Endocrinologists at Kaiser
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Endocrinologists at Kaiser
I need a good Kaiser endocrinologist to help manage my
thyroid issues (I have multinodular goiter for which I got
RAI in August). I've been seeing Dr. Peng in Oakland, but
although she's friendly, she gave me no information about
the after effects of radiation, she often doesn't answer my
email questions and she has refused to give me a standing
lab order to get my thyroid levels tested although it's
clear that I will need to be getting blood tests at least
semi-regularly for the rest of my life to monitor my thyroid
levels. So, I've been frustrated with the care I've been
Does anyone have any experiences positive or negative with
Dr. Amer Budayr? He's the other Oakland endocrinologist. For
that matter, if you know of a good Kaiser endocrinologist a
little further afield (e.g. Walnut Creek) I'd be willing to
go further if it meant good care.
Still Hoping for Good Medical Care
My aunt has been seeing Dr. Basina at Oakland Kaiser and
thinks she's nice and responsive. Good luck.
We have tried a few endocrinologists in the area for thyroid
issues and like Dr. Kershner at Kaiser Walnut Creek. We
also did not have a great experience with Dr. Cheng. Dr.
Kershner is very accessible - will return kp.org messages
right away and will make requested referrals, lab
requisitions, etc. Not sure about standing lab orders,
which would be a great idea, but am sure she would discuss
this with you. Good luck!
I can recommend my endocrinologist, Dr. Richard Kanter, in
SF. His bedside manner is not the absolute warmest, but it
seems more out of a slight awkwardness than coldness. Over
the years I have come to realize that he is very nice man;
more importantly, he is very responsive. He returns emails
promptly and if you leave your phone number he will call
you back. I do not feel rushed in my appointments.
Has anyone here taken their child to see one of the pediatric
endocrinologists at Kaiser? Can someone recommend a good one or,
conversely, those to avoid? I'm shopping around for a new person.
My kid went to Yvette Fan at Oakland. I can recommend her without
reservation. There are a couple down in Santa Teresa that are good, but I
don't remember their names.
Dr Fan at Kaiser Oakland is excellent. Our daughter began to see her a year
ago for premature signs of puberty. She is knowledgable, thorough,
personable and very interactive with my daughter (she sat on the floor at
her first visit and played with her to get aquainted). We now see her every
6 mos and it is always a pleasant experience. She really seems to know her
stuff and practices medicine like a parent. She gets my highest praise!
Dr. Yvette Fan - Simply the best.
My daughter was suspected of having early onset puberty - we had a referral
for Dr. Fan. Although my daughter was only 6 1/2, Dr. Fan explained the
endocrine system in a way my daughter could understand, explained to her
that she would have a variety of blood tests and also that there would be a
follow-up appointment to talk about the results. Because of the simple
straight-forward, gentle way it was explained, my daughter will now have
blood tests quickly and easily.
In the end, my daughter did not have early on-set puberty; however Dr. Fan
had 3 appointments 6 months apart to assure my daughter all was well with
her body. At no point did my daughter feel like a freak or that something
was wrong. She did feel like she could work with Dr. Fan to make her body
''the best it could be.''
Dr. Fan fan
I've read a few discussions on this listserve about the normal
TSH range having been recently revised. My TSH is about 4.6 and
I've been told by my Kaiser Oakland doctor (through a note, of
course) that this level is within normal bounds. However, I have
heard that 3.0 is now the newly revised upper limit for
''normal'' TSH tests. I still have symptoms of hypothyroidism and
don't feel 100% (as apparently 2/3 people on synthetic hormone
feel). I would like help on how to get my Kaiser doctor to
acknowledge the new norm, and to get perscriptions for thyroid
medication (such as Armour) that has T4 and T3.
Has anyone been successful in getting their Kaiser Oakland doctor
to adopt this treatment plan for those with hypothyroidism? Who
was your doctor and what did you say to them? Did you go to a
Thanks for your help!
I can recommend NP Marianna Philippek at RICHMOND Kaiser.
Marianna is the most wholistically minded NP/Dr. I could find in Richmond
(which actually isn't saying a lot for wholistically minded available
practitioners at Richmond Kaiser). She put me on Armour thyroid (after my
former GP refused) and she will usually get me whatever tests I request and
discuss the whys and why nots of things with me.
My TSH has jumped around at various times in the past, even on synthetic
hormone. It's now been stable for some time but I get tested about every 3-4
Richmond Kaiser also has free parking and you RARELY have to wait more than
10minutes or so for your appt.
I appreciate the recommendations found here for Endocrinologists at
Kaiser. I'm wondering, though, if anyone has more current information. I
have recently been diagnosed with Grave's Disease and would like to see
someone who specializes in thyroid problems. I would prefer not to go to
Oakland at this point - can't even get the Endo. dept there to return my
phone calls. Thanks for any recommendations.
