Pediatric Medical Group, Woolsey & Telegraph (click here)
Re: Fabulous pediatrician needed!
I would recommend Dr Annemary Franks (middle aged, really nice person and very good
doctor) at Berkeley Pediatrics (my kids' doctor), as well as Dr. Cuthbertson (older
man)or Dr Kalar (younger woman) at the same practice. My 2 kids go to Dr. Franks
and she is great, and among the other docs whom we have seen multiple times as
on-call docs, Dr. Cuthbertson and Dr. Kalar seem most open to talking and
explaining and also seem like great doctors. There is a website with biographical
info. Good Luck!
As you may know, its just as important to check out the practice as a whole, since
when your kid is sick, you may not get in to see your doctor. Also, I found that
frequently the specific doctor that people recommend on BPN might not be taking new
patients. So I would really recommend the entire Berkeley Pediatrics practice (1650
Walnut Street). Our two children see Dr. Kalar at Berkeley Pediatrics. We absolute
love both her and the practice. We have never felt rushed, she's always very
considerate of different parenting strategies. I love that she really loves seeing
the kids at each checkup and engaging them. We've seen a number of the other
doctors there, and we like them all very much as well. I have never had any doctor
make me feel 'silly' for coming in or rushed; they are always very understanding
and thorough. They always ask that all important question -- ''Is there anything
else?''. The staff is all quite good and everything has been run well. For
well-baby checkups, we're always seen quite promptly. For sick visits, we do sometimes have a bit of a
wait, but nothing bad. They are also open Saturday mornings for sick visits and for
giving vaccinations. If you work, that can really help for things like flu shots
when your kid gets older and only sees the doctor once a year (and not at flu
We have been using Berkeley Pediatrics on Walnut @ Virginia, and absolutely LOVE
Re: Pediatrician for complicated medical problems
I highly recommend my pediatrician, Lisa Kalar with Berkeley Pediatrics. She
has seen all three of my boys and has been calm, reassuring and just a
fantastic part of our children's support network. My oldest is almost 10 and my
youngest is 6 months. She has always listened to our questions, concerns and
made suggestions that are on par with our values. Best of luck.
Re: Intellectual Pediatrician near Berkeley?
I LOVE Dr Ben King at Berkeley Pediatrics http://www.berkeleypediatrics.com/ . My son
is 13 months old; I also have some health/medical knowledge but am not an MD; we have
Blue Shield HMO. Dr King explains things and answers questions at my level (doesn't
talk ''down'' or ''up'' to me, gives me the detail I want). Wanna be know-it-all
You might appreciate the pediatricians at Berkeley Pediatrics. I too am a non-clinical
research health professional, and I have found all the MDs there to be extremely
thoughtful and willing to take time to answer questions and discuss issues in a
collegial way. My child sees Annemary Franks primarily, but I've also had great
interactions with Dr. King and Dr. So.
Re: Pediatrician who is smart and available
We really like Berkeley Pediatrics and my son especially likes Dr Ben King.
He is smart and friendly and great with kids. We have been with the practice for 19
years and feel comfortable with every doctor there...
I am a mom of a toddler and am expecting a second child. I am looking for a new
pediatrician for my family. Does any one have any experience with Dr. Grace So
of Berkeley Pediatrics?
Dr. So was assigned to my daughter, age 15, following the departure of
her prior pediatrician. My daughter underwent some very intense
surgery at Shriners Hospital in Sacramento and we found ourselves
having some serious medical concerns that ordinarily we would need to
have met at Shriners. Dr. So was ON it. She worked with the staff
and Shriners, went completely out of her way to accommodate us (even
on the weekend very late at night) and I was so impressed with her.
At this point, we hadn't even met her. After my daughter's health
improved, we made a follow up appointment with her that Shriners
authorized because she was so familiar with my child's issues. She
was kind, gentle, knowledgeable, open, and my daughter, who by then
had her share of doctors, loved her. I'd say that she is a thumbs up
all the way around.
Re: Need recommendation for pediatrician
I use Dr. Olivia Lang at Berkeley Pediatrics. I went to her when my now 5
old was a newborn. She's terrific. Incredible, awesome support for me
newborn. Always calm and candid. My son has always loved her. She's
I am due at the end of January and I am looking for an excellent
pediatrician for my daughter. I am looking for a patient, warm,
very professional and accessible doctor. I would like a
pediatrician who will return my calls in case of an emergency and
who has an efficient administrative process.
Based on the research I have done so far I have liked:
Dr. Lisa Kalar from Berkeley Pediatric Medical Group and Sarah
Handelsman from East Bay Pediatrics.
I am interested in hearing opinions about these practices.
Thank you very much for your advice.
Just want to say that we LOVE Dr. Kalar. She's incredibly
warm and patient, and spends as much time with you as you
need/want/like. She also has a good sense of humor and
takes all concerns (no matter how silly) seriously. My 2
1/2 year old daughter actually asks to go see her regularly
and named a puppet after her! The front desk staff is
reasonably friendly, but the nurses are great - they
remember my kids and are warm. I've never waited more than
15 minutes, and they have a good number of toys and books to
entertain. Also, Dr. Kalar always responds to calls very
promptly (within a few hours and frequently sooner), and
immediately in an emergency. I also have been pleased with
all the other doctors. Melanie
Both my children went to Lisa Kalar at Berkeley Peds until recently when
we had to switch to Kaiser for financial reasons. It's a great practice
and I really liked all the doctors there. We probably saw all but one or
two when we came in for ''sick'' appointments. They are open for half the
day on Saturdays for urgent appts. And they always have a doctor
available on call after hours for urgent phone advice (after consulting
w/ a nurse). This was particularly helpful when I had to call off-hours
from abroad for advice w/ a medical emergency. Separate sick/well-check
waiting areas & rooms. Fish tank, prizes for after immunizations, it's
just a nice little office & practice. I had a few issues with their
billing dept for awhile, but that seems to have been taken care of within
the past few years. ''Dr. Lisa'' is very sweet with the kids and
compassionate with parents. I'd highly recommend her and the practice.
Wish we were still there...
We've recently moved to Berkeley from SF and are looking to switch pediatricians.
I am wondering if people could give me their impressions on Dr. Franks and Dr.
Kalar at Berkeley Pediatrics - in particular about bedside manner with kids and
parents, openness to alternate vaccination schedule, experience with twins, patience
with questions, and thoroughness of exams (do they ask questions and
take their time). We have 14mos. twins.
Any feedback is appreciated!
new to berkeley
I don't have twins, but I thought Dr. Franks was a wonderful
pediatrician for my daughters (now 22 and 20). She was
relaxed, and easygoing with all of us, while being attentive
and kind. I highly recommend her as a doctor, and Berkeley
Pediatrics was a wonderful practice for our family.
My children are patients at Berkeley Pediatrics and we
could not be happier. The doctors you mention are very
good and so are the others in the Practice.
However Berkeley Pediatrics is probably not the place for
you if you are against vaccines or follow ''alternative''
schedules such as Bob Sears. They are very committed to
vaccinations and just yesterday I was in there and while
waiting I read several articles posted on the waiting room
wals which thoroughly critiqued ''alternative schedules''.
Best to look somewhere else.
Happy with Berkeley Pediatrics
My son has been seeing Dr Kalar since birth and she is very
warm and understanding. She takes her time and follows up on
past difficulties. Also, she has been very tolerant of my
strong desire to pursue an alternate vaccination schedule,
although neither she nor Berkeley Ped. advises this approach.
My two boys are patients of Dr. Kalar and they absolutely
love her, as do I. She is very laid back in the way she
talks to kids and to parents and she is of the belief that
parents know their kids better than anybody. She has
always listened to what we thought would be good ways to
approach any health concerns and have suggested
alternatives for us to consider. She gets down to the
level of the kids and really makes them comfortable. As a
mother of two kids herself, she just has that gentle touch
that you look for in a pediatrician. My kids are on a
normal vaccination schedule and I believe Berkeley
pediatrics as a whole requires that but that is something
only the doctors can answer for you. We absolutely love
Dr. Kalar and the kids look forward to their annual visits
with her, even knowing that they may get shots.
Oddly enough, Dr. Franks circumcised my younger son when
he was born because Dr. Kalar was out of town. She was
fantastic then and was very easy to talk to and comforting
in those first few days. We have not had any professional
contact with her since but I don't think you can go wrong
with any of the doctors at Berkeley Pediatrics.
Good luck with your decision.
We have been seeing all the Doctors at Berkeley Pediatrics
since my 17 yr old daughter was born. Both Dr Kalar and Dr
Franks are wonderful. (I don't know about the vaccination
question as we vaccinated our kids on the recommended
schedule.) However, they both have a great bedside manner
and are calm, patient, and caring. Dr Franks has 3
children and Dr Kalar has 2 so they definitely 'get' the
whole parenting gig. I don't think you could go wrong with
either of them at all! and Remember that when your kids
are older you might want them to have the same gender
Doctor--so if they are boys I would recommend Dr Ben King
(the father of 3, one set of twins) in the same practice.
Long time Berkeley Pediatrics Family
Dr. Kalar is an extremely warm and knowledgeable pediatrician... a wonderful
choice! Very patient, thorough with exams and a mom herself. She has
experience with twins (and some of her Berkeley Peds colleagues are parents of
twins.) I am sure she is willing to work with you regarding vaccine schedule.
Overall, Berkeley Peds generally works with families who plan to do vaccines.
Dr. Franks rounded on our new baby at Alta Bates and gave some excellent
family friendly tips for helping our older child adjust to a new baby coming
home. I feel very happy recommending these outstanding pediatricians and their
smooth running practice!
happy mommy (and pediatrician)
Dr. Franks is simply the BEST doctor I've ever seen, either for my twins who
began life with a rocky start and had a lot of specialists for a few years (but are
just fine now) or any other doctor I've met. She is fantastic with my twins, has a
lovely sense of humor and is just very sensible and caring.
Feel very lucky to have Dr. Franks
Re: Gay-friendly Pediatrician near Berkeley
You should definitely check out Berkeley Pediatrics. They
are a terrific practice in general, and seem not concerned
one tiny bit about all kinds of family variations. All the
doctors there seem great.
=== East Bay Parent
I would recommend our pediatrician, Annemary Franks. She is
just fantastic in all kinds of situations that we've faced.
We are a 2-mom family and she couldn't be more supportive.
I would assume she'd be cool with gay dads and surrogacy,
but you can talk to her about that to check. (If the
receptionist says she's not accepting new patients, ask to
talk to her, and maybe she'll slide you in.) She's at
Berkeley Pediatrics (a wonderful practice reviewed on BPN a
lot) at 848-2566.
Also, I would suggest you join Our Family Coalition
(ourfamily.org) for LGBTQ-parented families. They have a
listserve where you could also pose this question or future
ones and get lots of feedback.
Good luck and congratulations.
Does anyone have recent experience with the doctors at Berkeley
Pediatrics on Walnut and Virginia in Berkeley? My son's (11 years old)
doctor recently retired and am looking for someone who is kid
friendly, competent, accessible, and gentle to transfer to.
I'd appreciate positive and negative comments. Thanks
They fill in for each other so with the odd ear ache or fever
over the years, I have seen everyone in action. They are all
great. We have Elaine Davenport and I adore her. She has
checked and tended both of my boys since birth and the oldest
is almost 11 like yours. She is great about presenting
information & options in a clear and un-biased way and lets you
decide about vaccines etc. They always get you in quick if you
need it and the on-call service is very good.
All positive from a generally crabby person.
My kids have been Berkeley Pediatrics' patients for 16+ years
now. My son seens Dr Ben King (he is GREAT, esp for a teenage
boy) and my daughter sees Dr Lisa Kalar (who is ALSO great)
We have seen every Dr in the practice at some time or another
and have been very happy with each and every one of them.
The office staff is helpful and responsive, too.
My now 27 months old toddler was born at Kaiser and was with
Kaiser up until we needed to change our medical coverage/plan.
We opted Berkeley Pediatrics when he was 8 months old. We were
not excited about the change because we really liked his
pediatrician at Kaiser, but after checking all the
pediatricians' credentials there, we felt more comfortable. We
chose Dr. Cuthbertson. I am so so happy we did! We are so
happy with how he cares for my child. I had to make a couple of
emergency calls at his office and he was responsive and
diligent. He called me right away. I felt like he cared, he
felt/knew my worries as mom....He was quick to tell you what to
do, etc. His medical office is run very professionally, staff
very friendly, never a long wait for appts, website seems to be
updated all the time, etc. Because of our complete satisfaction
with my son's doctor, we may not change back to Kaiser when
open enrollment comes along! anon
Dr Davenport is sweet, calm, low-key takes her time. I actually
enjoy seeing her. She has kids of her own, so she's ''been there.''
My daughter's never been hospitalized of gravely ill, so I don't
know that end of stuff, but we've been super happy with her.
There's zero of the ''hectic-HMO-5 minute-office-visit'' that's
taken over medicine these days. I'm 100% satisfied.
I wanted to respond to your question about Berkeley Pediatrics
on a personal and professional level.
Personally, both my kids have been Berk.Ped. patients since
birth, and they have had excellent care in sickness and in
On a professional level, I am a psychotherapist in the
community and have had many of the teens and parents I see in
counseling who are or have been Berk.Ped. patients. Some have
had serious illnesses, and the feedback about their experience
with their BP doctor is always positive. Also as a therapist I
sometimes get releases to talk to my client's doctors and the
Berk.Pediatric staff and physicians have been very helpful.
My 8-year-old son's been with them since birth. We've been very happy. Dr. Kalar is
our ped -- and she's very sweet and laid back, willing to listen, returns calls quickly
in general, a good experience for us.
Re: Do you love your Pediatrician?
I recommend Dr. Ben King at Berkeley Pediatrics. 848-2566. He has 3
boys - two of them are twins. He's the doctor of my two young boys.
Re: Pediatrician for 14 and 18 year old daughters
Our girls are 12 and 16 and see Annemary Franks of Berkeley Pediatrics.
She has girls herself and has a great rapport with our kids. There
are other female Pediatricians in the practice. They cover for each
other. We think every doctor there even the men are very nice. They
are on Virginia by Shattuck 510-848-2566
My daughter is nearly 18 and she's been seeing Dr. Annemary Franks at
Berkeley Pediatrics since she was small. Dr. Franks is knowledgeable,
comfortable with all ages and I think, young enough herself to be able
to maintain a good camaraderie with teens. My son (nearly 20 now) and
daughter both like and respect her. I'm a pediatric nurse and I have a
great deal of confidence in her judgment.
Re: looking for a good pediatrician
Olivia Lang at Berkeley Pediatrics. She is spectacular. She is very
easy to talk to. She explains things thouroughly and is never
condescending (unlike a previous pediatrican we had). She has helped us
through several scary moments with my kids. She is always on top of
things and doesn't over push the meds either which is great. Their # is
We have been seeing Dr Ben King for a few years now and he is GREAT.
Good listener, caring, great with kids, good sense of humor, smart etc
etc etc. Both of my kids have been patients at Berkeley Pediatrics since
birth and they are now 13 and 15. I recommend that you choose a doctor
who is the same gender of your child, so when they get older you don't
have to switch. The only thing about Berkeley Pediatrics that I don't
love is the office itself. It seems a bit low tech and old...not the
cleanest office I have seen.
mom of two
Re: new to the area, looking for a pediatrician
Recommend Berkeley Pediatric Group -- all physicians excellent. We have been going
there for 12 years, and given weekend emergencies, have seen them all. All the
doctors are high-quality physicians and open communicators. Doesn't matter who you
are assigned to, all are great!
