have had a very good experience with this practice and with Wilson Mak in particular--efficient but still very personable, responsive to online messages, thorough and smart. Lab on-site and good online medical record system.

Parent Reviews

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I have a PPO but generally try to do most of my services through Sutter, probably for some of the same reasons that one might like Kaiser (one stop shop, same online portal, the doctors know one another). It's very easy to get urgent care appointments or drop in, and I can usually get my kids into a same day pediatrics appointment - perhaps not with my most favorite doctor, but I can get them an appointment in Berkeley or Albany. I schedule the well child checks several months out to make sure I get my preferred pediatrician (shout out to Dr. Lackman - she is wonderful). For OB, I don't know if Sutter East Bay (Foundation) is taking new patients - they probably are - but I have really liked that practice and they around 18 OBs, none of whom I have had a bad experience with. All doctors I/ my kids have seen are still at Sutter (over a 6 or 7 year period, minus one who retired). Another reason I like my PPO is that I don't have to go to a Kaiser pharmacy. With kids, there's always some kind of script to pick up and I like walking down the street to CVS or popping in somewhere that's on my way.

I'm so sorry you're experiencing this. Unfortunately, my family has experienced much of the same with Sutter. We've found two things that help. The first is finding an excellent primary care provider within Sutter who can be your advocate and get things done quickly. We have not found an OB who fits that bill - we've had to do a lot (and I mean a LOT) of self advocacy when things aren't completely textbook. The second thing that has helped is calling Sutter's corporate HQ when you have a reprehensible situation like being told to wait until September for an urgent postpartum situation. We had a similar situation, where we were told my six week follow up post c-section would be three months after the birth. We called Sutter's HQ to complain, which led to us getting a call from Sutter' Milvia location a half hour later with an appointment the following Monday. The whole situation feels terrible. I've heard great things about some concierge doctors (outside of Sutter), though that's more expensive as many fees are out of pocket. 

I go to Stephanie Petreas who is a NP at Sutter on Milvia. She is patient and an amazing practitioner who listens and if she doesn't know an answer, she finds someone who does.

Sutter East Bay on San Pablo Ave in Albany has many great doctors including several who fit that description and I would highly recommend.  One new doc I saw meets your demographic checklist and he was so patient and thorough and attentive, and I also like a few women docs and NPs I've seen there (they span many demographics so you can request your preference or take whoever is available first). I believe they're walking distance from El Cerrito Plaza BART stop. 

I have SEBMF (don't love Sutter, but love my primary doc). When I needed a specialist (endocrinologist) I could easily get an appointment at Eden in Castro Valley (I live near Alta Bates), I could not get in to see the group of endocrinologists in Oakland for several months. So that was annoying but it turns out that Eden is a slightly longer drive, but parking is free and easy. So I'm happy. I've been referred to other specialists as well, and it's been relatively painless, even if they aren't Sutter docs (I guess they contract with Sutter). I can't compare to UCSF. Would you have to go over the bridge to be seen for everything? That would be a dealbreaker for me.

Look into Sutter on Milvia in Berkeley. I've never experienced any wait time (over maybe 3 minutes) on the phone for scheduling, and when I've needed urgent nurse or on-call doctor support they do a call back thing generally within 30 minutes. They have great email support for non-urgent things too. I use them for my own OB/GYN & primary care as well as my kids pediatric care.

I've been thinking about that too, as my daughter is getting close to aging out of pediatrics; I had an appointment for myself last week with Dr. Samara Nebenzahl at Sutter on Milvia and thought she would be really good.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Jan 2012

Re: Pediatrican or Family Doctor open to Alt Healing
Dr. Shannon McCune is a wonderful family doctor on Telegraph Ave. in south Berkeley. She is very open to alternative medicine treatment and refers patients often. She is a very open and sympathetic person. I think you would like her. She also has very good reviews on that you might want to look at. She can be reached at (510) 204-8110. I understand the frustration of finding such doctors. I am an ''alternative health practitioner'' and have the same issue with finding traditional doctors that are open minded. Best of luck to you! Leah