I know you didn't want Kaiser Oakland recs, but I did want to relay my experience with
endocrinology there. I have seen both Dr. Basina and Dr. Budayr. Both were quite
competent, but I have to say I preferred Dr. Basina's bedside manner. She was great when
I had postpartum thyroiditis. Once I saw her, she gave me her card and direct line and I
was able to communicate with her very easily. I saw Dr. Budayr many years ago for
evaluation of some thyroid nodules. He was with a resident at the time of the visit, so
I think he was a bit more tuned in to the resident's learning needs than my needs as a
patient. He seemed slightly cocky, which turned me off. But, it was a brief visit and
not enough time to get a very accurate impression. I would give him a second chance if
the need arose. If your PCP refers you to endocrinology, you should be able to get an
appointment without any problem. Generally, you can't self-
refer to specialists in Kaiser. That might be why you haven't gotten through?? Good
Hi - I've been seeing Dr. Marina Basina at Kaiser for the past 4
years for thyroid issues. She works out of both Richmond and
Oakland. She's been wonderful and very attentive with me over the
last few years (in which I've been through one miscarriage, and
two pregnancies with her). She's also brought out the ultrasound
to examine lumps, which twice she's biopsied on-the-spot.
On reading your post I went back and read through the
recommendations on the website. I was surprised not to see Dr.
Basina recommended there. I was also surprised by the number of
comments regarding the difficulty of getting in to see an
endocrinologist, particularly at Kaiser Oakland (where I am a
patient). I was immediately referred to endocrinology when my OB
felt a lump on my thyroid, even though I showed no other symptoms
of thyroid issues (I have since been diagnosed with
Maybe the issue is finding a primary care doc (or gynecologist)
that you get along with and with whom you can have a discussion
about your desire for a referral? And a referral is key, because
I do believe that you can't see an endocrinologist without one
(which is probably why you haven't gotten a call back from the
I think you are absolutely right that this should be taken care
of by an endocrinologist, not by a general practitioner. I've
noticed on several occasions that the TSH levels that Dr. Basina
is comfortable with (particularly during pregnancy) are different
than what my GP and OB are comfortable with. Fortunately, Dr.
Basina always follows up my TSH tests with a phone call and a
letter confirming my test results and next steps.
Best of luck to you & I hope you find the care you need. -fellow thyroid patient
I would love to hear from anyone who has had success getting
treatment for hypothyroid at Kaiser. I was diagnosed with a THS
test in April and have since had my medication increased three
times after subsequent THS tests, and if anything I have more
symptoms than at the start(hair loss, muscle spasams, memory
impairment...etc.,etc.). Some initial research indicates that
more tests and other medications might help, but my doctor is
convinced that the THS test and continuing to increase the
Levothroid is the best course of action (hasn't referred me to
endochronology and won't run T3 or T4 tests). In the meantime,
my plans and life are on hold. I would love to start planning
for my second baby, but have had 2 miscarriages and really want
my thyroid levels stabilized before I can even think about being
pregnant again. I am eager to hear from someone who has had a
similar challenge and find out how they navigated their way
through Kaiser (I'm at Oakland but willing to travel).
Greetings - Your post immediately raises several red flags for
me. I too have been a Kaiser patient for many many years and
in general have been most happy with my treatment there. In
fact, we had both our kids at the Oakland Kaiser and have found
the pediatric care to be first rate for over ten years.
However, upon learning and beginning to treat my Papillary
Thyroid cancer and hypothyrodism, I've had for the first time
to go outside the Kaiser system. Firstly, it is imperative to
be treated by an endocrinologist. Secondly, it is critical to
be a fully informed consumer and your own best advocate (this
means knowing what drugs you are being given, insisting on a
full battery of tests (on a regular basis once stabilized
medically) and having your symptoms better regulated. I was in
the care of the local Kaiser Oakland endocrinologist initially,
but found he was too much of a biochemist for me and not at all
in synch with my need to better understand my condition or
manage it in a way I could relate to. Thus, for the first
time, I am in the care of a private physician, Dr. Nathan
Becker. Dr. Becker is a total expert on thyroid disease with
an office on Parnassus in San Francisco where he is affiliated
with UCSF. These bi-annual visits are worth every penny for
his counsel and care. As an example, he recently pointed out
to me that Kaiser has switched its synthroid provider to a
generic, and feels this medicine does not have the same
pharmecutical purity as the name brands, and has recommended
that I stick to the non-generic. And since I totally trust
him, I am following his advice. If you can't go outside the
Kaiser system, it's worth traveling to other Kaiser facilities
until you find a great endocronologist. I've been dealing with
this issue now for four years, and recall hearing that the
Walnut Creek facility had a good doc, but I found Dr. Becker
and never pursued that avenue. So, in a nutshell, I think
Kaiser is outstanding for many things, but again, on occaison,
it is necessary to put your health in the best possible hands
and that may mean going outside the system. For me, it has
been worth the extra expense to have the peace of mine and
sense of well-being that being in Dr. Becker's expert care
brings. I hope you get lots of good recommendations and start
to get the care you need. Best of luck.