Re: Pediatrician near Montclair for twins
We love Dr. Benjamin King with Berkeley Pediatric Medical Group. He's
been caring for our 3 year-old son since birth. He and his wife have 4
year-old twin boys and are expecting another baby. It's nice to have a
doc. with recent parenting experience. He is equally great with new
parents and tots - helping kids feel at ease in the office. He returns
all his messgaes personally and promptly. We live in Oakland, but used
to drive to his office from San Francisco. Worth it!
King, Benjamin N MD - Berkeley Pediatric Medical Grp
(510) 848-2566 - 1650 Walnut St, Berkeley, CA
Re: Pediatrician for our 8-year-old son
My children have been going to Berkeley Pediatric Medical Group for
over 18 years. (She still sees them while in college if they wish.)
Their primary is Dr. Annemary Franks. I don't know if she's taking
new patients; however, another doctor in the group probably is. On
occasion, we have had to see another doctor and they have exhibited the
same caring attitude that Dr. Franks has. I feel that Dr. Franks'
opinions on matters are very reasoned. I feel confident in her advice
and the course of action chosen. BPMG is located at 1650 Walnut
Street, Berkeley. The number there is 848-2566.
Does anyone have Dr Kalar from Berkeley Pediatrics as their
children's pediatrician? She is fairly new to the practice and
is taking on new patients while the other doctors are not.
Thanks! Mother of 3.
Dr. Kalar is wonderful! She is not our regular pediatrician (we have
Dr. King), but we have seen her twice during 'emergency' visits. She is
so kind and was very gentle with our son. She also explained everything
very clearly and thoroughly, and put us at ease. I know we've only seen
her a couple of times, but our experience was so positive, I have no
hesitation in recommending her to you.
We were switched to Dr Kalar after Dr K left (whom we LOVED) earlier
Our first interaction with Dr. Kalar was over the phone-- we were
traveling & my daughter got this horrible skin infection. She did lots
of phone check ins & prescribed some meds over the phone & made us
promise to come in after we returned from our trip. So, I liked her
Since then, we have had a few follow up appointments & she was quick to
make referrals for an allergist & a dermatologist to get to the root of
my daughter's skin issues. She calls on the weekends to follow up &
even gives out her cell phone! She also insists on being called Lisa
by parents & kids alike (I still call her Dr Kalar-- all that med
school should have some payoff!)
I have VERY minor complaints—she has a bit of a potty mouth (my
daughter thought it was cool that her Dr said ‘damn’) & she said
something to the effect of ‘I am sure your mom will take you to get ice
cream if you don’t cry when you get your shots’
Dr Kalar is personable, great with the kids, takes your concerns
seriously, & takes lots of time during visits & on follow up outside of
office hours. I recommend her wholeheartedly!
-member of Dr Kalar's fan club
Dr. Kalar was in the NICU when my daughter was there. She was
absolutely FANTASTIC. She was always willing to answer questions and
she never gave the appearance of needing to get on to the next baby.
In addition to my experience with her there I have seen her when my
regular doctor Dr. Lang was out. Again she was great. I highly
recommend her. She also is very intuitive about how to approach a
child, she can be very playful with the kids who like that and a little
more quiet and easy going with those who are a little more timid and
Go For It!!!
We had Dr Kalar for our newborn and she is great. She takes the time
to answer all my questions and even brings up the ones I forgot to ask.
She has a great manner with children and knows her stuff. I had to
switch to Kaiser because of work-insurance changes, and we are going to
miss her. I hope our new doctor is as good.
My daughter was born in May and we have Dr. Kalar as our pediatrician.
This is our first child, so I don't anything to compare to, but we have
been really happy with her. She really seems to enjoy seeing her
patients -- she oohs and ahhs over our daughter every time -- and most
importantly spends a lot of time with us at our well baby visits. She's
been pretty sensitive to whether we are okay with what she advises.
She's also been pretty available -- when our daughter was sick in her
early months on a Sunday night and we called the off hours help nurse,
Dr. Kalar called us and gave us her pager number to call and let her
know how things were going. And this probably doesn't matter so much to
you, but she (and the practice in general) have been very easy for a
new parent to ask stupid questions and haven't made us ever feel like
we are overreacting.
We love Dr. Kalar. My daughters are 12 and 7 and have received good
care from her. She is enthusiatic with the kids but thorough with the
medical care. Berkeley Peds rocks!
My daughters (6 and 9) have seen Dr. Kalar a few times since she joined
Berkeley Pediatrics, and I have a very good impression so far. She is
thorough, accessible, and relates well to kids. The times when I have
called in with questions, she has really taken the time to explain
things. She also seems really in tune with kids' social and emotional
development. A few months ago when my 9yo daughter had her annual
visit, she was very self-conscious about the beginnings of changes in
her body. The answers Dr. Kalar gave seemed developmentally right on
target (although I'm a little new to this pre-puberty thing myself...),
and focused as much on self-image and social pressures as on biology.
I haven't seen her deal with more serious situations, but I certainly
feel like we're off to a good start.
I would like to recommend Doctor Robin Meezan at Berkeley Pediatrics on Wooster
Street in Berkeley. She is amazingly intelligent, polite, kind and a great
listener. Being a mother herself, she could give me advice on breastfeeding and
other mothering issues from her first hand experience along with the vast
knowledge she has as a pediatrician. She knew about every concern I had about my
infant son (questions about vaccinations, growth and development milestones,
etc.) If she didn't know about something (for example, the effect a certain
medication would have on my breast milk) she would look it up immediately. She
is really great and makes you feel at ease. My son adores her! I actually
switched over to her since the doctor I first dealt with at Berkeley Pediatrics,
Doctor Kowaleski, seemed very rude and dismissive of my maternal concerns. I did
not feel comfortable with his manner at all.
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.
Jim Cuthbertson has been our pediatrician for 14 years, and I kept him as our doc even
though our plan changed and we moved across town. I find him to be patient, knowledgeable
and available, and I really value the fact that he has known my kids from babyhood to
adolescence. Now that my kids are older, he takes the time to talk to them directly about
medical issues and makes sure that they understand him. I couldn't recommend him more
I can't recommend Berkeley Pediatrics more highly! The practice has been wonderful and we
have had very few issues in the five years we have been taking our two children there. Our
doctor is Dr. Cutherbertson -- who is the most senior there and if you can have as your
children's pediatrician you will be in great hands. We like almost all of the doctors in
the practice -- as we've seen all of them at some point (our daughter was in very
frequently unfortunately.) Dr. Davenport is probably my least favorite. But all of them
are incredibly warm. We've been through a lot medically with our kids -- and we are always
called back within hours if we have questions or concerns. They don't dawdle if you need
to see a specialist, and I've observed a keen focus on the health of the whole child --
physical, emotional and cognitive health. They have Saturday sick hours -- and an oncall
nurse program who screens you (or provides basic medical advice) before a doctor is paged
Our original pediatrician was Dr. Winokur at Kiwi. We left the practice within the first
month of our daughters life -- we really didn't like it. They didn't have separate
sick/well waiting areas and their practice is split between two locations -- but you are
only supposed to go to one as they like you to be at the location where your files are. As
a result it was impossible to get an appointment with Dr. Winokur -- and in fact we never
met her. The doctor we did see was extremeley checked out and blase about our concerns (at
the time our new born daughter had jaundice).
Anyway, my strong advice would be to go to Berkeley Peds!
love berkeley peds!
Berkeley Pediatric Medical Group (BPMG) continues to offer great care, in my opinion. For
more than 10 years, my children have seen Dr. Franks primarily, and they have been cared
for by the other group members when health issues have arisen and Dr. Franks is not
available. Of course, BPMG operates in the real world, and the current state of our
medical care system has an impact. That said, whenever we need care, I feel like we get
it, my questions are answered, the practitioners are not dogmatic, and at least Dr. Franks
tends to be conservative in her approach to treatment when possible. We are quite content
and satisfied with the care at BPMG, and love Dr. Franks. The staff and docs are kind and
caring--that means a lot to me. It's a big, popular, busy practice, and they have improved
on the administrative processing part of their operations, so it isn't that difficult or
time consuming to get appointments, sign-in, deal with insurance, etc. I highly recommend
happy BPMG family
We picked Dr. Davenport at Berkeley Pediatrics for our now 4.5 mo old, and she has been so
great! Both my husband and I really like her. She is extremely friendly and great with our
daughter, and always takes her time to answer questions. I never feel rushed, and she
doesn't make me feel silly when I ask first-time-mom-paranoid questions. I also really like
the office there - it's a nice atmosphere.
I've also interacted with both Dr. King and Dr. Lang from the group, first when I delivered
and was in the hospital and they were on call one morning each for the daily check-up and
then later when I made calls to the on-call doc for an eye infection. Both Dr. King and Dr.
Lang were great too. Dr. Lang is younger and more bubbly.
The only problem I would say it seems that they (or at least Dr. Davenport) doesn't have
early morning or late afternoon appts, which would be helpful.
happy w/ Berkeley Pediatrics
We have been going to Berkeley Pediatrics in N Berkeley for 7 years now, and have two kids.
We love it and have no complaints. Our primary doctor is Dr Lang, who really spends a lot
of time with us during our well-child visits, talking, asking questions and giving advice
if necessary. She is a great combo of ''great with kids'' and a smart doctor. (She has
three young children of her own so also has lots of personal experience). She is prompt
about returning calls, and I've spoken with her numerous times on the phone about different
issues. I've also seen various other staff members when Dr Lang is away, and liked them
I really recommend Dr. King at Berkeley Pediatrics. I have been going for about 1 year now.
I'm the original poster who asked for recent experience with Kiwi and Berkeley Peds last
June. Both had their fair share of supporters. We did go to Kiwi a couple of times
(insurance issue), but switched to Berkeley Pediatrics within about 1 or 2 months. I have
to say, we are VERY HAPPY WITH BERKELEY PEDIATRICS. The staff at Berkeley Pediatrics is
competent, and friendly (they actually smile at me when I arrive with my baby- rare these
Scheduling has been a breeze, in the last year, besides well-checks, only one ear infection
and one false alarm, I read on the archive that one person said it was a fight to bring in
a sick kid, I have never had this experience with Dr. King. He is very thorough, patient,
offers advice, friendly, more or less our age (mid/late 30s I think, maybe v. early 40??)
which was important to us, and has kids himself- also important to us. He has never
resisted me wanting to bring in my baby ''just to be sure''. Every call I have made
(probably about half dozen in past year maybe 10?) to Dr. King has been returned same day,
within an hour or a few hours at most.
This may not matter to you, but we feel the facilities at Berkeley Peds are preferable to
those we encountered at Kiwi. The office reminds us of a small-town docs office, with lots
of toys in every waiting room, nice prints on the walls, not super fancy, but very clean-
we like this. I was worried about parking in this area, but I usually get a spot right
across the street, and have never parked more than 1/2 bock away.
Moises, one of the medical assistants is great, I have a son, and look forward to having a
male presence besides the docs in the office, the other women medical assistants are also
great, just don't remember any of their names. They all seem to actually like kids, which
is very nice.
Dr. King gave us a free consultation before we became a patient, (interview) I think the
other docs at Berkeley Peds do the same, at Kiwi we had to pay like $65 or $60, can't
remember, out of pocket (insurance doesn't cover) to talk with Dr. Salzburg. I suggest
going to talk to the docs and check out facilities for yourself. All the advice/opinions
don't matter anywhere near as much as a first impression, your own impression.
Compared for myself and love Berkeley Pediatrics
[Editor] reviews also received for Kiwi Pediatrics
Does anyone have any feedback of Berkeley Pediatrics Medical Group on walnut st? Which of
the doctors there would you recommend. I have a 9yr girl and 4 mo boy and i am thinking
about joining the practice but would like to hear feedback. Thanks
My husband and I are both pediatricians and we loved Berkeley Pediatrics
on Walnut St. Olivia Lang and Annmarie Franks are both outstanding. When
I had a c-section at alta bates, we managed to meet almost all of the
other pediatricians, too, and they all seemed great. I also have a close
friend who takes both of her kids there who is also very happy.
highly recommend Berkeley Pediatrics
I have been very happy with Berkeley Pediatrics over the year and a half
that my toddler has been a patient of Dr. Ben King. The practice seems
well run (on-time apointments, prompt calls back) and I love that the the
office has seperate ''sick'' and ''well'' entrances! As for doctors, I
would recommend Dr. King b/c I think he's genuinely interested in the
total well-being of the child. He will spend as much time as you want
discussing your child's sleep or eating habits, behavior, etc. I also
appreciate that he takes time to play with my child to put her at ease
during the visit. On the downside, Dr. King is fairly opinionated -- but
he is upfront about that.
I have also interacted with Dr. Cutherburtson and Dr. Franks, both of whom
seem very competent and personable. Anon
We are expecting in early March, and are looking for recommendations on Pediatricains.
Berkeley Pediatrics has been highly recommended, however the Dr we wanted to sign up with is
not taking new patients, however DR's Davenport, Lang and Franks are accepting new patients.
Any recommendations re. these doctors is most appreciated.
I take my 8-month old daughter to Dr. Olivia Lang at BPMG. She's great. Really good
about telling you milestones to look for in the time until your next appointment.
I've phoned in a question only once but was stunned how quickly she called back.
You'll see other docs in the practice in the hospital (whoever is on call) and if
your child is unexpectedly ill and we have loved everyone we've seen from there.
Also, the archives said that they put you on hold on the phone too long and general
negatives about the office staff, but we haven't found that to be the case at all!
Our family adores Dr. Franks--she has been our pediatrician for
10 years. We find her open, knowledgeable and reassuring. She
is a terrific doctor.
We go to Anne Mary Franks with our two little ones and LOVE her.
She is very responsive to phone calls and is understanding about
all our concerns. She's friendly, easy to talk to,
knowledgeable, and caring. We also highly recommend the Berkeley
Peds practice. When our baby was in the hospital we had contact
with several of the physicians and they were all wonderful,
including Dr. Davenport. Laura firstname.lastname@example.org
I highly recommend Dr. AnneMary Franks of Berkeley Pediatrics. Both of my children
(a 3 year old and a 5 month old) are patients of hers and I feel fortunate that they
have such a great pediatrician. Dr. Franks has a terrific ''bedside manner'' with
kids and their sometimes very anxious parents. She provides great advice, is very
thorough, and (as a mother herself) is very knowledgeable and reassuring about
parenting issues. She also returns phone calls promptly, and we have never had a
problem getting in for an appointment when our kids needed one. We have seen several
other doctors in the practice as well, including Dr. Davenport and Dr. Lang, and we
have had good experiences with all of them. Good luck!
We are expecting a baby and looking for a pediatrician. My OB
recommended Berkeley Pediatric medical Group. Dr Davenport
Elaine, Dr Frank Annemary, Dr King Benjamin and Dr Lang Olivia
are accepting new patients. I only see recent recommendations
for Dr King,I would like some advice on other doctors too? Dr
Cuthbertson and Kulshrestha who were my first choices are not
accepting new patients. Thanks in advance
We interviewed Dr. Davenport prior to having our baby and she was just wonderful
and we would have loved to have her as our pediatrician. Unfortunately, they
didn't accept our insurance so we had to go elsewhere. However, a friend of mine
sees Dr. Lang and also has seen Dr. Davenport and was impressed with both of them.
