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Gary Bean

(Oakland, CA)

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Health & Medical > Pediatricians > Gary Bean (Oakland, CA)


Dec 2009

I am looking for a pediatrician in either Montclair or the Glenview. I'm familiar with Dr. Bean and Dr. Parish at Glenview Pediatrics; I'm curious to hear people's experiences with them as well as with other pediatricians in these neighborhoods. Thanks.


Try Dr Gary Bean at Glenview Pediatrics! He's absolutely great he was my pediatrician and now many years later is the doc for my two boys ages 2 and 10. I can't speak highly enough about him. He truly cares and has always returned my calls promptly and personally! 530-5437 Sevgi
We just removed our son from Dr. Bean's practice because by a stroke of good luck we were able to return to Kaiser. Although Dr. Bean himself is fine, my husband and I were not at all happy with the way that office is run ... the staff is not helpful or very professional and there were always long, long waits of an hour and more to be seen, which made going to the doctor's office even less fun for our little boy. Lisa in Oakland
Oct 2008

Does anyone have any experience with Dr. Bean, formerly with Glenview Pediatrics and now with North Oakland Pediatrics. I'd like to get some feedback before I take my child in. Any information at all would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


I take my son to Dr. Bean and we love him. Fortunately my son has only needed checkups but the whole experience is always affirming (my son is African American and so is Dr. Bean) and even fun. Gary Bean takes care to address my own nervous mom questions without laughing at me, makes excellent recommendations about my son's health, and always carries my son around his office talking about the Jazz stars in the photos that cover the walls. I have nothing but accolades for him and for his friendly, accessible office. Grateful for Dr. Bean!
April 2007

Hi! I'm looking for a new pediatrician for my son who takes MediCal/Blue Cross or Alameda Alliance. One of the doctors whom I spoke with is Dr. Gary Bean on Park Blvd. He seemed very nice, but one can never tell over the phone. Has anybody had experience with him? Is he a kind and good doctor? Any info will help. Also, if you know of any good doctors who accept MediCal/Blue Cross and/or Alameda Alliance for Health, please send their names my way. Thanks! Pamela


Gary Bean has been our pediatrician for more than 16 years. Our teenaged son STILL wants to go to see Gary even though at 6'1'' he towers over the other ''kids'' in the wait room. What I like about Gary is that he is more than a doctor to both of my sons - he's also a mentor and always takes the time to talk to them about school and other issues. That individual attention does mean that his office will sometimes get backed up (I try to book very early appointments for that reason) but the trade off is worth it to me. His office does show continuous G-movies and has a selection of children's books to entertain kids as well as great jazz posters while you wait. In terms of his doctoring skills, Gary is great as well. Very responsive. For example, one of my sons needed some elective surgery and while competent we did not like the bedside manner of the surgeon that we had been referred to. Gary immediately arranged for another surgeon without question. Gary also has a Master's degreee in Public Health and frequently conducts wellness workshops (with BBQ or other free food!) and has even hosted ''going to college'' type workshops. His associates are also good and I trust his nurse practioner to handle most basic needs such as flu, ear infections, etc. I really am thankful to have such a great doctor and role model for my African American sons. Karen
I don't personally use Dr. Gary Bean because we have Kaiser but I have friends that have and he comes highly recommended. He is great from what I understand. I'd like to hear what other people say. Good luck Anonymous
Hi Pamela, When my daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, we were with Dr. Kittams' group in Berkeley, but I was very unhappy with how his staff handled our situation (such as losing our messages and making my immuno-compromised child wait in the same waiting room with many sick kids). I found Dr. Gary Bean, as you did, through a list of providers and called him. He answered the phone himself! We have been incredibly happy with the care that Dr. Bean and his staff have given our daughter in the ten years we've been with his practice. He is just as warm and personable in person as he is on the phone. He and his wife have both participated in Leukemia Sociey Team in Training triathalons on behalf of my daughter. ****happy with Dr. Bean***
May 2006

We are considering switching to Gary Bean as a pediatrician for our 10yo & 6yo girls. I've seen great recommendations for him on this site, ALL coming from the parents of BOYS. Any information on whether parents of GIRLS are happy with this doctor would help us a lot in our decision. Thank you, Maria


We moved from another pediatrician's practice when his staff was insensitive to our needs when our daughter was diagnosed with cancer. I called Dr. Gary Bean's office and he answered the phone himself (!), and we've been with him since then for about 10 years.

