Dear PoPville – Looking for a Good Doctor


Photo by PoPville flickr user Faucetini

Lots of folks interested in this topic:

“Dear PoPville,

I hate the idea of picking a random name off of a list when it come to doctors and being that reviewing doctors online hasn’t really taken off yet – I have no clue where to go to get basic care in Washington, DC. I was hoping we could get a thread going about great doctors in the DC area. If any readers have a pediatrician, internist, dentist, OB/GYN or any other awesome doctor that pops into their mind – it may be very helpful to others!”

Another asks:

“I’m kind of fed up with the lack of personal attention I receive from my current Primary Care Physician, looking for someone new, and wondering if you or your readers have any recommendations. I’m a male in my early 30′s and want to be sure I’m paying attention to things like blood pressure, etc that start to appear as you age. A downtown location would be nice for convenience, but I’d be willing to metro to someone who actually still believes in face time with patients and doesn’t just do blood tests and updates your prescriptions, which is what I currently deal with.”

Another reader asks:

“I’m looking for a doctor that accepts CareFirst, it seems like a lot of these doctors don’t accept insurance or HMO’s.”

We looked at some doctors here and dentists here. If you have any good recs for the readers above please say what type of insurance you use and location of their office.

68 Comment

  • obgyn: Dr. Busch at Dr.s Reiter Hill and Johnson, or Flynn the RN there.

    for PCP I am not sure, as I go to Dr. Darcy Hansen but she recently changed her practice so that she is concierge or something. i really like her, so there might be another person in her office that is just as good.

    if you ever need a periodonist: dr. boquel

    oral surgeon: dr. gittelman

    • Ditto on Drs. Reiter Hill and Johnson! They’ve been great for the years that I’ve gone to them.

      • Love Dr. Paula Radecki!

      • I love Laurie (one of the Nurse Practictioners) at Reiter Hill and Johnson, as well. I highly recommend her!

      • LOVE Dr. Frish at the Reiter Hill Johnson and Nevin practive in Friendship Heights!! Dr. Busch in their Falls Church office is pretty awesome as well.

      • i completely disagree – reiters, hill, etc is HORRIBLE. they are a complete factory where you feel like a farm animal waiting at a trough. the front desk staff is beyond terrible, they consistently forget to call with test results and the doctors spend about 7 seconds with you. i realize there are not many other ob/gyns in this ridiculous city, but reiters, hill, etc are NOT good.

    • Flynn the RN is awesome!

    • Agreed! I have Dr Nevin, she’s awesome.

    • FYI re: Dr. Busch, she’s an excellent physician but I have a friend who had just gotten married and not yet ready for a child have a mishap and get pregnant. Dr. Busch gave her a moral lecture and would not provide guidance on termination options for her. Not looking for a political discussion but just something for the OP to be aware of from my friend’s experience.

  • I had this same problem. Found Dr. Moody Mustafa this spring and found him to be refreshingly interested in what was ailing me (i.e. he actually spent more than 5 minutes in the room me and listened, which I can’t say for many PCPs/Internists). He’s located in West End.

    • Plus he accepts CareFirst

      • 3 of my coworkers go to him and seem very happy. I go to the same office but see the other, younger doctor. Never had spent so much time talking to a doctor before. They ran full blood tests for a physical, actually caught the fact that i had vitamin D deficiency and no hep A antibodies.

        • Can totally cosign Dr. Mustafa. He’s great and really good and following up. The practice never has a ton of people in the waiting room and they are usually pretty efficient with your time. My boyfriend and I both go to him.

          Bonus–they are also really good about getting you in pretty quickly if you have a cold–so no need for an urgent care–but you may have to see one of the other doctors–which so far hasn’t been a problem.

        • Hmm, he had the same diagnosis for me. Maybe he gets kickbacks from the Vitamin D supplement and Hep A vaccine lobbies? :)

          Seriously though, he’s a great doctor.