The office is great and in a really great neigborhood. If you are looking for an
alternative, we currently have Dr. Handlsman at East Bay Pediatrics Medical Group
and we absolutely love her. She is the best. Lisa
I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Elaine Davenport. She has been our sons (ages 3 & 5)doctor
since we moved to bay area two years ago. Our kids love her and so do we. We've
never had to wait long in her office to see her, and she takes time to answer all
of our questions without making us feel like she's rushing out the door. The staff
at Berkeley Pediatrics is wonderful as well. When I brought my concerns about my 5
year old's learning disability to Dr. Davenport, she listened - and her staff
worked hard to refer him to a specialist within our insurance plan, which took a
lot of effort on their part and was greatly appreciated. Dr. Davenport is great;
your family will be in excellent care. Crystal
Annmary Franks has been our twins' pediatrician for 13 years, from birth to
teenhood. She is patient and easy to talk to. When my twins were quite young she
talked at their level without ever talking down to them, and now that they're
adolescents, she still manages to meet them on their own turf. She takes the time
to answer my questions, is a pleasure to talk to, returns my calls unfailingly, and
is just a lovely person overall. I recommend her wholeheartedly
We have used Berk Pediatrics since my child was born, and he is
now 17. Dr. Franks has been his doctor for most of that time, and
we think she is wonderful. She is very knowledgeable and always
returns calls promptly. I highly recommend her
I'm sure you'll hear from lots of people on this one. Sometimes
I think Berkeley Pediatric serves most of Berkeley! The
wonderful thing is that they do it so well. I wish my own
doctor's office was run so well. I doubt there's any doctor
you'd be unhappy with there. I've taken my two kids to Elaine
Davenport for years. She's wonderful. Happy Berkeley Ped customer
In response to your question about Berkeley Pediatrics...I think you can't go wrong
with any of the Dr.s there. We have been going there since my son was born. My Dr.
is Elaine Davenport. Great bedside manner with my son, knows everything and always
gets back to me quickly if I have a question
mom of a 3 year old boy
I have been taking my kids to see Elaine Davenport since they have been born. We
have had a great experience with her. She is very warm with the kids and seems to
truly enjoy children (she has several of her own). Her advice and care has always
been straightforward and clear. My kids have rarely been sick except for some
eczema and the usual fevers here and there, so we see her mostly for well-check
appointments but she responds very quickly to those occasional emergency phone
calls and is very professional. I highly recommend her
I have had good experiences with all the physicians at BPMG. My children see Dr
AnneMary Franks and I think she is wonderful, as do my my children. She is warm and
caring and really does listen to hysterical first-time parents. She is very prompt
in returning calls and has been very level-headed even when faced with difficult
situations. She has my highest recommendation. Her practice has been closed to new
patients for a while so your timing is perfect
My daughters have both been patients of Dr. Annemary Franks at Berkeley Pediatrics.
I think she's wonderful-- easygoing and matter of fact, and kind and knowledgeable.
She has a good sense of humor, too. The whole practice is wonderful, and the only
doctor I didn't like wasn't with the practice for long. anon
Our pediatrician is Elaine Davenport. She is great. We love her. When I had both
babies, I had hospital visits from the other doctors in the group as well. It made
me feel confident, all the second opinions, and they are all thorough and very
Over the last 8 years of ear infections and fevers, etc... I have been in for
several (in my mind) emergencies. If Davenport can see them, she does. If she is
unavailable, one of the other doctors sees them. It all goes fast. The guy that
gives shots is a sweetie.
I have read complaints here over the years about the office staff and have had some
of those experiences myself but no more than at the dentist etc... actually
less....in general, they are competent enough. They ALWAYS get you seen right away
when you have a sick kid.
All in all, I heartily recommend Berkely Pediatrics
Dr. King is my children's pediatrician and we couldn't be
happier! He is great with my 2 year old son and 7 month old
daughter. He is very professional and very good about returning
phone calls promptly, no matter what the question or concern may
be. He is the father of twin two year olds, so it's very cool
having him being able to relate to parenting young children. Very pleased
Although my daughter sees Dr K, we've had visits with all but one
of the doctors at one time or another. The doctors we've seen
seemed like good/great physicians. I trusted that they knew their
stuff. The differences were style. We haven't seen Elaine
Davenport. I thought Annemary Frank was straightforward and
cheerful (a good thing when mom needs good information and baby
need to feel comfortable). I was kind of annoyed by Benjamin
King, who commented on my daughter's somewhat unusual name
(''how'd you end up with a name like that?''). Olivia Lang wasn't
particularly warm and my daughter didn't want to cooperate, with
simple things like let me see your tongue, either time we saw
her. I don't remember her smiling at all. Good luck
We have been seeing Annemary Franks since January and have been very happy.
children are 1 and 4.) She is thorough, attentive, answers all my questions
never feel rushed. We haven't had any problems with long waits or difficult
staff (complaints previously posted on BPN). In fact our wait time has
more than 10 minutes, in contrast to our previous Dr. (at another practice)
the waits could be VERY long. Once when my son came in with a rash, Dr.
brought in another doctor for a second opinion, which I appreciated. She's
returned my calls promptly and kept a cool head. When she doesn't know
she looks it up. When my 1 year old had a severe athsmatic attack (which
had before) she took the situation seriously while staying calm, thereby
calm. I think she's great, and highly recommend her and the practice. Happy
We have chosen Dr. Ben King as our pediatrician. I am impressed and
satisfied with the care that we receive. Dr. King is wonderful and takes
answer any and all questions. We never feel rushed during our
especially like that all of the doctors in the practice leave time to see
patients when they are sick. This is especially important because you want
doctor that has seen your child well (and knows you)to be able to assess
when they are ill. It's a better deal overall.
Also, all of my phone messages have been answered promptly by Dr. King.
no nurses in the office, so during the day you always get a call from the
the evening they utilize an RN call service- however, if they feel that you
need to go to the ER, you always get a call back from an MD. This
unnecessary ER trips. A lot of pediatric practices do not do this.
Overall, I feel that I am getting the best available care from Dr. King and
I would highly recommend Dr. King
You can't go wrong with this practice. Our doc is King who is wonderful.
them all in one form another (phone or Saturday morning appts.) and have
impressed with every doc in the practice. The docs are very responsive to
phone calls and spend a lot of time with patients. Anon
I would highly recommend Dr. Olivia Lang (and Berkeley Pediatic Medical
general). She's been our kids doctor since birth. We have a 3.5-yr old
daughter & a
2-yr old son. Dr Lang, as a mother of 3 (I think), including twins, is
kids as well as parents. She thoughtfully handled all my first-time mom
questions. Aside from routine check ups, she helped us through various
related issues (circumcision) & illnesses (Croup, Roseola) as well as the
of a lump in our daughter’s beast & the treatment of my son's tongue-tie.
am I confident in her abilities as a doctor, she's kind, caring & very
A Very Happy Dr. Lang Family
We love Dr. Olivia Lang. She's straightforward, knowledgeable, kind,
adapts to the needs of the kid during the appointment. I am very happy and
never want to switch
My kids have been seeing Dr. Lang since they were babies - almost
7 years and we've been very happy. My kids like her and look
forward to seeing her. She listens to all of our questions and
ideas and answers thoughtfully. Even when I think I may be
asking something a little crazy, she manages to answer in a way
that takes the question seriously. We've also seen Drs
Cuthbertson, Franks, and Davenport and liked all of them. Even
though we don't see them regularly, I've found them to be
pleasant and thorough. When I call with a question or concern,
my call is returned within 1 or 2 hours (depending on the urgency
of the call)
Our four year old daughter has been seeing Dr. Annemary Franks since she was born. Dr
Franks is great with little ones. I have watched with amazement as she skillfully
helps my nervous little one relax, draws her into conversation, and gets her to even
laugh and enjoy the visit. She also has many years of experience (as well as three
kids of her own) so she's seen it all and provides sound medical advice. She is very
thorough and last year, sent us to a specialist for another opinion which allowed us
to nip something in the bud that would have gotten very serious if left undetected. I
would recommend Dr Franks very highly. I hope you can get her - my experience with
BPMG is that they send new folks to the newer, less experienced doctors like Dr. King.
I've also heard good things about Dr. Olivia Lang and do think the practice is a
strong one overall and would highly recommend it
Dr. Franks Fan
My kids (8 and 6) have been seeing Dr. Elaine Davenport since birth. We really like
her: very smart, empathetic & listens well. My kids look forward to seeing her because
she is interested in them. The office has gotten a lot better lately as far as
shorter wait times. We've occasionally seen Dr Lange and some other drs whose names
now escape me: all good or great
happy at BPMG
Re: Pediatrican near Montclair
I have been very happy with Berkeley Pediatric on Walnut since
my oldest, now a teenager, was an infant. There are more than a
couple of doctors in the practice, but we almost always see our
primary physician, Dr. Jim Cuthbertson. The only exception is
in an emergency when we need an appointment on Dr. Jim's day off
(the other doctors are also excellent.) We have really
developed a relationship with Dr. Jim, and I feel like he knows
my kids and their health history well. We don't have to wait
long to see a doctor when we arrive, and when my kids were small
I appreciated the fact that they have both ''sick'' and ''well''
waiting areas, so that my babies would not get exposed to
others' germs when I was bringing them in for a well check.
Happy with Berkeley Pediatric
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
How about Berkeley pediatrics, only Dr. King seems to be taking new patients, any
advice on this doctor, or office in general? Haven't had a chance to visit them yet.
Thanks in advance for your advice, we are hoping to find a pediatrician and location
that suits our needs.
Our two young boys see Dr. King and we have been very happy with the
practice. They are always prompt to return calls, make room to see
the child when there's an illness or emergency and have a well-run
office. Dr. King seems open to my involvement in medical decisions -
and respects my ability to make good choices. All-in-all we are happy
with Berkeley Pediatrics
I'd highly recommend Berkeley Pediatrics and especially Dr. Ben King.
We've been there for a year now with our baby since he was a newborn.
Every experience in the office has been very positive. The waiting
time is relatively short. Everyone there (including the people who
give the shots) really cares for the children, all are very kind and
are really good at relating to the children of all ages. Whenever
we've had questions, Dr. King returns our call the same day. Back when
we were looking for a pediatrician, everyone I asked said to go there
and Dr. King won us over on the first meeting. He is very efficient,
he listens to our concerns, and he has a great bedside mannor. There
is no off-street parking but we've always found street parking on the
same block. Sandy
Both of my children (26 months and 9 months) have been seeing Dr. King
at Berkeley Pediatrics, and we have been very pleased with him. He is
very knowledgeable and really listens to all of our concerns, and is
wonderful at talking about difficulties we're having (sleep problems,
etc.) and giving advice. He always makes my children and I feel very
comfortable; my toddler actually asks to ''go see Dr. King now!'' when
she isn't feeling well. He is very quick at responding to phone
questions, as well. I would highly recommend him! We have also seen
3-4 of the other pediatricians at Berkeley Pediatrics during
weekends/on-call times, and have found them all to be very
knowledgeable technically, and caring. The office staff has always
been helpful to us, as well
Re: Preemie Specialist Pediatrician?
I don't know if she's
taking new patients, but give Dr. Kulshtretha at Berkeley
Pediatrics a try. We were one of her first patients in 2002,
and we have enjoyed her young, enthusiastic approach.
We didn't have a preemie, but the reason I recommend her for
such is that she had a preemie herself in Summer 2004, and so I
am sure she is very knowledgable from her own personal
experiences. Good luck,
She's not actually a preemie specialist, but pediatrician Anne
Mary Franks at Berkeley Pediatrics was fantastic with our
daughter (and still is). She was suggested to us by one of the
neonatologists at Alta Bates NICU where our little one spend
three months after being born 11 weeks early. We've been really
happy with the care and attention we've received from Dr. Franks. Julie
Re: Queer-Friendly Pediatrician
Try AnneMary Franks at Berkeley Pediatric Medical Group. 848-
2566, located on Walnut and Virginia Streets in Berkeley. Lots of postings on
Was wondering if anyone have any current experience with
Dr.King at Berkeley Pediatrics (Walnut St). Good ? Bad? The
info on the site dated back to 2004. Thanks.
mom w new baby
We've been seeing Dr. King since he started with BPMG. I
initially had some reservations about him because he was so
young, so new, and had no kids of his own at the time. I even
came close to switching doctors at one point, but stayed with
Dr. King and am very happy with him. He is an excellent
diagnostician, which, when it comes right down to it, is what
you need from your pediatrician. Also he is very friendly, easy
to talk to, prompt about returning phone calls, knows what's
worth worrying about and what's not worth worrying about, and
relates well to kids. When King has been unavailable for one
reason or another, the other doctors in the practice have all
two kids with King
We have taken our two children Dr. King since Howard Gruber
retired a few years ago. Dr. Gruber was a hard act to follow,
but we have been very pleased with Dr. King. He's very well
informed, his communications skills are great and the children
adore him. He also has two young children of his own -- he
knows what it's like to be a first-time parent.
We're switching to Berkeley Pediatrics for my two girls, ages 2
and 3. There are three doctors taking new patients: Dr.
Cuthbertson (woman), Dr. Kulshrestha (woman), and Dr. King
(man) . My initial preference is for a female doctor, though
I'm flexible if there's a big difference in
skills/experience/manner with kids. Does anyone have experience
with these doctors?
We used to see Dr. Kulshthra and now we see Dr. Cuthbertson. We
were reticent to change, but we were having our second baby while
she was on maternity leave and we wanted to have consistency for
their care during the first year and we wanted our children to
see the same doctor. We love Dr. K -- she is very sweet with
kids, very upbeat and positive and really kind. I would say the
same thing about Dr. Cuthbertson. The difference between them is
experience. When our older child was very sick we saw almost
ever dr. in the practice because we were there almost daily. Of
all the doctors we saw Dr. Cuthbertson gave us the best and most
helpful advice. As a grandfather he has the range of experiences
that really help. I've found anictdotal information as or more
informative than the party medical line. And I really appreciate
that he brings this to the examining room. I've only seen Dr.
King once and he was great too.
That's been the nice thing for us about this practice... that
when you are sick you don't always get to see your main doctor so
the quality of all the doctors matters.
I'd pick Dr. Cuthbertson as my main doctor and be happy to see
the others -- each doctor provides their own insight into a
situation -- the more voices the better I think.
Good luck with your decision.
Every doctor I've met at Berkeley Pediatrics is good, but I think Dr. Cuthbertson (our
doctor) is the very best --- If you choose him because he's a woman, though, you
will be sorely disappointed (he's not).
What he is is an amazingly competent, caring doctor who puts children at ease, can
relate to them while carefully evaluating their medical issues and in a number of
cases can ease your concerns just by promptly returning a phone call and telling you
what to do over the phone, and under what circumstances to come in or call again.
We love Berkeley Pediatrics, especially Dr. K. We cannot
recommend her highly enough. She has a wonderful way of relating
to my 2 1/2 year old daughter. I have called her offices fairly
frequently to ask (probably typical) first parent worries and Dr.
K has always gotten back to me quickly and treated me with
respect. Please feel free to email me if you have further
We see Dr. King for our new baby and we love him. He is
reassuring and respectful. He is confident but not arrogant, and
relaxed without any hint of being patronizing or dismissive. I've
had some bad experiences with medical professionals in the past
and we feel lucky to have found him.
Dr. K (as we call her) is wonderful. After a pumpkin-carving
accident that makes me cringe every time I think of it, she
stitched up my daughter's fingers with such care and empathy.
Beautiful work, the perfect bedside manner with young kids, warm,
knowledgeable, easy to talk to. We love her.
long-time BP family
Our son has been seeing Dr. Tracy Evans-Ramsey at East Bay
Pediatrics for two years now since he was born. I have nothing
but wonderful things to say about her and would highly
recommend her. No matter how busy she is, she always takes the
time to see how our son is doing and ask me if I have any
questions. She is warm and attentive and genuinely cares about
children. She is a parent of a toddler as well, so she
understands many of the issues we face.