We have found Dr. Bean and his staff to be responsive to our family's special situations...we love the pediatrician he has working with him (a female doctor)...as well as his Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Nada. You will need to bring cash for your insurance co-pay and, if your kid is in diapers, they request that you take any soiled diapers with you. The waiting room and examining rooms reflect Dr. Bean's interest in great jazz.

Finally, Dr. Bean really impressed us with his (and his wife's) participation in the Leukemia and Lymphoma fundraiser ''Team in Training.'' Dr. Bean is in training to complete a tri-athalon to raise money to cure kids like my daughter...he's our hero! likes Dr. Bean


My kids go to Dr. Bean's office. My daughter generally sees Dr. Bennett, a woman. We like her a lot. I actually prefer her to Dr. Bean, though not for any substantial reason. In fact, we had a traumatic visit recently, where my daughter fell apart over a little blood test, but after being charmed by Dr. Bennett, she remembered it as ''fun visit.'' I think my daughter likes Dr. Bean, too, but we have only seen him a couple times, and I don't think she connects with him in the same way. Erin
I have used Gary Bean as my pediatrician since my daughter was born 11 years ago. He is personable and knowledgable and I have had mo problems getting in to see him or getting referrals to specialists. When my son was born with a Port Wine Stain Birthmark on his face, getting the needed referrals (insurance requirement) took one phone call to his office. My children love him and the only complaint we have is the waiting time once you get in the office! He is popular and his practice is diverse and he takes on a lot of pediatric interns. Since I am all for education and learning, he makes sure it is OK with the children before bringing in a new practitioner. I really enjoy him and my daughter was asked this year, now that she is an adolescent, if she wants to go to a new doctor, her answer was a resounding ''no!'' Tora Spigner
Hello, My 5 year old daughter loves it there and has gone since birth as has my 7 year old son! There are females in the practice like the NP Nada ( she recenlty had a baby so I do not know how often she is there). Good luck. a mom of a girl
May 2005

I'm considering switching pediatricians to Dr. Gary Bean at Glenview Pediatrics. I read the older posts, the latest from March 2003, and I'd like to get more recent feedback on people's experience with him. I have a few questions: 1) The older posts talk about difficulty in actually seeing Dr. Bean (as opposed to a nurse practitioner) when he was in Berkeley. Have you found this to be the case in Glenview? 2) What is your experience of Dr. Bean's interactions with young children? I have a 5 month old and a 2 year old. 3) Have you experienced long waits with his office in Glenview? Thanks!


Gary has been our pediatrician for more than 14 years (2 sons, now 10 and 14) so we've known him when he was in Berkeley and now in Oakland. The Oakland office is not as crowded and the waits are much less though I still suggest booking early morning or just after lunch appointments. We've always been able to see Gary for annual appointments and by request. Routine dropins are usually handled by the nurse practioner but again Gary is available by request. Gary is very active in public health issues and in community which I really like and he has been a real role model for my sons. He always asks them how they are doing in school and reinforces alot of good values while talking to them. I realize that this type of attention to patients can cause the office to back up, but I love the fact that Gary sees his role as being interested in the whole child. As a doctor, Gary is excellent, responsive, and thorough. The few more than routine medical issues my sons have had were handled with care and flexibility (for example, we had a personality conflict with a surgeon and Gary immediately got us switched without any question). Karen H.
My 3 year old and 18 month old go to Dr. Bean. They have been seen by both Dr. Bean, the other doctor in his office and the nurse practitioners. All have been great. I think if you'd like to see a Dr and not the NP, if you say so when making an appointment, they will accommodate you. I was the poster who said be prepared for a long wait in the review. I later said something to Dr. Bean about the wait. Since then, the waits have been MUCH shorter. The front waiting room is filled with books and there is a tv that usually has a movie on (Shrek, Nemo), which makes any wait easier. The waiting rooms also have tvs, but you can turn those off if you dont want your kids to watch. I am willing to put up with some wait, because I know that he will take the time to talk to me, just as he takes the time to talk to other patients. The other doctor in his office works until 7 some nights which is very convenient for working parents. audrey
May 2003