There's an excellent endocrinologist at Kaiser in Vallejo who is
very knowledgeable about thyroid issues: Susan Stevens. Feel
free to email me for more information.
I had postpartum thyroiditis and was referred by my personal
physician to Dr. Basian, one of the endochrinologists there.
She was fantastic! Switch primary MDs if you can't get a
referral to the specialist until you can.
Wow, I can identify with your struggle with Kaiser and
concern over fertility. A few years ago I began having severe
fatigue, hair loss, night sweats and altered periods. I can't
remember if I had picked a primary md yet but I saw 4
doctors over a 9 month period. My thyoid levels were tested
and I had signs of mild hypothyroidism. I was placed on a
small dose of synthroid which did nothing for my symtoms.
One practicioner just off hand suggested I might be going
into menopause. This really upset me. I was not at the
time trying to get pregnant but I was 36 and wanted the
option to. I insisted on seeing an endocrinologist. A nurse
friend of mine suggested I see an OBGYN that specialized
in endocrinology and fertility. I found Janie Hirata. She is
an excellent Kaiser doctor. She took a thorough set of lab
tests and explained to me, in simple terms, the delicate
balence between the hormones in the endocrine/
reproductive system and how they can affect one another.
Also how stress and nutrition can influence the balence.
For me the thyroid was not the problem. I was able to make
some lifesyle changes and the symptoms resolved. It took
a long time and lots of phone calls and waiting on hold to
finally get the care I needed. My advice is to insist on a
specialist and be persistant. Good luck to you. Email if you
want to talk further.
I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism(at Kaiser) about 13 years
ago when my first son was 6 mos. old.
Actually, Kaiser didn't diagnose me....they had no clue as to
what my symptoms were about...they were going to send me to a
neurologist because my speech was slightly distorted....in the
list of hypothyroid symptoms this is called ''enlarged
tongue''...they sent me for a CT scan. While I was waiting for my
CT scan I went to the Kaiser library and looked in a book of
symptoms. I had almost every symptom listed under
Hypothyroidism....even then the Dr. said ''nah, you don't have
it''....3 days later he called me with my blood test results and
said ''you have hypothyroidism''....I already knew.
That said.....I'd like to recommend a great book called ''Living
Well With Hypothyroidism''...I forget who it's by. You can get it
at Amazon, and I think The Vitamin Express in Bkly, and probably
Whole Foods, etc. The woman who wrote it explains her ordeals
wit h the medical profession and how she came to do her own
The symptoms of hypothyroid can be misleading...anxiety,
constipation, coldness, hoarse voice, speech wierdness etc.
I think ALL Dr.s will tell you that the TSH test is the only
test you need. NOT TRUE!!! There are at least 2 adn maybe more
different thyroid hormones and they serve different functions in
the body. TSH mostly tests T-3 (not positive about that...it's
been a while since I've read about it), so if T-3 is sufficient,
but another hormone, is not, the TSH is not going to show
You have to insist on the entire test. Then don't wait for them
to contact you....call a few days later and get your results.
Ask them what is the range of normal..low end of normal, and
high end of normal, and where you are in that range.
I've hear stories from so many people that their TSH is normal
and they're still having symptoms.
There are some supplements you can take that will enhance
thyroid function, but if your thyroid is not working at all you
s till have to take the synthetic hormone.
There is also Armour Thyroid which is a natural form of the
hormone. It's made from pigs (to sound more polite they call it
bovine thyroid). Kaiser won't even consider prescribing that.
You might want to go outside Kaiser and see a more wholistic
I take Synthroid, or Levathroid...different brand names and have
since the beginning. I don't have a problem with that, although
I am actually very ''drug'' opposed. This made sense to me and as
far as my own research went didn't have any adverse long term
It's been 13 years now. I get blood tests about twice a year to
check. Other then when I was pregnant, my test levels stay the
Good luck getting more help and info. You'll have to be your own
researcher and go to Kaiser with information and stick to your
guns in getting what you want.
A routine blood test came back with my TSH is abysmally low, and
my Kaiser MD has ordered a thyroid scan. I checked the website,
but there are no Kaiser Endocrinologists mentioned - I'd very much
appreciate any recommendations, as I don't think I want to simply
rely on my primary care doctor - my clinical picture may be
complicated due to a history of hyperparathyroidism from a benign
tumor years ago.
=asymptomatic excerpt for nervousness!
I saw Dr. Amar Budayr at Kaiser Oakland last October. I saw him
only once but I thought he was caring and very competent. He took
some cell samples from my thyroid to be analyzed, and took all
the time necessary to do that and to answer all my questions. A
few days later he personally called me to let me know of the
results of the biopsy, which were negative, and said he had
written down in his calendar to call me again in 6 mo. for the
next check-up. I felt I was in good hands with respect to my not
so worrisome thyroid problem.
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