Linda (June 2005)
First, Dr. Cuthbertson is a man.
Now that we have that out of the way. He is absolutely
wonderful. He has been the pediatrician in my family for over
23 years now (oldest 23, youngest 2). All girls. I cannot say
enough about him. He is sensitive, responsive and extreemly
competent for girls as far as I am concerned. Berkeley
Pediatrics as a whole is wonderful. You are lucky if Dr.
Cuthbertson is even accepting new patients, go for it!
-Happy with BPMG.
Dr. Kulshrestha is great, responsive, caring, smart.
I am thinking about signing my son up with Berkeley Pediatrics. Dr. King
& Dr. Davenport are currently taking new patients. I am looking for a
couple of recommendations.
Also, I'd like to hear about the nurses in the office. We are looking to
leave our current family practice due to the low quality of nursing care at
the office. We have had problems due to unskilled or unpleasant nurses.
(Being off by a pound when weighing our 2 month old, taking an
incredibly long time between needles at innoculations, etc.)
Thanks for any recommendations or words of assurance.
I am due to have my first child in December and need to choose a
pediatrician. Drs. Frank and Lang from Berkeley Pediatrics were
both recommended to me, but neither are taking new patients. I
am now trying to get an appt with Dr. Davenport, but don't know
anything about her. I am looking for a younger doctor who is
easy to talk to, up on the latest research, who is easy enough
to get ahold of, and who obviously loves kids. For those of you
who are parents of patients of Dr. Davenport's, would you say
she fits this bill? Thanks so much
My daughter's doctor is Elaine Davenport and I recommend her
highly. She is great with kids and parents as well. She
listens well and I trust her judgement. She is never
condescending or impatient. She promptly calls back when we
have a problem. We like the nursing staff as well. There is
one male nurse who is the shot master and we always try to get
him on shot day.
Dr. King is also great. I have spoken to him on the phone and
my husband brought our daughter in one time when Dr. Davenport
was out. He loved Dr. King and said he was really good with
My only criticism of the practice is that the administrative
staff could be better. They aren't rude, but they aren't
friendly either. I feel anonymous when I come in to the office
until I see Dr. Davenport. I would not use that as a reason
not to choose Dr. Davenport though. She is an excellent doctor
and no place is perfect.
I'm sure you'll get tons of responses to this post. We have gone
to Dr. Davenport for almost six years now. She is terrific. She
is a young mom herself, very easy to talk to, super smart and
even keel. We really love all of the doctors in the office!
Berkeley Ped Fan
We've been with BPMG for ~2 years now and have found them okay.
We've generally been satisfied with the doctors (mostly Dr.
Kulshrestha; during her maternity leave on an emergency call
Drs. Lang and Davenport who were both quite friendly, quick to
return calls, and seemed competent).
The staff there, however, has the occasional issues of
being ''unskilled or unpleasant'' that you mention - in our case:
not communicating clearly, letting child bleed into clothes a
bit after immunizations, measuring length wrong (by 2 inches,
without trying to measure again but just making an estimate! I
was too baffled to demand better measurement, but swore later I
will in the future) or letting us wait long to get our
Some more observations:
We never had to wait long in the waiting room before our
appointment (only afterwards to get the shots).
The phone line can be very busy during the day and we've often
been asked to hold quite a seemingly long time.
They also did not tell us that some insurances (e.g. ours) do
not cover the well-child checkups after a certain number per
time period, and if you just go with the BPMG schedule, you may
end up with an unexpected bill for an uncovered visit.
The one time we complained about an unfriendly nurse our doctor
truly apologized to us and assured us of future improvements.
Staff (and doctors) don't always wait for upset babies to calm
down (or be calmed) before continuing with their routine, which
I guess is often necessary to keep their business going, but
can be quite stressful to new parents or when you want them to
observe something in your kid's ''normal'' behavior.
So for what it's worth, I'd say remain a critical consumer and
give them a try.
I'd also recommend interviewing the doctors you are considering
to see if their personal style works for you.
Parent of a BPMG child
I highly recommend both Dr. Davenport and Berkeley Pediatrics. My children
have been under her care since birth and we've been extremely satisfied with
the care we've received over the past eight years. She's professional, calm, well
informed and my family adores her. She has children of her own and her
experience shines through in the way she talks to kids. I'm so happy a friend
referred us to this practice when we looking for a pediatrician.
I interviewed Dr. King over a year ago before my son was born
in Dec. 2003 to be our pediatrician. We selected him because
his approach to medicine was aligned with ours and we knew
instantly that he is extremeley knowledgable, caring and
gentle, loves kids and committed to his patients. The first
few weeks after our son was born Dr. King called to check in
many times and always calls us back to answer questions. Dr.
King is fantastic, and so is the entire practices. When he is
not available you know that you will the same quality and
excellent care from his partners and nurses. Everyone at BPMG
We have seen Dr. King since our daughter was born. He was the only Dr. at Berkeley
Pediatrics taking patients when we had our daughter. He has been great! He is very
easy to talk to and spends a lot of time with you during appointments. He is also
very good about returning calls and squeezing you in at the last minute with a sick
kid. He is relatively fresh out of med school but is a very thorough and kind doctor.
He doesn't always jump to medicating things right away which is nice. He will also
listen to your concerns and input and take those into account when treating an
illness. Overall our experience as Berkeley Pediatrics has been a good one. We have
found the nurses to be very caring. Good luck with your decision.
Dr. Davenport has been our pediatrician for almost eight years and I can
highly recommend her. She is VERY easy to talk to, has a lovely, low-
key manner with my two daughters (now 8 and 12), and brings her own
experience as a mother to the job. She is kind and knowledgable, but
also quick to bring in a more senior doctor on the staff if she feels she
needs a second opinion.
I have generally found her easy to get hold of, and when she was not
available, the other doctors at BP were also very nice.
That said, as my kids are older, I rarely go to their offices anymore and
don't have much familiarity with the current nursing staff. Certainly the
office is very busy and you should expect to be put on hold when you
The only thing I find slightly disappointing about Dr. Davenport is her
lack of interest and support for alternative health care (homeopathy for
example, which has been amazingly helpful for me and my kids, and
cranio-sacrial therapy -- ditto) although, to be fair, I have not discussed
this with her for quite a few years and she may be more open to it now.
But in terms of what she offers -- and it is considerable -- she is
everything I could want in a pediatrician.
Our 8 year old son sees Dr. King. We were a little skeptical
when we first started seeing him because he is young and pretty
new out of medical school. However, we are quite happy with him
a year later. He is accessible, easy to talk with for both
child and parents, returns phone calls promptly, and is
helpful. The nurses are good too. I hear barely a whimper when
my 3 yr old daughter gets shots. They are good at administering
hearing and sight exams as well. The front desk staff can
sometimes be brusque, especially late in the day, but we're
pretty happy with the medical care.
Berkeley Pediatrics is a wonderful practice with a great staff.
In 10 years I don't recall having any problems with them that weren't at
least partly my own fault. (I now keep my co-pay receipts in case a
payment isn't recorded and I get billed... the one time it happened they
took my word that I'd paid and checked it off).
They are very busy and I'd suggest treating them with the same respect
you expect to get back. For me that means:
NOT blaming them if I'm placed on hold, when calling at a busy time...
my kids aren't the only ones who get sick on weekends, etc.
NOT assuming an appointment won't be delayed... the office has seen
my kids in emergencies that probably delayed someone else. I don't
make appointments without some flexibility.
NOT wasting their time unnecessarily, and NEVER being rude to
anyone in the office. Having worked in offices I'm aware of how rude
and condescending some people can be, and how much a little
I trust my pediatrician implicitly. 90% of the time he can answer my
concerns by return phone call instead of making an office visit.
By the same token -- several times my doctor has taken my opinion on
treatment or referral into account (but only when I was right!). I hope that
most of his patients are as impressed with him as am I (no, he's not
taking patients right now).
Long story short, no reservations about Berkeley Pediatrics -- Like most
group practices they are limited by the vagaries of medical insurance,
and dealing with large numbers of patients, etc.. but they do an excellent
job of providing good, consistent care, in a comfortable environment.
If you need additional information you can contact me.
We are former Kaiser members who just changed insurance plans,
and are looking for a great pediatrician. Our neighbors have
recommended Annemary Franks from Berkeley Pediatrics, but the
archives do not have any recent recommendations about her
specifically. Is there anyone who can give me a current
information on Dr. Franks? How about the practice in general?
Dr. Franks is our doctor for our 5 year old and our 6 month old
and we are very, very happy. She is smart, easy to talk with,
very reachable, and genuinely concerned over the health of our
kids. Our daughter has been very healthy, so all has been
pretty basic care, but our son has had some complications which
she has been really good about helping us work through,
escalating to specialists when needed, etc. I also really like
the practice overall.
This will be one of many posts you will probably read. Annemary
has been our doctor for the past 9 years (2 children), and we
have had a great experience with her and the Berk. Ped.
practice. I was a long time Kaiser member (adult), and learned
to use the system to my advantage, which is the same as Berk.
Peds. - the best times to call, how to deal with referrals and
insurance, which doctors we like when Annemary is unavailable,
etc. Dr. Franks has always responded the same day to our calls,
and we have had numerous complicated medical issues for both
children. She has a vast network of specialists she works
closely with and has usually been spot on with recommendations
for our family. Her interactions with our children have always
been patient and positive.
Happy Annemary Patients
I interviewed four pediatricians before my daughter was
born and was most impressed with Annemary Franks.
She's been our pediatrician ever since, and we have been
very happy with her. She's down-to-earth, warm, great with
kids, and makes us feel comfortable bringing up whatever
we need to discuss. She's extremely well-informed; but
even more importantly, she is secure enough to
acknowledge when she doesn't know something, and then
she does the research and reports back. She's good about
getting back to us by phone when we call in, too. We have
been fortunate enough to have a very healthy child, so we
haven't had much contact with the other docs in the practice,
but the experiences we've had have been fine.
My only complaints are: 1) the front office staff has in the
past been somewhat brusque and unresponsive, but I think
that may have improved over the last couple of years, and 2)
they no longer have a preferred provider contract with Blue
Cross PPO -- our insurance carrier -- so we pay
out-of-pocket for well checks and get a lower
reimbursement rate for other visits. We value the care we've
received and the continuity enough to justify making that
choice rather than switching to another pediatrician.
In good hands
Our son has seen Dr. Franks since he was born (one year ago). We
love her. She is mellow and thorough. She is the mother of three
young kids, which gives her great perspective. She is responsive
to questions and returns calls very promptly. My husband, also a
pediatrician, thinks she is great too.
My children have been patients at Berkeley Pediatrics for 19
years, and I have been very satisfied with the practice. My
daughter switched to Annemary Franks a few years ago, because
she wanted to see a woman, and the switch went smoothly--her
previous doctor (now retired) said that it was great that she
wanted to begin taking charge of her health care. Dr. Franks
has done very well with my daughter, who is not always an easy
patient. She takes my concerns seriously, and also has built up
a rapport with my daughter. She was very attentive when my
daughter was hospitalized last month. I think it's a great
practice, despite the fact that they, like every other practice,
have to try to cope with all the changing rules imposed by
different insurance plans.
Almost 2 decades of Berkeley Pediatrics
I highly recommend Dr. Franks. We've been with her for three
years and I feel she has been very responsive to my concerns.
And my kids really like her.
I have a 7- and a 5-year-old, a girl and a boy. Annemary has
taken care of them since birth. We really like her--she has a
very down-to-earth, calm manner and is responsive to phone
messages and questions. I would put my kids in a ''reasonably
healthy'' category: nothing major, but both of them are troubled
by chronic problems related to upper respiratory/allergies.
Annemary has always been helpful, and does not rush to prescribe
antibiotics, which I am in agreement with. I sometimes feel that
I need to push a little bit for referrals, but nothing that
frustrates or upsets me--I just have to persist if I feel
strongly. On the other hand, she has sometimes been right when
she's advised me to wait and observe a problem a while longer
before we move forward. She has always struck me as having the
right balance of caution and action. I like the office
generally, although I dislike their tendency to gatekeep, as
in, ''Okay, I'll have the doctor call you'' for everything that's
not fever for more than three days.
I also take my kids to see a homeopath, and while I don't think
Annemary regards that person as her medical equal, she hasn't
been disapproving or dismissive of that path at all. All in all,
I'd say that I like working with Annemary because it feels like
we are working as a team for the health of my child. She's a
mom, and we relate well on that level. If you want a parent-type
figure, though, she might not be right for you. She's not
authoritarian in her style.
I am so happy to get an opportunity to recommend Annemary. She
is the pediatrician for both my boys, (8 yrs and 2 yrs) and we
all adore her. My 2 year old is very wary of unfamiliar people
and, while generally sweet and sunny, has for the last 6-8
months not liked people outside the family to touch him. I
warned Annemary before our last well-baby check-up that he was
likely to fall apart, and she was incredibly patient and
respectful with him. She took 10-15 minutes just to interact
with him so that he would relax and, in the end, he was
laughing and giggling with her, and blowing kisses as we left.
Not a tear was shed.
When I gave birth to my 2 year old, I REALLY did not want to
spend the night at the hospital. Staff wanted to keep me
(after a very routine, straightforward birth that afternoon),
but I finally wore them down, and they agreed to release us if
I could get my pediatrician over to the hospital to check my
baby. Although she has kids of her own to get home to at the
end of the day, Annemary very graciously agreed to come to
the hospital in the evening so that I could go home that
night. I thanked her profusely months later, and she did not
even remember having put herself out for us.
So, if Annemary is taking patients, I think you'll be in
fantastic hands. We have had other good pediatricians that we
were fond of before moving to the Bay Area, but Annemary is
absolutely our favorite. Please email me if you have any
We have been going to Dr. Franks since we moved here four years
ago; our daughters are now 5 and 2. I have been very pleased.
She listens well to all our questions. As a mother herself she
has good practical advice. I really like how as the kids get
older she talks almost entirely to them during annual check-
ups. Though she does make sure to ask if I have any questions.
She's a calming presence with a good sense of humor. She
returns calls promptly. The only downside to the practice is
sometimes you have to wait a while. We have always been able to
see someone that day (almost always Dr. Franks) for sick kid
We've been with Berkeley pediatrics for 5 years now. Tried
originally to sign up w/ Dr. Franks on several friend's
recommendations, but she wasn't accepting new patients, so our
pediatrician is Dr. Elaine Davenport whom we like just fine.
But i would like to speak to our experiences with the practice
overall. You can expect long waits, especially during
appointments requiring shots. You wait for your visit with the
doctor, then get in line again to wait, and wait, and wait for
your shot appointment. For instance: last month I took both kids
in for back-to back appointments with shots and we were there
for 3 HOURS! Ridiculous. The other negative is that the
office/support staff are generally unfriendly and cold (this was
more pronounced in the past, but has improved lately).
This stands in marked contrast to a pediatric group I was with
briefly in Pinole, Rainbow Pediatrics - if my insurance had
covered it, I would have stayed with them permanently -
extremely friendly and helpful staff as well as great doctors.
So, all the doctors we've seen at Berkeley pediatric have been
great, but the way the office is run leaves much to be desired,
I second previous comments that indicate the Dr. Franks is a
terrific pediatrician, but the overall ''experience'' at Berkeley
Pediatrics can be frustrating.