I've seen the raves for Dr. Bean on the website, and when I took my son to see him today at his Glenview office I thought he was great. But the office itself was so depressing! No pictures on the walls, a totally bare waiting room -- no magazines, no toys, nothing for a kid to play with or look at during the 45 minute wait for our appointment. I don't usually make medical decisions based on the decor, but I have to say that I was a bit taken aback by the spartan furnishings. Can any long term patients tell me if his Berkeley office was more appealing? Is this a case of not having gotten around to unpacking the toys and magazines, or is it simply not a priority? And what's with the cash only policy? nelly


Regarding Dr. Gary Bean's decor in his Glenview office, let me assure you that his office is still being updated from his recent move. I visited his Berkeley office where he had a lively ''wall of fame'' of many of his patients. Also, he had a corner devoted to toys, books and more. The best thing I liked about his old office and new office is the JAZZ music playing when you walk in. The music is pleasing to both parents AND kids, especially if you're a jazz fan. Please rest assured that he has big plans for his new office -- he talks about it all the time when we visit. Nicole
My two sons (now ages 8 and 3) have been patients of Gary's since birth. Please don't make judgments about the quality of care your children will receive based on the waiting room. The office has no toys because lots of sick children come in and toys are repositories for germs. There have never been toys in all the years I have been going there. When I was a new mom I asked why there weren't any toys and they gave me the explanation. Makes sense to me. There are magazines in the examining rooms. The jazz music and spare decor actually keep my children calm. The cash only policy was instituted about 4 years ago because the office was getting so many returned checks. On the plus side--his office is fairly efficient and he has a wonderful nurse practitioner who is thorough and excellent with children. Yvette
Hi, We have been going to Dr. Bean for 4+ years. I belive the care is great. Nada is who we see most (luck of the draw), we saw the new woman doc once, and of course Dr. Bean have all been attentive and helpful. All this aside the office is awful! Always has been. I have brought it up with both Nada and Dr. Bean. I suggested mags., books, and large toys (harder to carry off). The respone has been the stuff disapears. I would love to see pictures of breastfeeding moms and multicultural kids doing stuff. There were a few posters (jazz fest.)on the walls in Berkeley and a picture wall of patients. Maybe with more parent pressure the decore will change. I hope so. Cherene
I took both my son and my daughter to Dr. Gary Bean for the first several years that we lived in the Bay Area. I found him to be a very competant doctor and his staff to be very good, but I found his office to be void of and kind of ''kid-friendly'' atmosphere. I also found his bedside manner to be most appropriate for older kids--and not great for younger kids. We left for an office with a play room and stickers! anon
Gary Bean has been our pediatrician for 13 years. When we first started going to him, his office had ALOT of toys and didn't have the cash only policy. Alas, growing issues about transmittable diseases (impossible to keep toys sanitized during cold/flu season) and bounced checks caused his office to change. But his old office did have patient photos on the wall and great multicultural posters as well (not to mention GREAT jazz). I know his new office will have even better kid images/decor and perhaps can find a way to have maybe an art table for the kids. But Gary is SUCH a great doctor technically, is such an advocate for kids (for example, without questions, immediately fought with our health plan to get us a new surgeon for one of our kid's relatively minor surgery, after we raised concerns about the original surgeon's assembly line bedside manner) and is also a wonderful, actively engaged role model - funny with the little kids and an ''elder'' to the pre-teen/teen kids (and his office staff is competent!) that I just remember to bring cash and my own toys/paper and crayons when I go to his office. Karen H.
January 2003

Re: Seeking African-American pediatrician

Drs. Gary Bean and Laurie Bostick are both African-American pediatricians. They are moving their office from Berkeley to Park Blvd. (between 580 and Hwy 13) in Oakland sometime this week. Phone is 510-849-3235. I like them both, but get the first appointment of the day or right after lunch or be prepared to wait. Audrey


I recommend Dr. Gary Bean of Berkeley, on Woolsey and Telegraph, who has been my son's doctor since birth. He is brilliant, devoted and trustworthy and is an exemplary role model for my son. His phone number is 510-849-3235. W. Stephens
December 2002

