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Alternatives to going to an Ob Gyn

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Health & Medical > ObGyns > Alternatives to going to an Ob Gyn


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''Well Woman'' care cheaper than an Ob Gyn?

Nov 2007

Is there an alternative, cheaper practitioner I can see for ''well woman'' care aside from an OBGYN? I don't have health insurance, currently freelance while looking for a full-time job (that can take another 6 months; I've been looking since July--I also may decide to never work for an employer again) and make way too much money to qualify for Medical and AIM. I don't to go to Planned Parenthood (for personal reasons and the fact I want to have one practitioner).

Recently, I have been having a lot of pain in my left ovary and long overdue for a follow-up pap (cervical dysplasia). After reading recent advice here about leaking breasts; I had that happen to me about a year ago, my OB didnt seem to care, but now I'm a little concerned and want it checked out. I don't want to go to the ER for my painful ovary and end up with a $3K bill just for an exam and ultrasound, nor am I in the position to pay full-price to see my OB. --Of course, if my symptoms become severe, I will go in.

Is it possible to see a midwife for this kind of care? Is there an alternative to seeing an OB. I may never have insurance again - I was recently kicked off my policy so buying it is not an option right now. I'm willing to pay out of pocket for SOME kind kind of care, but not a $300 office either. Uninsured in America


You could see a nurse practitioner or an MD at a community clinic. Check out West Berkeley Family Practice or Berkeley Primary Care Access Clinic for high quality, low-cost medical care (http://lifelongmedical.org/). I'm not sure whether they have income criteria to serve you, but I'm pretty sure you can be seen there for a fraction of what you would be charged at a private practice. You definitely do NOT need to see an ObGyn for well woman care. Good luck!
The clinicians at the women's clinic of Berkeley Primary Care Access Clinic,(510)204-4666, provide excellent women's health and are familiar with the issues you have. It's at 2001 Dwight, near Shattuck, and you will most likely qualify for a program that will cover some or all of the visit. If you can get to SF, I also highly recommend the Women's Community Clinic, SF's only free clinic for women, www.womenscommunityclinic.org. Also highly qualified, excellent clinicians. a women's health nurse practitioner
I work at the San Francisco Free Clinic, which could see you and help arrange an ultrasound if medically indicated. The clinic is free and open to anyone who is uninsured, and can be accessed by calling 415-750-9894 for an appointment (best to try at 1 PM Mon-Fri). It is a primary care teaching clinic, but if they refer you to the gynecologist, you usually will not change providers after that. Anon doc
Many, many years ago, when I had no health insurance and very little money, I went to Planned Parenthood for my pelvic exams. They had a sliding scale for payment based on your income. That would be the first place I'd start.
Uninsured in America -- there are certainly people with more expertise to reply to your post (on more than one level) but I wanted to make sure you know that most insurance companies have a baseline plan they offer for those who are otherwise uninsurable due to pre-existing conditions. I believe this is mandated by California state law. If you do want to get back on a traditional plan, I am pretty sure you still have some options. BTW, my midwife does my annual exams but he belongs to a practice with OB's (it's in San Francisco - OB Gyn Associates of SF on Calfornia). Montclair Momma
It's almost always preferable to avoid surgery if at all possible, so I definitely recommend you try alternatives. Acupuncture, I know, is great for all sorts of inflammation, and acupuncturist Don Gates, would surely be happy to talk to you about it. (He's also an herbalist.) His number is 510-428-9430, and his website is www.eastbaytcm.com. Stuart
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