Dr. Franks has been my two sons' doctor for many years, and I
couldn't ask for a better pediatrician. She's knowledgeable,
patient, and exudes a calm that promotes trust from her
Berkeley Pediatrics is an excellent operation overall, but it's
not uncommon to be put into an examination room for up to an
hour before the doctor is able to see your child. I'm sure
that sometimes there are good reasons for the delays, e.g.,
emergencies, but I also think that this office, like so many
these days, engages in overbooking strategies to ensure a
steady cash flow in case of unexpected cancellations or no-
shows. So it goes. I wonder if any medical office these days
is immune from this syndrome.
Overall, I give Dr. Franks a very solid endorsement. And since
the medical staff at Berkeley Pediatrics is excellent overall,
you can have confidence that if Dr. Franks is not present on a
day when you need an appointment your child will still be well
I don't have experience with Dr. Frank but wanted to put my two
cents in regarding the office, especially the billing office. My
son was a patient of Dr. Gruber, whom we both loved, but he
retired, so we were assigned to Dr. King, which we were not
happy with at all but that's another story. On our first visit
with Dr. King, we had to pay for our annual check-up because Dr.
King's name was not on our insurance card, Dr. Gruber was. We
had already informed our insurance prior to our visit but our
new insurance card had not come in yet. The insurance said that
the office could call for verificication, but BP refused and
said that as long as Dr. King's name was not on the card, I had
to pay for the visit and get re-imbursed later. It turned out
that Dr. King was listed as a specialist, instead of a Primaray
Care physician so the insurance did not pay for the visit until
Dr. King was listed correctly. It took me months of phone calls
to Berkeley Pediatrics' billing manager to finally get them to
switch Dr. King to the correct title, to re-sumbit the invoice
(they finally did two months ago), and finally send me back my
re-imbursement check. My visit was in November, and I just
received the check 2 weeks ago, so it took 7 months of
relentless pursuing from my end to get it taken care off.
Even though my experience with Dr. Gruber, as well as the nurse
practicioners on staff, has been very pleasant, the office staff
leaves much to be desired. They are un-organized and inefficient
in their follow up of financial matters. If it wasn't for my
relentless follow up, I would have never received my check back.
Needless to say, we will no longer go back to this office as a
great office staff is as important to me as a great doctor.
unhappy with Berkeley Pediatrics
We have been taking our daughter to Dr. Franks since her birth. We've
found Dr. Franks to be down to earth and willing to answer any
questions we may have. This is my first experience with a piediatrician
though, so I can only compare her to my own primary care physician.
Dr. Franks is also very supportive of moms and breastfeeding. I have to
second the other person's comments though about the long waits at
Berkeley Piediatrics. I have waited between 20 minutes to an hour to
see the doctor every time we've been in for scheduled appointments,
and then waited again for between 15 to 40 minutes for immunizations.
I just assumed this was pretty common, but if other piediatric groups are
better run it might be something to consider.
I just had to respond to some of the comments about Berkeley
Pediatrics. We haven't ever seen Dr. Franks, but our daughter
is almost one and Dr. K has been her doctor since birth. I know
everyone has a different experience, so I just wanted to post
our experience with the practice, which has been overwhelmingly
positive. I've never had to wait more than 5-10 minutes (if
that) for an appointment. We've called several times during
nights and weekends (typically anxious parents of a little baby)
and the office has responded very quickly and with a lot of
kindness and patience. I find the office staff to be busy, but
very friendly and helpful. It is true, it is difficult to get
non-emergency appointments, so I try never to change my well
baby visits. Overall, however, we feel grateful to have found a
practice where we like everyone so much. We also think Dr. K is
Happy with Berkeley Pediatrics
We are very happy with Dr. Franks, she is no-nonsense, calm, and
it is really important for me to know that her advice is coming
from a parent as well as a doctor. Our little boy loves her and
so do we. Berkeley pediatrics tends to run a little late but
overall, the organization of the office is not nearly as
important as the quality of the pediatrician.
Loving Dr. Franks
I realize that this is getting off the subject, but I wanted to
once again point out that there is a lot of confusion between
the Berkeley Pediatric Medical Group and the Pediatric Medical
Group. Dr. Franks is at the former (about which everyone wrote
in to complain out the office staff, waits etc.). Dr K.
(Kowaleski, I presume),about whom one person wrote in to say
that the office is great, is at the latter. I've had
experiences with both and I agree that the Pediatric Medical
Group is much better run, much more concerned about the
convenience of the parents, and just generally a more friendly
i have read the past postings about Dr Davenport at Berkeley
Pediatrics but am interested in reading something a little more
current, perhaps someone who has recently started with her in
the past year or two. Specifically, is she willing to take time
to discuss/answer questions? What is she like in terms
of ''bedside manner'', so to speak? I would like to hear any
feedback on the subject.
Interested in Dr. D
Dr. Davenport is my 8 month old daughter's doctor. She has always
been kind, gentle and with a lovely bedside manner. Every time I
have a question I call her and she calls back as soon as
possible, within the hour or two. My daughter reacts very well to
her, and any questions I may have she always clarifies for me. I
would recommend her highly. She is not judgemental in any way,
and any child rearing preferences you may have she goes along
with. I hope this is helpful.
In response to the post about Dr. Elaine Davenport at Berkeley
Pediatrics, we have had an excellent experience with her and my
six month old child. Our daughter was very premature, so we had
not interviewed pediatricians and needed one very quickly toward
the end of her hospital stay. Our neonatalogist recommended her
and the first day we called her, she left me four messages
trying to reach me and schedule our newborn visit. She was very
supportive and reassuring at a time when we needed that and has
continued to be at every visit. I have never felt rushed with
her during office visits and she makes sure to answer all of our
questions and gives us ample time to discuss any concerns. She
returns calls very promptly - the last time I called, she called
me back on a Monday morning within 15 minutes. Also, when we
had to go out of town when my daughter was only 3 months old and
my mother was taking care of her, I spoke with Dr. Davenport and
she said that she was on call for the weekend and that my mother
could call her with any questions. Overall, I think she is a
very caring, competent doctor and I highly recommend her.
I started taking my two daughters to Dr. Davenport (age 2 and
4) a year ago and think she's just great. She's very
understanding, has a great manner with the children and is
really good about returning phone calls to discuss the child's
symptoms before scheduling an appointment. One time she even
tried my phone a few times until she got a hold of me instead
of just leaving a message. Another time when the girls had
chicken pox she came out to the car to examine one of them and
then gave the other one a chicken pox vaccine on the spot in
the clinic. I really feel she goes the whole nine yards. Also
I've had really good luck with Berkeley Pedriatrics if Dr.
Davenport is not in. She's not in every day but this has never
been an issue with us.
I think Dr. Davenport is great, and we've been very impressed
with her bedside manner. However, I don't think she is taking
any new patients right now. There are one or two doctors at
Berkeley Peds who may be taking new patients, so you may want to
call and ask about them instead.
''Dr. Elaine'' is the doctor for our 2 and 5 year old daughters.
I've found her to be warm and open and happy to take the time to
talk with us.
fine with dr. elaine
Let me just say, I LOVE Dr. Davenport. My 18 mos. old daughter
started seeing her in February of this year. She had just
started daycare and was chronically ill. She had been seeing
other doctors at Oakland Family Practice but everyone kept
telling me that she had a stubborn virus. Finally, in
frustration I switched to Dr. Davenport based on the
recommendation of another parent at her school. When we arrived
at her appointment, I must have vented for at least 30 minutes
and she listened patiently. She assured me that my daughter had
gotten appropriate care at OFP, but just made me feel better
about it. When she did her exam, she noticed that my daughter
had wax build-up in her ears. After she cleaned them out, she
concluded that she had raging ear infections in both ears that
had gone undetected because of the wax! One round of antibiotics
and my daughter was back to new. My daughter has had other
problems and Dr. Davenport has always been very proactive without
being overly intrusive. I can't give her a high enough
I have both my children with Elaine (hopefully that will be a
good sign for you that she goes by her first name, not Dr.). I
have nothing but glowing praise for her as a doctor, and a
person. I don't think we have ever had an appointment with her
when she has not asked ''if we have any questions'', so in
response to your question, yes, she will always discuss anything
you would want to bring up with her. She only works part-time
(has 2 kids of her own) so making appointments with her has less
flexibility than with other doctors, but I feel lucky to have
her as my kids doctor. She is a warm and thoughtful person, and
has a great rapport with my kids.
My infant daughter is a patient of Dr. Davenports. When she was
about two months, she got a bladder infection which was really
scary. Dr. Davenport was wonderful in treating our daughter and
in the way she handled our concerns, questions, etc. As new
parents, we call frequently with questions and no matter what
the topic, she always returns calls the same day and never makes
you feel silly for calling. She has a great bedside manner and
definately takes her time at appointments and on the phone. She
is very gentle and playful with our daughter and I would highly
I can't say enough good things about Dr. Davenport. She is
smart, personable, very throughough and just an all-around
wonderful person to boot. I am glad I found her. Not only is she
a top-notch pediatrician she is someone I would choose as a
friend (had I met her elsewhere!. I respect her opinion and she
respects mine. I personally don't feel like I have to have a
doctor that believes exactly what I do about child rearing. I
tend to be more conservative when it comes to meds and vaccines
(though I've done most of them in my own time) and it hasn't
affected our relationship. She speaks not only from experience
as a pediatrician but also as a parent of two young children.
Remember- your child's doctor is one of many professionals in
your child' life. Their job is to guide and advise. Some people
get bent out of shape when a professional offers a different
view. Rarely is it simply a relection of their peronalilty or
style. Rather, I think it's a sypmtom of unrealistic parent
Happy fan of Dr. D
My son will be 1 on December 26th, and Dr. Davenport has been
his caregiver since he was born. My experience with her has been
wonderful. She is very gentle, caring and patient with the
baby, which was particularly important from about 3 to 9 months
because he was experiencing extreme stranger anxiety during that
period. She also takes the time to hear out and thoughtfully
respond to my myriad of questions, concerns and, sometimes,
paranoia (neither I nor my partner had any experience with
babies prior to actually having one, so there were a lot of all
3). She has returned every phone call I have made to her office
in a very timely manner. She also has a good sense of humor. I
have the utmost confidence in her. And I like her as a person.
Dr. Davenport has been our pediatrician for the last three years, and we are
very happy with her. She answers questions without rushing and has a very
good ''bedside manner.'' When our daughter was a little bit shy during one
office visit about a year ago, Dr. Davenport first examined her stuffed toy to
put her at ease. She also returns phone calls very quickly, usually within a
couple of hours. The best reference for her is that our three year-old daughter
loves to go to the office visits with her.
We have been seeing Dr. Davenport for the past 16 months since
my daughter was born and she is wonderful! She is so patient
with all of the questions I ask, and I ask a lot of questions.
This is our first child so I call her frequently. She always
responds the same day and never makes me feel stupid but at the
same time she is very firm and reassuring when I am being
Other feedback has made her seem negative or inflexible and I
would disagree with that. She is more conservative but she
always listens to what I have to say even when I disagree and
she has never pulled the ''I am the doctor I know best''
attitude. We co-sleep, still night nurse and she respects our
parenting decisions. I think she is a good doctor and
excellent with first time parents.
We are very happy with Dr. Davenport. She has been my 6- and 3-
year-olds' pediatrician since they were born. She has seemed
glad to answer my questions during check-ups, and I find her
straightforward and easy to talk to. She also seems to relate
well to children. She is gentle with little ones. During his
3-year-old check-up she had my younger child sit on my lap and
let him touch the instruments before she used them.
We have been patients of Dr. Davenport's at Berkeley Pediatrics
for more than 4 years and I think she is really great. Both our 5
year old son and 3 year old daughter are fairly healthy, but we
have had our share of ear infections, croup, etc..When sick, we
have always been seen on the same day and I have found Dr.
Davenport caring and attentive during both sick and well visits.
While the office can get very busy, I never feel rushed by her,
her bedside manner is wonderful. When our son had a problem with
persistent bloody noses, she referred us accordingly. When our
daughter was badly bitten by a baby unknown to us in a park, Dr.
Davenport's assurances and recommendations were most appreciated.
She always phones back (once within 3 minutes)Once I even came
to the office in an emergency, without an appointment, 7 months
pregnant in a bathing suit,skirt, and rubber flip flops(yes, not
a pretty sight, panic-stricken) when our son fell off a bench
and slammed his head on the rocky asphalt at the pool. She is
very good with hysterical pregnant mothers. My children really
like her too. The only trouble I have ever had at the practice
was when Dr. Davenport went on maternity leave. The office staff
had me call and change my insurance card to the doctor replacing
her. I wasn't informed that she had returned and was left in a
very awkward position seeing the new doctor during the
overlap and passing her in the hall. Never mind being concerned
that our good relationship was being compromised, when I tried to
make future appointments with Dr. Davenport, I was told her
practice was full!! Sandy, the receptionist, thankfully sorted
everything out and we remain very satisfied patients of Dr.
I've read those old posts about Dr. Davenport and wonder if it
could possibly be the same doctor we've used for nearly seven
years. My youngest is almost four so I guess she's not a newer
patient, but I'll share our experience anyway. I find Elaine to
be very competent professionally and my kids both enjoy her
personally. She shows a sincere interest in them and seems to
really like them. I like that she's willing to ''watch'' a (mild)
ear infection rather than prescribe antibiotics. I've been most
satisfied with the way we can discuss medical issues. She's
never been condescending. I've found her advice helpful on
breastfeeding, childcare options, eating difficulties, behavior
challenges, Kindergarten etc. I've also worked with many of the
other doctors in the practice for sick calls and phone advice
when Elaine is not on call. I've got to say that I've been
happy with all of them. We recently switched my older son to
Dr. Cuthbertsen because he wanted a male doctor and they had a
real chemistry, but we still get to see her for my daughter. By
the way, she has two young children (a girl and a boy) and a
great perspective on it all. I hope you like her as much as we
Has anyone had any experience with Dr. Ben King at Berkeley
Pediatrics? He is a newer member of the group now that Dr.
Gruber has retired. We're a two-mom family and are having
twins and want someone who is comfortable with both.
(Unfortunately Olivia Lang who has twins isn't accepting new
I know Ben King from medical school and can tell you that he is
very bright, very kind and believe he would be a great doc for
your little ones!
I've taken my son to see Dr. King for a sick visit, and was
thoroughly impressed. He spent plenty of time with us, seemed
quite knowledgable (trained at Stanford), and my son took to
him almost instantly. I also found out that he grew up in
Berkeley, and went to Berkeley High. He seems to be very open
minded, and I doubt that he, or any of the doctors at BPMG
would have trouble with a two mom family. I know of many
lesbian families in the area who take their kids to BPMG.
A happy BPMG parent
I love my doctor at East Bay Pediatric but if I was looking for
someone new, I would definately go with Dr. King. He and his
wife were my old landlords and he is terrific. He came to visit
when my son was born and I was just amazed at how wonderful he
was with him. He has such a great disposition and is really
friendly. I highly reccommend him.
I have not used Ben King as a pediatrician, but know him
personally (he is married to one of my oldest friends). He is a
very nice guy, and I am sure that he would be comfortable with
both issues (twins and a two-mom family). Good luck with your
I've only seen Dr. King once and my husband talked to him on the
phone once, but FWIW, I like him, even though he's ''wet behind
the ears''. His exam of my child was very thorough, and he
consulted with the other drs. on something he noticed to get
confirmation of his opinion (I definitely like someone who can
do that). He was warm, energetic, open to discussion, promptly
returned my call the next day when I had some follow-up
questions. Also, Dr. Gruber gave him the thumbs up, so that
weighs in with me too.