Re: Seeking African-American family doctor

I don't know a good family doc but I do know a good pediatrician who is african-american in case you are interested. His name is Dr. Gary Bean. He is moving to Glenview district of Oakland, but is currently in Berkeley on Woolsey near Alcatraz and Telegraph. Other staff, like nurse practitioners whom you will see mostly when baby is well, are Caucasian and very, very good. His afternoon doctor is a black female doctor. Overall a well ethnically balanced staff/interns. His clientelle seems balanced too. He's a good doctor regardless of his ethnicity. I highly recommend his practice. Dr. Bean's number is 849-3235. You can see past UCB parents network info for more info on him. mom of 14 mth old


Hi, With my daughter, our first pediatrician was Gary Bean. I found him to be very nice. However, I left his practice after having to wait for VERY long periods of time in the waiting room. The final straw was when I had to wait for two HOURS with my infant!

A few other things about his practice that I didn't like:
--there is no separate waiting area for sick children
--there are no books or toys in the waiting room (I understand that they may be hard to keep clean between children, but it showed a lack of intent to create a comfortable atmosphere).
--the staff was not helpful or apologetic when patients were waiting (for LONG periods of time).
I hope this helps. anonomous, please


August 2001

Re: No insurance; need a pediatrician
An excellent Berkeley pediatrician who takes Medi-Cal and other low reimbursement plans is Dr. Gary Bean in Berkeley. I hate to give his name out because we love him so much and don't want his office to be so flooded we can't get in but he and his nurse practitioners are really wonderful. He even answers his own phones on occassion (just cuz he feels like it) and will take the time to chat, schedule your appt., and hear about your insurance problems. Not many folks like him anymore. If you let him know about your situation, I'm confident he will work with you.


August 1999

We ended up switching from our son's pediatrician when he was 10 months old, for reasons of convenience: his previous doctor was in Orinda, and we just moved to within 3 blocks of Dr. Bean's office. I like Dr. Bean because he spends a lot of time with us, he's very genial, and he's got good taste in music (jazz fanatic). The main problems I have with his office are that it is nearly impossible to get an appointment (unless, of course, your child is very ill), and the wait once you get there is interminable.

We still miss our son's old pediatrician (Dr. Mar at Summit Pediatrics) and often consider going back to her, especially when we have a cranky and hungry kid and there's no sign of our being seen soon.

A few years ago my husband and I paid for our own health insurance. The cheapest ones were Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Kaiser -- have you looked into those? Good luck, Laurel


December 1996

Re: pediatrician for a teenage boy
My boys like Gary Bean a lot. He's in Berk just off Telegraph Ave. He's a very bubbly and energetic man in his 40's who skitters around from room to room singing along with the jazz he plays in the waiting room. He is extremely good at getting the kids to talk - he calls them "Buddy" and "Pal" and talks sports. I like him too and he's been really helpful lately advising me on school troubles I'm having with one of the kids.

A down side of Dr. Bean is he splits his time between 2 offices (Richmond and Berkeley) and seems to have every kid in Berkeley as a patient. He was the only Alta Bates pediatrician taking new patients when I switched from Kaiser and I had the impression he takes all comers. However I have never had trouble making appts on short notice. He takes every imaginable kind of insurance and will make a consultation appt if you just want to talk to him. 2320 Woolsey, 849-3235 Ginger


I second Ginger's hearty recommendation of Dr. Gary Bean. He has been my son's pediatrician since birth, before, really, as I heard about him from my best friend who sees him, and who's a maternity recovery room nurse and has a daughter five months older than my son. Dr. Bean came to see my son the morning of the birth and checked him out thoroughly and made me feel great (new mom, first kid). My son's only two, but Dr. Bean gets along great with my husband, and serves as a wonderful role model for achievement, which is one of the main reason's I'll try to stay with him for a couple of decades. He is extremely smart and intellectual, though never talks down, and he's been 110% there for us in the times of crisis or emergency. Everything Ginger said is true, and now more than ever it is hard to see Dr. Bean himself, for, unless you specify, chances are you'll see a nurse-practitioner. Wendy
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