    • I went to him for three years and every time I left the office I swore I’d never go again. He wasn’t a bad doctor, but the front office reached new levels of incompetence. I was repeatedly mischarged, overcharged, etc.

      Once they sent all my lab billing work to the wrong insurance company. The insurance company, obviously, wouldn’t pay it, so the doctors sent me a bill for $700. Turns out they had someone else’s insurance card in my file. To say they were rude is an understatement.

  • “I hate the idea of picking a random name off of a list when it come to doctors”

    In my experience, you end up going through 50 doctors on the list before you find one that’s taking new patients. By that point the desire to not pick someone at random completely goes out the window. My search radius eventually expanded out to Alexandria, where I found a not-so-great doctor out by Landmark Mall.

  • I absolutely love Dr. Bajaj: http://www.yelp.com/biz/bandhana-bajaj-md-washington

    You have to make an appointment over a month in advance because she is popular, but it is so worth it!

  • Primary–Dr. Theresa Stone around 19th and M is FANTASTIC. She takes her time with you, never rushes, and listens. She’s personable and professional.

    Dentist–Dr. Daniel Hines in Takoma on Butternut is wonderful. His entire office staff is great and he’s efficient and a fun guy to talk to.

    Oh, I have Aetna.

  • I used to have BCBS and recently switched to United Health – both PPO’s.

    Dentist: Dr Palabrica near Rosslyn metro (or any in their office)
    OB/GYN: Dr Melancon or Dr Darolia of Washington Hospital Center – have a Foggy Bottom location.

    Need a GP myself, thanks for this posting!

  • Dr. Prudence Kline is the best doctor I’ve ever been to. She does general/family medicine and is incredibly thorough. For annual physicals, she sits you down to chat about general health/life style stuff before the exam. The one flaw is that her practice does not do insurance paperwork. You have to pay upfront and get reimbursed by your insurance company.

    • Dr Matthew Parker is part of the same practice as Dr Kline. He’s been my physician for probably 15 years. You get an incredible amount of personal attention. I love the office chats! The no-insurance thing is a drawback, though, because you have to pay and then wait for reimbursement.

  • Dr. Cheri Marfori (OB GYN) at GW Medical Faculty Assoc. she treats the whole person ..and recently figured out I had an overactive thyroid just based on a frank conversation I had with her. She referred me to a good endocrinologist. She is fantastic. Takes her time and lets you ask whatever questions you need to.

    • Yes, Marfori is wonderful.

    • Dr. Marfori may be the best doctor I’ve ever had (she was my OB when I was pregnant), but I wasn’t able to get her the last time I needed a check-up. I think she’s only working a very limited schedule since she had her baby.

      Anyway, if you can get her, do. She’s even worth the epic wait times and surly staff at GWU MFA. Bright, attentive, great sense of humor.

  • Anyone use Kaiser Permanente? Since its almost open enrollment season and I’m thinking of switching from BCBS to KP. I had secondary insurance coverage through them once and all my family in California has them but want to know about patient experiences out here.

    • NOOOOOOO! I switched from KP to Carefirst because they were so horrible. I had strep throat and was told that I couldn’t be seen for four days by my doctor and that I wasn’t allowed to go to the ER without a note from them. Total BS. Also, it was a pain to go all the way to their offices from where I live. I hated the lack of flexibility with their PPO. I now go to Capital Medical Associates (www.dcdocs.com) on 17th and RI in the HRC building. I love the NP and get in immediately.

      • I have never had a problem with Kaiser– in times when I’ve really needed an appointment, I’ve always gotten one same day, even with specialists!

    • I used Kaiser for a while – never had any problems with scheduling appointments day-of. Sometimes I couldn’t get in to see my regular doctor, or I would have to go to the West End office instead of the one on North Capitol, but my overall experience was fine. The HMO system is a bit of a hassle, and the co-pay system was terrible, but I really loved being able to access my medical records online, and loved being able to email all my doctors and nurses (and get timely responses). I also loved the on-site pharmacy.