My 9-month-old daughter and I saw Dr. King for the first time
earlier this month. He listened to her heart for a very long
time and in different positions. I was surprised when he said
he ''heard something else'' and mentioned a heart murmur. We'd
never encountered that before (Dr. Gruber had never mentioned
it before). Dr. King was really reassuring, saying that most
heart murmurs tend to work themselves out and that it was
probably nothing to worry about, but he said he'd just keep an
eye (or ear) on it. I appreciated his conscientiousness, his
thorough explanation, and his reassuring manner. A few days
later, when recounting the story to my mother-in-law, she told
me she had gone through the exact same thing when my husband
was a baby--he had a heart murmur that eventually went away.
She, too, was impressed by Dr. King's conscientiousness.
My teen daughter has been a patient of Dr. Boynton at
Berkeley Pediatric all her life. Now, just as Dr. B. is leaving, I
have some concern that my daughter is developing an
eating disorder. We have been assigned to Dr. ''Kay''
Kaulshrestha who seems quite pleasant over the phone.
Does anyone have positive or negative experiences to share
regarding seeking treatment for anorexia with any of the
Berkeley Pediatric doctors?
We, too, were bummed when Dr. Boynton told us about her retirement.
At our last appointment, she introduced me to Dr. K. who is taking most
of her patients. She even told me her own grandchildren will be Dr. K.'s
After a few appointments with Dr. K., we are happy with her. She is very
different from Dr. Boynton--much younger, for starters, but also very
sweet. I think this might help your daughter relate to her perhaps better
than she would have with Dr. Boynton. My girls are WAY younger than
yours, so I'm not sure about her experience or approach to eating
Good luck to you and your family.
I don't know her record with anorexia, but we have taken our 16
year old in for some ''very sensitive'' problems, and were
absolutely taken with Dr. K, who is sensitive, direct,
competent, knowledgeable and communicative. I'd certainly
consult with her!
Almost 27 1/2 years ago I was lucky enough to be assigned to Berkeley Pediatric office. I had heard about them
though my midwife, who unfortunately left a couple of hours before my first child was born. I arrived at Alta Bates
ER and they asked who my pediatricican was. My get acquainted appointement was still off in the future but because
my child was in danger (and even though Berk Ped was no longer accepting patients) Ragna Boynton showed up.
From the moment I met her in the recovery room I knew I couldn't find a better pediatrician.
My youngest doughter still has one more visit ( a college physical) before we retire from Berkeley Ped. Though
sometimes we had to wait, we ALWAYS recieved EXCELLENT care from Dr. Boynton and who ever filled in for her.
THANK YOU BERKELEY PEDIATRIC!!! May you continue to provide loving care. Susan
We are in the process of selecting a pediatrician for our first
child (due in mid-April), and we really liked the pediatrician
we met at Berkeley Pediatric Medical Group. However, after
reading up on the practice on the Berkeley Parents web site,
I'm somewhat concerned about all the negative comments
regarding the BPMG office, receptionists, and other staff.
These comments are from May 2002, and I'm wondering whether
anyone has seen improvement since then, or whether people are
still experiencing similar frustrations with the office.
We have been with BPMG for over 2 years now. We had an initial
bad experience in which a communication glitch resulted in the
office staff telling me about a week before our baby was due
that Dr. Gruber could not be our pediatrician. The office
manager resolved the problem quickly, and since that time I have
nothing but good things to say about the staff. There is a
newer guy there - not sure of his position - maybe a nurse? -
whom I do not connect with well. But other than that, it's truly a great
practice and I would recommend it without hesitation. I have
complete confidence in them.
We've been seeing Dr. Lang at Berkeley Pediatrics for
almost 3 years now--with a brief period with the
now-departed Dr. Messinger--and I've had none of the
problems mentioned by others. I've found Dr. Lang to be
caring and committed, relatively easy to get hold of for
telephone questions/discussions, and up on latest medical
research/protocols. I'm puzzled by others problems with the
office staff and receptionists, since I've found them to be very
nice and helpful. When minor glitches occur here and
there--such as when they didn't return my pharmacy's
call--they've worked quickly to rectify the situation. All in all, I
like the practice.
It is my impression that the grumpy front office woman who used
to be there is no longer. We've been going there for 8 years
and are quite satisfied with the care and responsiveness. The
spacial accommodation for sick kids and their parent(s) is not
very good, but at least there is some separation of the sick
from the well. We see Ann Mary Franks, and we like her. Same
goes for the other docs in the group, all of whom we've seen at
mother of two
We've been going to BPMG for almost 3 years, and the only
problem I've had with the office is some really slow billing -
which they seem to have taken care of. It's probably been about
a year since we've had a billing issue. (It was pretty
frequent before that - they always seemed to be behind in
crediting payments, meaning you'd get a bill for a copay you'd
As far as staff goes, most have been very nice every time we've
been there. There have been a few times when one may have been
a bit more brusque than would be ideal, but on the assumption
that everyone has bad days once in a while, I've never been too
bothered by it. I would never NOT go there for staff/office
reasons - the doctors are great, and the office issues minimal
now that billing isn't a problem. There are some very nice
nurses, too, and my kids are quite comfortable going there - a
biggie for me.
The only other ''complaint'' I can think of is that waits are
sometimes a bit long, which can be frustrating. But sometimes
they aren't - you never know. I try and make appointments for
early in the day, bring a drink and a snack for the kid(s), and
keep in mind that if one of my kids was sick, I'd want the
doctor to fit me in and give us that extra time. Which they
have in the past, so I consider it worth it.
Both of my children are patients of Dr. Ragna Boynton at
BPMG. She is an excellent doctor and I feel is very much in
tune with my philosophy of medical treatment. There was
one nurse at BPMG who I thought was very abrupt with me
when my infant son needed to get his vaccinations (raising
her voice when I wasn't holding him the correct way), but I try
to give people a break since BPMG is a very busy office and
the nurses and doctors and front desk staff are very busy
(perhaps she was having a bad day). However, I feel that
my children have received a lot of personal attention there,
more than I would have expected given the busy office.
For example, my insurance company billed me for a
respiratory chamber that my son needed to take his
medication. After going back and forth with the insurance
company, and them telling me this device was not covered,
they told me to talk with my doctor's office to clear it up.
Melinda at the front desk at BPMG battled Blue Cross for me
for 3 days, being put on hold for hours, etc. I never expected
that kind of service, and my problem was solved. When I
need copies of medical records, they usually have them
ready the next day for pick up, and will also mail out health
records forms for daycare and school usually within one
week. They have even written a special letter for my
daughter, noting when she would receive her next
vaccinations, so that she could register for kindergarten
before the deadline.
Regarding waiting time, early morning appointments are
best if you can make them - less likely to have to wait since
they are not behind schedule yet. I feel that as parents we
have to be somewhat flexible since there are other parents
with sick kids that need to be seen. I have never had a
problem getting an appt. when my children are sick.
Usually, I leave a message for Dr. Boynton, who promptly
returns my calls (even after regular office hours!) and then
we assess what should be done and when my children
need to actually be seen in the office.
All in all, I am very happy with BPMG. We moved to
Hercules (10 miles away from Berkeley) and I still bring my
children there. However, I am heartbroken because our
dear Dr. Boynton will be retiring this summer. I believe Dr.
''K'' (only an abbreviation b/c she has a lengthy surname) is
taking over most of her patients. I have interacted with Dr. K
and she is quite pleasant.
Happy BPMG Mom
My son has been with Berkeley Pediatric since he was born (he's now
2), and we've never had a bit of trouble with any of the things you
mention. In fact, I really like the office staff. And I've liked all of the
pediatricians my son has seen (not just ours).
We have been going to Berkeley Pediatrics since we moved
to Berkeley in 1998. I love our pediatrician (Cuthbertson)
and my kids adore him, too. I have seen the other posts
about issues with the office staff, but have never
experienced any problems myself. There is one male nurse
who I don't click with, but the I have had good experiences with the
rest of the nursing staff. I have never had a problem getting
same day appointments with our own doctor if one of the
kids is sick. The only times we have seen other doctors is
if ours is not in on a particular day, which seems to happen
pretty rarely (this is quite different than our prior pediatric
practice experience in San Francisco where sick
appointments were with whoever was on call that day and
we only seemed to see ''our'' pediatrician for well-child
check-ups). We have seen most of the other doctors at
Berkeley Peds at one time or another and liked them all.
We have never had to wait more than 10 minutes to see a
doctor, even when we are in for same day/sick
appointments. I think it's a great practice and would
recommend it without reservation.
My daughter has been a BPMG patient since 9-01. She has been
very healthy (no sick visits), so I can only comment on what it
is like to get well-baby care there. We have been very
satisfied. We have never had any problems with staff or
receptionists. I can't say they are especially cheerful, but
they are always friendly and competent. I think the space the
practice is in is great. Large, clean rooms and separate rooms
and waiting areas for well and sick children. And Judy, their
advice nurse/lacation consultant is an absolute angel. My only
complaint is that about 1/3 the time I wait a long time to be
seen. That is pretty irritating, but certainly not problematic
enough to warrant switching practices.
We have been going to BPMG for almost 8 years with our two
children and have never had any trouble with the office
staff/receptionists. I know that people have complained in the
past, but honestly, we have had MANY appointments and never
experienced any of these problems. We really like the practice,
but are VERY sad that Dr. Boynton (our pediatrician) is retiring
because we love her.
We have been going to Berkeley Pediatric Medical Group for 7
months now. Our daughter is nine months. We think it is
fantastic. We see Dr. K and think she is marvelous with our
daughter. I have never had a problem with the staff. The
people who do the immunizations (let's face it they have a rough
job) have a nice sense of humor and have let us try everything
under the sun in terms of trying to make it less painful for our
baby. (it's an ongoing experiment.)
The office is clean. They separate the sick from the well. And
we never wait very long to see Dr. K. And she spends lots of
time with us.
I think you have to accept that no place is perfect and you're
bound to have rough moments. We're all human.
I highly recommend BPMG.
I have been a member of BPMG for 25 years, as a patient and then
a parent of a patient. They have had their moments, but the
quality of doctor care is consistently excellent. On an
occasion or two, the staff have been less than friendly, but for the most
part they have been helpful, understanding of my anguish,
patient on the phone, careful in getting my information, etc.
The doctors, whether it has been my own or an on-call doctor
have all been amazing - caring, informed, patient, soothing the
baby. They all seem to care so much for teh children -- seeking
to put them at ease, and get as much out of the children
directly before poking, prodding, or asking me questions.
The waits have varied. I tend to schedule my appointments
first thing in the morning so my wait time is less. However, I
have waited extraordinarily long times for vaccinations - that
has been consistent. But because I feel that the care I
receive, and the time the doctors are willing to spend with me
to answer my questions, concerns, etc. I think it is worthwhile,
and I recommend them heartily.
happy at BPMG
We have been seeing Dr. Howard Gruber at Berkeley
Pediatrics for more than 7 years, and couldn't be happier
with him or the practice. Perhaps because we have simple
HMO's, I have never had a problem with the office. I have
always had an easy time scheduling appointments, and
can call any time with a concern and get a quick response
from Dr. Gruber by phone. It is a large practice, so it is
entirely possible others have had problems, but our family
has not, and I warmly recommend their practice.
We've ben going to BPMG for almost 14 years, and we
couldn't be happier. Dr. Franks is our doctor and I feel she
has taken the time to know me and my son well. She
always returns calls, listens patiently to him ( and me), and
is always willing to work through a problem. She was
particularly helpful when my son was diagnosed with
asthma, working with the pulmonary specialist to work out a
treatment plan that would be doable for my son. She also
went to bat with Blue Cross to get his flu shots covered.
been seeing Dr. Franks at BPMG since my daughter was born 5
years ago, as well as with my youngest who is almost 1. In fact, I
will have my 3rd child there as well come July. I have always had
a great experiences with all the doctors, nurses and staff there.
They are kind to my children and some of them even remember
their names without having to look at their charts. I have never
once had a chart that was not there for appointments, nor have
any of the staff been curt or rude when I address them about
different issues. The waiting time for getting calls returned by Dr.
Franks has never been excessive, and even when I have called
the nurse advice line late at night, they relay the message to
BPMG and I have always gotten a call back the next morning. I
find the rooms to be sufficiently clean and safe, and love the fact
that there are some books and toys in every room to entertain
your child while the doctor comes in, which has rarely exceeded
15 mins. Even in the waiting room, the wait has never been very
long. I moved to Richmond 2 years ago, but didn't want to switch
from BPMG, because I really like the practice.
There was a time when I did switch doctors, because we had no
insurace coverage and could only qualify for Medi-Cal. I only did
that for a couple of months, because the one visit I did have to
this new doctor was horrible. I had to wait 3 hours to be seen,
even though we did have a scheduled appointment time. The
doctor was great and very patient though some of his advice I
thought was a little wrong, but I refused to sit in a waiting room for
3 hours or more for a check-up. As soon as could I switced back
to BPMG, and they accepted my Medi-cal, which I don't think they
do anymore. Just thought I would let you know of my one bad
experince outside of BPMG. Good luck in you choice.
a happy mom of 2 BPMG patients. Soon to be 3 patients
My daughter's doctor is Dr. Elaine Davenport at Berkeley Pediatrics.
While I have been happy with the care she has received from her doctor,
I have been brought to tears 4 of my last 5 dealings with the rest of
the nurses, doctors and administration at BP. Messages aren't
delivered; I am on hold for up to 20 minutes at a time when I call; the
receptionists seem put-out by my requests for appointments;
my daughter's records haven't always been on hand for an appointment and
the time in the waiting room is always way too long. Has anyone
managed to find a way around all this unpleasantness at BP? I hate to
switch doctors but at this point, I feel like dealing with the emergency
room at Oakland's Children's Hospital is easier than BP. Please send me
any advice you have about how to be treated better by BP. Thank you.
While we do not go to BP, I do think that you should inform Dr. Davenport
of what you feel is going on at the front desk, or with the nurses, and so
Often, the doctors do not know these things, because this information is never
passed on to them; their interactions with patients is limited to the
room. When I have informed my child's doctor of issues such as the ones
in your message, he has been surprised and has also acted on the information I
gave him. So, no matter what you decide to do, I do think that you should
your feelings with Dr. Davenport, just in case she does not know what is
with her staff.
It sounds like you have already made up your mind about switching doctors, so
I certainly won't try to persuade you otherwise. I think the other docs are
great too -- good luck in finding one more consistent with your approaches.
I do, however, want to add to the record that my two children (4.5 and 9
months) go to Dr. Davenport and I've had a pretty different response
regarding sleep and eating. She seems to listen well to what I'm trying and
then offers suggestions if I want them. I have had only positive experiences
with her. P.S. I had one child at home, we use homepathic remedies, have
refused certain vaccinations, etc -- and I've received nothing but support
for my less than "conservative" approaches.
We have been with Berkeley Pediatrics since my 9 year old son was 18 months
and I have always been very satisfied with the care we receive there, BUT,
anything, you have to have a strong hand in your treatment. My number one
to just print out what you put in the recommendations wanted section and
make a ''Talk''
appointment with Dr. Davenport. I would simply give her the printout and
let that open
up the discussion. You are very clear that you wish to remain with BP, and
are satisfied with her as a Pediatrician, but that you don't feel that you
treated with care by the office/nursing/pediatric staff otherwise. My
is that you ''chat up'' the staff while you're there. Nearly all of the
there know me and my kids because I am a very talkative and friendly person
and make an
effort to be known. When they know you, you automatically have an edge
because they will
go the extra mile to please someone they know and like. (I know, everyone
should get this
kind of treatment, but the staff are just human like all of us, and little
sometimes necessary). Also remember that BP is a tremendously busy office,
and not everyone
is nice to the staff, so they are often a bit harried. As you know, we moms
are like angry
lionesses when our ''cubs'' are threatened, and sometimes this spills out
and everyone when our little ones are sick.
We have experienced long waits, too. I have learned that you get seen
sooner if you have
a first-thing-in-the-morning appointment. I am also very assertive about
appointment when my son is sick. My sister has called to get an
appointment and let the
person answering the phone know that if her child can't be seen she'll just
to Children's and that usually gets her in. I'm sure they get a lot of
appointments and the doctors try to get the staff to weed those out -- but
if you suggest
the severity of the symptoms, we've never had a problem getting in. For
I also recommend calling first think in the morning, because if you don't
it seems like they
over-book the 4:45 p.m. slot! Good luck and I hope these suggestions are
Been there, done that
I would try to talk to Elaine Davenport directly before you leave BP. I
have always found her
receptive and easy to talk with. Since you are happy with the care she is
providing your child,
I would hate to see you switch physicians.
Like you, I thought our pediatrican, AnneMary Franks, at Berkeley
Pediatrics was wonerful, but
grew to dislike the office more each time we went there. It sounds like
you had it worse that
we did--files not there at appointments?--but still the staff seemed
overworked and uncaring,
the rooms were small, old and stuffy, and the waits were totally
an hour on average. Beyond that, BPMG dropped our insurance, so we had to
pay up front and
file on our own for minimal reimbursement. Still, I liked Dr. Franks and
didn't want to change
during my son's first year.
But we finally cried uncle and switched practices. We now see Jane Hunter
at Pediatric Medical
Group, and I am very happy with the change.
I like Dr. Hunter as much as Dr Franks, and the office
is so much more pleasant. I have yet to wait more than fifteen or twenty
minutes, and usually we're
with the doctor much, much faster. The staff seems less harried, and the
rooms are clean enough for
both my son and me to play on the floor. It's not perfect, and the drive
to the office is long for us.
But I don't dread going to the pediatrican's the way I grew to with
BPMG. Deciding to change doctors
was not easy . Now I am very glad we did.
Your posting sounded strangely familiar. I too had a pretty traumatic
experience with the staff
at Berkeley Pediatrics. One time in particular, after handing in my
daughter's insurance card at
the counter, I was told in a very abrupt way that we did not have a valid
insurance and that we would
have to pay. I was in shock, knowing that my boyfriend and I spend a large
share of our grad-students
income on our daughter's health insurance, I asked her what the exact
nature of the problem was, and she just kept repeating: you don't have
insurance, as if I had been caught trying to cheat them. I insisted that
the woman check again or call the insurance company to verify the
information, and she refused, also refusing to let me call my boyfriend to
ask him if he knew what the problem was. I ended up leaving, almost in
tears, and once I got home, Jim called the insurance company that confirmed
that we had valid coverage. He called BP back, talked to the woman who also
argued with him, and when he told her she was behaving in a very
unprofessional matter, she hung up on him. I ended up writing a personal
letter to our pediatrician, Dr. Boynton, and someone from their staff
called us a few days later to apologize, saying that the problem person had
been taken care of... But after that, I dreaded taking my daughter back to
Dr. Boynton, because I personally don't need the extra stress and worry
when taking a sick child to see a doctor. But subsequent visits have been
I strongly recommend Dr. Ann Mary Franks at Berkeley Peds. When we first met
with her, we were concerned that she was too young to be an effective (seasoned)
caregiver to our daughter. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Dr. Franks is wise, wise, wise
beyond her years. She is very even in her advice, not overly conservative, not
overly radical. She is empathetic and respects our daughter without talking
"down" to her. She returns phone calls almost immediately. I can't recommend
her strongly enough.
For the most part, my experiences with Berkeley Pediatrics have been very
because our pediatrician Dr. Gruber is extremely responsive, respectful,
I did find when I called last time with something I felt was urgent, the
responded negatively and it was obvious she didn't think my daughter's
issue was a problem.
I persisted with her, she did get the message to Dr. Gruber and he called
back that morning.
I do know that they are using a new computer system after having had a
serious computer crash
that brought down their system for what seemed like several months. Whether
or not that is
contributing to your experiences of them being disorganized, I don't
know. I think it would
be very worthwhile for your pediatrician to hear about your concerns and
with their office. They may not be aware of some of the problems people
are experiencing and
would probably want to address it otherwise. Good luck.
My experience with BP has been the antithesis of what you have described.
We have been bringing
my son of 3 years to Ragna Boynton since he was born. For these three years
I have always found
the front office staff to be cheerful and helpful, both on the phone and in
person. We've also
never waited for any inordinate amount of time to be seen, and my son's
records always on hand.
My phone messages must be delivered because we always get a quick response.
One time I had to
leave the house unexpectedly after leaving a message for Dr. Boynton to
call me. When I came home
Dr. Boynton had left five messages on my machine! Five! She tried to get in
touch with me all day.
With my M.D., I'm lucky if he tries returning my calling once at the end of
the day after he is
finished with all of his appointments! In lieu of switching doctors why not
try communicating you
complaints to Dr. Davenport via a letter.
We are looking for a pediatrician and have generally heard good things
about the doctors at
Berkeley Pediatrics. Right now, 2 doctors are accepting new patients, Dr
Lang and a new
doctor whose last name (I think) is Kulshrestha. Apparently Dr Kulshrestha
has been filling
in for other doctors on leave for some time. Has anyone had any
experiences with her?
We have been going to BP since my son was born. He is now 13. Dr. Franks is
our pediatrician and we have always had excellent care.
She returns phone calls promptly, never dismisses my concerns, and takes
as much time as we need. Also, I've never been kept waiting
a long time.
My son is a patient of Dr. Elaine Davenport at Berkeley Pediatrics. We saw
Dr Kulshrestha once for a stuffy nose/allergy issue.
I don't know if it because she is so young, or if this is what the really
great docs are like at her age--but
she interacted with my 4 year old in a very relaxed and non-threatening
way. She could have been giving him a shot and he would have trusted
her. She seemed more like a teenage cousin than a doctor--with
him. That said--her interaction with me was informative and professional.
When we started with Dr. Davenport she was new to the practice, fresh out
of a chief residency. I was worried that inexperience might be an
issue. It wasn't. I think Dr. K falls into that category.
Dr. Lang is our regular pediatrician and we have been very happy with her
for the past almost 3 years.
We also saw Dr. Kulshrethsa during Dr. Lang's maternity leave for a
wellness visit and were very comfortable with her manner and advice. We
have also witnessed the younger doctors conferring regularly with the
senior doctors, so that adds to our comfort level. Knock on wood, we've
never had a serious incident but all my phone calls for fevers and rashes
have been returned promptly. I would sign up with either doctor with
We see Dr. Lang at Berkeley Peds and are very happy with her. She's new to
the practice, started there in late August I think just around the time our
son was born. I did mention that we would be sleeping with our son when I
interviewed her and if she has a problem with that, she certainly hasn't
mentioned it to me. She always take her time with us and offers clear answers
to all my questions. She's never been condescending or patronizing or put me
off in any way. I like the fact that she has a two year old and can relate to
all my worries. I sometimes preface my questions with "I know this seems
neurotic, but..." and she says, "Oh, I just got over worrying about that
myself." We've only been with her for 8 months now and haven't had any health
problems so I can't vouch for her in a crisis, but so far she's been great.
I believe the new doctor you mention is the same ''Dr. K'' who saw my son
at his one-year appointment.
(His regular pediatrician, Dr. Lang, was on maternity leave at the time.)
Our experience with her was
overwhelmingly positive: She was personable, thorough, and open to our
questions, taking the time to
answer them all without seeming rushed. Most importantly, she got down on
the floor with our son and
just played with him, trying to engage him instead of just talking over his
head to us. We got the
impression that not only is she a good clinician, but that she truly enjoys
I have seen both Dr. Lang and Dr. Kulshretha and like them both. Dr. Lang
had twins recently so is very
empathetic with new parents.
I was wondering if anyone has ever had a physician from Berkeley Pediatrics
perform a circumcision? Specifically, I am interested if Dr. Davenport has
performed this surgery on any of your children, and if so, how was the
experience/outcome. I am considering using a urologist, but I would love
some feedback from people who have used Dr. Davenport. Thank you.
We do not have experience with Dr. Davenport, but Dr Cuthbertson of
Berkeley Pediatrics did our second son's circumcision. We have no
problems or conerns with the result. Also, he did it when our child was
about a week old, in the office, rather than on day one at the
hospital. To help develop a comfort level with Dr. Davenport, ask her how
many she has performed. You should ask the same of any urologist you talk
to. It is my understanding that in Berkeley and the surrounding area it is
usual practice for pediatricians to perform circumcisions, so they have a
lot of experience with the procedure. (This is not always the case. Our
first son was born in San Francisco and there the custom and practice is
that the OBs do the circ before you leave the hospital).
We are patients of Dr. Boynton's at Berkeley Pediatrics. When my son was
born, I had his circumcision done there by Dr. Gruber. It is my
understanding that Dr. Gruber performs all the circumcisions for Berkeley
Pediatrics, and he is very experienced and talks you through the entire
procedure. We brought my son in at 10 days old and he was very comfortable
throughout the procedure. Dr. Gruber injected a local anesthetic and my
son was also given sugar-water to suck on during the procedure (Dr. Gruber
explained this is supposed to reduce pain as well somehow). It took about
10 minutes to finish, and you just apply neosporin ointment to the penis
until it heals (which only took about 5 days for my son). I was very happy
that I elected to have his circumcision done in the pediatrician's office,
as I was not confident of the care my son got afterdelivery at the hospital.
My son was circumcised by Dr. Davenport a day after he was born at Alta
Bates Hospital. She assured me that that it would be quick and relatively
painless. And though I didn't really witness it being done, my son didn't
have any problems and recovered quickly.
I can't speak specifically about Dr. Davenport, but my son
is a patient of Dr. Franks at Berkeley Pediatrics. We had
her do his circumcision at Alta Bates the day after he was
born. She explained the entire process to us, was very
experienced, used a local anesthetic, and reccomended (as
someone else mentioned) that we let him suck on something
with sugar water (pacifier-like thing? don't remember)
during the procedure. We did, and both my husband and I
were there with him holding his hands through the entire
(very short) procedure. The combination seemed to help
tremendously - he fussed only minimally, and then mostly
when getting the anesthetic. I would have her do it again,
at Alta Bates, if we were to have another boy.
From: Nina (4/98)
My husband and 2 children (10 and 7) are devoted fans of Ragna (aka
"Ronnie") Boynton of Berkeley Pediatrics on Walnut St. She's taken us
through some tough times and has been thorough, caring, patient, and very
attentive. I have no idea whether she's taking new patients. Berkeley
Pediatrics has closed at times to new patients from particular health
plans; you'd have to check with them. Phone # is 848-2566.
I highly recommend Dr. James Cuthbertson. He has excellent rapport
with children and parents alike, always returns phone-calls promptly (generally
within an hour) and is extremely knowledgeable and caring. Although he is busy
(one must book well-baby appointments several months ahead of time), he gives
great advice and takes time to get to know his patients. We had started with
Dr. Howard Gruber -- but found Cuthbertson to be much better so switched after
about 9 months with Gruber (I wish I had changed doctors earlier).
From: Margo (12/96)
Re: M.D. Recommendation for 16 yr old
I have a recommendation on a doctor for the person with a 16 year old son.
I have 3 sons, ages 19, 14, and 5. They all have Dr. Cuthbertson at the
Berkeley Pediatric Clinic, 1650 Walnut St., Berkeley. He's always bouncy
and so positive whenever they see him. He doesn't talk down to my 19 or
14 year old and seems to know exactly what they are thinking about if they
just look at him and don't know the words to express their concern. He's
very down to earth and doesn't talk too much, just enough. He's always
open to questions and won't belittle any concern. They've been going to
him since they were born. I don't know if he's accepting patients but it
won't hurt to ask.
From: Betsy (12/96)
Subject: male pediatrician
We love our son's pediatrician, James Cuthbertson. His office is in North
Berkeley on Virginia near Shattuck (just down the hill from campus). He has
a great deal of experience and identified a rather rare problem at our
son's birth when several other doctors, including a specialist, could not.
He explains things to parents without talking down. He has two kids of his
own, now in college, is brisk and commonsensical and he is one of my son's
absolute favorite people. (perhaps I should add that my son is 2)
From: Alexis (12/96) Subject: M.D. recommendation for 16-yr-old boy?
Let me add my voice to those recommending Jim Cuthbertson, of the Berkeley
He has been our son Brandt's pediatrician since Brandt was moments "old"
(Brandt will be two in March) and has been a caring, cheerful,
non-judgmental care-giver, ever since.
From: Dee (1/97)
I switched over from Kaiser last year to Dr. Elaine Davenport at Berkeley
Pediatrics. I asked my obstetrician for a recommendation and she highly
recommended this group of young doctors.
Some things that have impressed me are:
1) they do home visits for newborns
2) your doctor examines your baby the day they are born and before they are
3) Dr. Davenport is very personable, always returns my calls the same day, and
my children like her a lot too! (very important)
4) they are affiliated with Children's Hospital and use them for emergency care
and after hour services
My daughter Erin got whooping cough at 5 weeks old and was in ICU at
Children's Hospital for over 2 weeks. Dr. Davenport stopped by to examine
Erin, talk to their doctors, and relay information to me just about every day.
Dr. Davenport is fairly new to this medical group and is a recent graduate
of UC Davis. She also completed her graduate work as a top intern. I
thought initially that I wanted a more experienced doctor, but Dr. Davenport
being a recent graduate has proved her knowledge of the most recent studies
in Pediatrics. She also has a child under a year old.
Berkeley Pediatrics is at 1650 Walnut St. and their phone # is (510) 848-2566.
Anne Mary Franks
Our 5 year old and 8 month old see Dr. Annemary Franks, who has been VERY supportive
of extended breast-feeding and our other concerns (though I tend not to bring
up our "alternative" ideas very much). And she did say we should just wait and
see if our then-6 month old would stretch out his sleep hours on his own, as opposed
to trying to change anything. (I can't remember what she said about our 5 year
old over the years!) I do think the party-line about sleep is fairly consistent
at their practice, from what I've heard from my other friends, but again, Annemary
has been pretty hands-off about it with us. Good luck!
Our pediatrician is Anne Marie Franks, and we think she's been wonderful. She
is warm, patient and gentle with our child (who's now almost 2 1/2) and she has
a great style for us in that she's low key and relaxed, and very reassuring to
new parents. We haven't had any major medical problems (knock on wood) but she's
been great with all the little things and very good at returning calls.
My daughter has been with Berkeley Pediatrics since birth which is now over
3 years ago. Anne Mary Franks is her pediatrician. I really like it
there. I have rarely had a long wait to see a doctor. I find Anne Mary to
be wonderfully competent, gracious, sympathetic, so caring, and very sweet
with children. I can see in her face just how much she loves interacting
with kids while she talks to my daughter. The nurses and staff have also
been really pleasant --- I like seeing them joke around with each other,
you can see the friendships there. And to back up a little, Anne Mary was
there the morning after my daughter's birth to examine her. I was
exhausted and Anne Mary's happiness and congratulatory mood was infectious.
It felt wonderful. Within the first week or two, Anne Mary made a house
call one evening just to check up on the baby and see how things were
going. I'm not sure if this just came with my insurance coverage or
whether she visits all her new babies at home, but it was delightful. And
on the occasions when we've seen the other partners, I was very pleased
with them, too.
We've been using Berkeley Pediatrics for 8 years. Dr. Annemary Franks is
our doctor and I like her very much. She is friendly, knowledgable,
practical and has a sense of humor. My step daughter saw Dr. Boynton for
many years and liked her very much
From: Hilary (4/98)
Dr. AnneMary Franks at Berkeley Pediatric Medical Group, 1650 Walnut St.,
Berkeley tel. 848-2566 is young, on top of latest research, loving, full of
common sense and everything else you want a pediatrician to be.
I'm also have very positive impressions of Dr. Anne Mary Franks,
at the same practice. She was the pediatrician on call when my twins were
born, and we have seen her a couple of times since, times when Dr. Gruber
has been away. She's also great, and my kids particularly like the Elmo
she wears on her stethoscope.
Dr. Howard Gruber is an *excellent* pediatrician, in my opinion. He is
very experienced (he started there 30 years ago), very reassuring, very
excellent as a doctor (he is listed in the database of the finest doctors
in the Bay Area, highlighted yearly in the San Francisco Focus magazine as
doctors that are recommended by other doctors as people they would choose
for their own families), and not at all condescending. He has seen both
of my sons, and when the eldest needed surgery, he referred him to an
excellent specialist who did marvelous work; when the younger had an
irregular heart beat at birth, he arranged for a cardiologist at
Children's to do an EKG on our way home from the hospital. I cannot say
enough good things about this doctor! I especially like the way he can
explain things. When you are a worried parent, it is so great to have a
doctor who you feel will take your concerns seriously but will not be an
alarmist. My friends who have Dr. Gruber have said similar things.
I recommend Dr. Gruber with great enthusiasm. He has been my three year
old's ped. since before she was born and I have the most unqualified
confidence in his skills and his judgement. Dr Gruber isn't the kind of
person who has his whole philosophy of medicine up for grabs and he won't
have endless discussions with you, but he has well reasoned positions on
Berkeley Peds. is incredibly good -- they are the only place that will open
up for your child if she gets sick in the wee hours of the night; the only
ones that make HOME visits after babies are born; and much more. There may
be new entrants in the baby health biz. but when I did a thorough research
job four years ago Berkeley Peds. was by far the best.
We have a 10 year old and an 8 year old who have been patients of Dr.
Gruber for the past 5 years. We have all been very happy to have Dr.
Gruber as our family's pediatrician. In our experience, he connects well
with the children in a warm, gentle, soft-spoken way. He has consistently
treated us with cordial respect. Dr. Gruber has conscientiously returned
every phone call we've ever made to him in a timely fashion. He is one of
the more experienced pediatricians in the practice, and according to other
physicians we know, he is highly regarded in the medical community for his
knowledge and sound judgement. Dr. Gruber has often discussed with us
up-to-date research findings of relevance to our children's health. We
have been impressed that while he seems to be well read and stays abreast
of current medical information, he combines this knowledge with the wisdom
of experience in making medical recommendations and decisions. One of our
children recently underwent evaluation with a specialist for what might
have been (and fortunately was NOT) a serious medical condition. Even in a
highly stressful situation, we were pleased with Dr. Gruber's handling of
the matter. He was reassuring to all of us. He spent considerable time
and put out the effort to give us a thorough explanation and to answer all
of our questions. All in all, we recommend Dr. Gruber without reservation.
I had been meaning to write when the discussions about Berkeley Pediatrics were
on a week or two ago and didn't get around to it. We've been taking our son to
Gruber since we got to Berkeley a year ago. He has been wonderful throughout,
and I would recommend him wholeheartedly. On our first visit he sat and talked
us for quite a while before examining our son to be sure that Dylan, who was then
18 months, would have time to get comfortable with him first. We've been to see
Dr. Gruber a number of times since then, most recently two times a week because
of a thumb slammed in a door, and he has always been extremely caring and
When we have called with questions about vaccinations or coughs he has spent a
of time, once twenty minutes or more, talking us through the worries and issues
the phone and discussing whether it made sense to come in. I point this out
of course there is no reimbursement for long phone consultations and that is
not part of what motivates Dr. Gruber. In our experience he has been a great,
and caring, pediatric doctor.
Howard Gruber has been my pediatrician for 13 years and I think he's
terrific. He's wonderful with my children, answers phone calls promptly,
is respectful of my anxieties, generous with his time and most important
seems to be first rate medically (this last opinion has been confirmed by
conversations with a number of area physicians who have worked with him).
I would like to add my family's endorsement of Berkeley Pediatrics
physicians, Dr. Howard Gruberin particular, and the BP nurses. I have had
many of the same experiences others report and would like to add an example
of the quality of treatment they routinely provide. A little over a year
ago, Henry, our soon-to-be 3 yr. old, fell and hit his head on a brick on
our back patio, receiving a serious cut on his forehead. when I called
Berkeley Pediatrics, I was all ready to be told to rush to the emergency
room but instead was told by Dr. Gruber - who returned my call immediately
- to bring Henry right into the office. Between he and the amazingly
patient and talented nurse, Gordon, they were able to get three stitches in
-- aligning them so Henry now has no scar on his forehead. And, while it
makes me want to cry now to repeat the story, at the time, the confident,
swift and caring skills of Dr. Gruber and nurse Gordon provided me with
I feel we are extraordinarily fortunate to have Howard Gruber and Berkeley
Pediatrics for the care of our child's health.
I only just got caught up with the newsletter for the first time since
coming back from vacation. Please let me add my recommendation for Dr.
Gruber (apparently it's not at all necessary, but I would really feel just
terrible if I missed out on my turn!). Dr. Gruber was pediatrician for
both my younger brothers beginning in 1971 (wow - 28 years ago!). One of
my brothers was his generation's grand champion of ear infections &
allergies, so my dad & stepmother got to know Dr. Gruber rather well. They
liked & appreciated him so much (& I remember liking the waiting room so
much, compared with my pediatrician, who was somewhere else) that before
our son was born I of course called Dr. Gruber first, & was mighty thrilled
that I didn't have to look any further! Our son is a lot healthier than my
brother was, so we don't get to see Dr. Gruber very often. And though I
always like to see him, I really appreciate the fact that he calls (almost
immediately) & takes care of minor things over the phone when possible.
However, when our son was born he was really unwell for a short time, and
Dr. Gruber's competence, patience and kindness were our saving grace. I
will never forget when, after several days of dragging our infant son
everywhere for testing (ask me about HMOs sometime - very different story)
and had basically gone completely out of our minds, Dr. Gruber sat us down
in his office & said very seriously "Now your job is to calm down, and get
used to having a healthy child." Without that reminder it would've been a
lot harder to let go of the stress, I'm sure. Maybe the best thing about
Dr. Gruber is that my brothers & my son respect & admire him an awful lot.
They would all do just about anything if "Dr. Gruber says so." (Thanks for
including me on the bandwagon!)
I have two children, a boy and a girl, and Dr. Gruber has been our
pediatrician for the past 14 years. I think he's wonderful. He is very
conservative in his approach to medicine and I like that. He is very warm
and caring individual, but also soft-spoken. Some of the other doctors in
the practise are more animated, but Dr. Gruber suits us just fine.
The main referrals we received on Dr. Gruber prior to our choosing him
as our daughter's pediatrician (4 years ago) were from his former patients.
My two cousins who are now in their late twenties LOVED him as they were
growing up. The recommendations from their parents and the interview my
husband and I had with him while I was pregnant also played a part but I
particularly loved hearing from these adult women who still had so much
affection for Dr. Gruber and Berkeley Pediatrics. We also know another
woman who was one of Gruber's patients who recently became a
pediatrician and she says her fondest wish is to someday work at
Berkeley Ped. As my daughter's doctor, we have found him to be
terrifically responsive and helpful to us and wonderfully gently
and respectful to her. He exhibits all of the wisdom and experience one
would expect from a doc who has been practicing for 30+ years but he also
inspires confidence that he is wholly up to date on current issues. What I
have been most impressed with (and comforted by) is the fact that he ALWAYS
returns phone calls within a very short period of time and if, for some
reason, we see another doc who is on call or in the er, we receive a phone
call from Dr. Gruber the next business day checking up to see how our daughter
is. We have been very pleased with our choice and we recommend Dr. Gruber-
and Berkeley Pediatrics wholeheartedly.
Dr. Gruber is the pediatrician for my 6-year old twins and he is fantastic:
caring, interested, knowledgeable. He's been our pediatrician from the
beginning and was especially wonderful when the twins were only a few
months old and there was a question about whether one of them had had a
seizure. Seizures are very difficult to diagnose in babies. Howard Gruber
was helpful and supportive without giving us false hope and he negotiated
with our health insurance to get us the best specialists. Fortunately,
our son turned out to be fine; what we thought was a seizure was only
normal, if erratic baby behavior!
Since then, he's been great, too. He sees us whenever we need medical
attention -- once, even on Christmas Day!. And my kids adore him -- they
never mind going for a visit.
I'd jump at the opportunity to have him for your pediatrician.
Both my kids have been with Howard Gruber since birth. I think everyone in
the group is very good. What we like about Gruber is that his years of
experience really tell. His mild manner and expert touch alleviate any fear
or anxiety my kids have over going to the doctor. He is always frank and
open with us, and has a very down-to-earth philosophy. He is very
thoughtful in his diagnosis. A couple of times he has told me that he
wanted to think about (a particular problem) for a day or two, then call me
(not in an emergency situation, of course!). He has handled our emergencies
calmly and skillfully (and is pretty good at calming me down in those
circumstances, as well!). He patiently answers all of my 4-year-old's
questions (like "how much blood do I have?") in terms he can understand,
and treats kids as little human beings.
From: Kim (12/96)
I have another recommendation for a pediatrician. I have twin boys, aged
3, and Dr. Howard Gruber at Berkeley Pediatrics has been their
pediatrician since birth. He is gentle, knowledgeable, and very caring.
In addition, he deals with crises with a great deal of grace: in our case,
the crises have included everything from diagnosing whether my weeks-old
son had suffered a seizure to removing a small rubber ball (from the
espresso machine) from my son's nose ...
I would like to hear from people who have any advice or comments about the
new pediatrician, Dr. Lang, in the Berkeley Pediatrician Medical Group. Any
relevant information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Grace (8/4/00)
Our doctor at Berkeley Pediatrics is Dr. Boynton, but this past Saturday my son
developed a very painful ear infection and was seen Sunday morning at the office
by Dr. Lang. It was just one visit, but she was great, she gave us all the time
we needed, put my son at ease, explained things to us and was just all around
professional and sympathetic at the same time.
We have had a very positive experience with Dr. Lang so far. Our daughter
is thirteen months, and we switched from another Dr. to Dr. Lang when she
was about five months. Dr. Lang has a very good rapport with our daughter,
is always gentle, takes time to make her feel comfortable by playing with
her and showing her books, and is very comforting. I like very much that
Dr. Lang asks us a lot of questions at each visit and is very thorough, so
I don't ever leave feeling that my appointment was a waste of her time
(some Dr.s act so rushed due to over-booking that you feel like you
should leave as quickly as possible), and she will always take time
to answer my questions to my satisfaction during our visit or over the
phone. As parents, we don't always do things the most traditional way
(we do the family bed and I am still breastfeeding our daughter), but I
never feel judged. Dr. Lang has been very supportive, and I feel confident
so far in her knowledge and expertise. I know two other couples who bring
their babies to Dr. Lang, and they too have said very good things about her.
Hope that helps. Anne (8/00)
My 13 month-old-son has been Dr. Lang's ( Olivia Lang ) patient since he
She is a very nice and open pediatrician, a person to whom we can ask
about children's issues, so I would recommend her to anyone.
Dr. Lang is out son's doctor and has been since his birth in September. We
love her. She has been very thorough and responsive to all of needs. He has
never be seriously ill so I don't know how she would be in that situation.
I feel like she would handle it well, however. She is low key and open to
different parenting styles. I would recommend her. Hope this helps.
I can highly recommend Dr. Lang at the Berkeley Pediatric Group. My
daughter was premature and has had an extensive amount of digestive
problems, including wearing an ileostomy bag for six months. We moved
here last year (when she was 3) and Dr. Lang has spent quite a bit of
time making sure that she knew my daughter's situation. She is very
attentive and a good listener. Last spring my daughter was very ill and
I called to get an emergency appointment. Dr. Lang diagnosed her with
Scarlet Fever and immediately called in a prescription. M.C. (8/00)
We have had Dr. Lang as our pediatrician since our daughter was born
(she's now 10 months) for all the well baby visits. We have never had any
health issues other than the normal colds. I would highly recommend
her -- she is very professional and at the same time never rushed and
always willing to talk about her personal experiences with her own
daughter who I think is around 2 years old. She returns our calls for advice
within a few hours and often gives us a follow-up call.
Regarding Dr. Messenger at Berkeley Pediatrics: my two-year-old was treated
by Dr. Messenger, the on-call physician for our regular doctor, Ragna
Boynton. I found him warm, helpful, very gentle with my
sick child and reassuring to me. He offered sound advice and alternatives
to rote, perscribed treatment.
Messenger dealt with us in a thoughtful and professional manner.
My wife and I are taking our two children (2 years 9 months; 8 months)
to Dr. Messenger while Dr. Davenport is on leave. We have had two
visits with him and have felt quite satisfied both times. We felt that
Dr. Messenger's youth was a non-issue as he gave
thorough exams, asked and answered many questions and established a good
rapport with us and our children.
We are all very happy with the quality of care and professional demeanor
exhibited by Dr. Messenger. And Dr. Davenport, as well, for that
I just wanted to add my support for Jeff Messenger at Berkeley
Peds. While we have a close connection with Olivia Lang (our regular
ped) and are looking forward to her coming back from maternity leave, Jeff
has done a perfectly fine job at our daughter's well-baby visits, as well
as at one visit where he looked at a rash that concerned us (and he
followed up on the phone as well).
I also had a very GOOD experience with Dr. Messenger when he was on-call for
Dr. Franks. I had to call him when I had food poisoning a couple of months
ago. I was concerned that it might transfer to my son through my milk. I
also wanted to find out if there was something I could take for the symptoms
that would not transfer to my son. I was somewhat embarrassed in asking
these questions. However, Dr. Messenger called me back within 5 minutes of
leaving the initial message. His "bedside manner" put me at ease
immediately and he took the time to look up the common medications to make
sure there was something available I could take. I found him extremely
helpful and encouraging.
I just wanted to chime in with two more positive experiences with Dr.
Messenger, who has been standing in for Dr. Lang during her maternity
leave. I had a lengthy telephone consultation with him when my son had a
nasty virus, and we have also seen him for a 2-year-old checkup. Both times
I was impressed with his warmth, empathy, and knowledge. My son really took
to him as well -- I have never seen Austin so well-behaved and friendly
during a checkup! Obviously Dr. Messenger is younger and therefore less
experienced than the other doctors in the practice, but personally I
wouldn't hold it against him. If Dr. Lang were to leave the practice, I
would have no concerns about switching to Dr. Messenger
I'd like to add another vote of confidence for Dr. Messenger at Berkeley
Peds. Our regular Dr., Olivia Lang, is out on maternity leave, and while
she's been gone we've been in twice (once for my son's 2 1/2 year check
up and once for an ear infection check), and both times were assigned
to Dr. Messenger. While I agree that he seems a little young and
inexperienced (and I wondered if he has kids of his own, which is
probably the best source of information for a pediatrician in the long
run), both times we visited he was warm and friendly, helpful, answered
all of our questions, was very patient with my not-very-cooperative 2 1/2
year old who doesn't like doctors poking at him, and responded professionally
in every way.
I prefer our regular doctor, but I'd be comfortable having Dr.
Messenger look at my son again.
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