      The doctors are hit or miss. I had some great experiences, and not really not-so-great. I saw a LOT of Kaiser doctors, none of whom could diagnose a knee problem. I had a great Nurse Practitioner serve as my OB/GYN (Jennifer, whose last name escapes me, at the West End center) and a great doctor who oversaw my asthma care. So, all in all, a mixed bag.

    • I could never recommend Kaiser to anyone, they almost killed my Dad out in California. I swear they import their doctors from third world medical schools and the follow up care after surgery was terrible.

    • I have almost always used Kaiser (in DC and California) and have been very happy with it. I’ve always been able to get a same day urgent care appointment. For non-urgent appointments they were apologetic (!!) that they only had spots the following week. The doctors have always been in the range of very good to fine. The staff have been significantly better than most private office staff I’ve encountered.

      And I love the co-pay system. You walk in. Pay your $10 or $20 co-pay. And they do everything for you. There’s no chance that you’ll get some random bill for an uncovered $50 or $150 or $400 later on, as I so often did when I was on a PPO.

      I’m frustrated that my current job doesn’t have Kaiser.

    • em

      Kaiser is awesome. If you are in the District and can get to it, the Union Station center is absolutely great (except for the looooong walk from Union Station itself, but at least it is all indoors). They are also putting in another center in the District around Dupont, I think (they’ve been consolidating their centers and putting a lot of money into new centers recently).

      I’ve always been able to make appointments very quickly (same-day, if necessary – although then not always with my PCP) and have been especially happy with my PCP, who always take the time to fully talk through health issues and provide detailed instructions on medication, etc. Also, I had occasion to use their 24 hour urgent care twice last spring – urgent care, lab, and pharmacy are all 24/7 and Metro/cab accessible. The staff are also really really great when you are there at midnight and in pain.

  • If you want face time you may want to pay for it with a membership practice like McMackin and Zimnoch (West End location, Aetna, carefirst, Cigna, etc)

    http://www.westenddocs.com/about.php

    • I used to see Dr. Zimnoch. He’s alright, but I never felt like he spent much time with me–certainly not enough to “subscribe” to their practice or whatever they’re doing now…

  • Mary Beth Alder is the best GP I have ever seen. She’s a NP and is always attentive, kind, and responsive. Very thorough annual exams which actually leave you feeling well accounted for. She will email you a response within 24 hours, usually a lot faster. http://www.dcdocs.com the group is located in the HRC building and their office even has an office dog (bonus for those of us who like to be distracted with furry cuteness while waiting for blood draws, etc.). She has been such a fantastic find here in DC, I couldn’t recommend her enough. I’ve also heard the other docs in the group are great.

    • I second Mary Beth Alder! She’s very attentive and thorough, and has a great sense of humor. She’s incredibly responsive to emails and phone calls, and immediately addresses any health concerns you may have.

      Another perk is that she maintains a list of specialists in the DC area that her patients recommend, so if you’re looking for a specialist in a particular area, she will definitely have a handful of suggestions for you. Mary Beth referred me to my OB/GYN, Dr. Bruce Bonn – - he’s also fantastic for anyone who happens to be looking for one!

    • Second recommendation for Mary Beth Alder – she’s excellent! Very responsive, thorough, takes the time with you to explain things.

      And also second recommendation for Dr Bonn- I’ve been seeing him for 20 years! The other doctors in his practice area also great.

      I have blue cross care first.

  • Dupont Dental, Dr. Gary Sieden is the BEST!

    • Agreed – been going to him for almost 9 years! His staff is fabulous too, especially Kris at the front desk!

  • I have a hybrid HMO and go to Georgetown University. Great docs.

  • I second Dr. Busch for obgyn.

  • Anyone know of a concierge Ob/gyn practice? I would join that in a second. I am surprised that I haven’t been able to find any in DC quite frankly. Im tired of waiting 3 months for an apt, an another hour in the waiting room for five minutes of face time with my current ob/gyn.

  • Dr. Nicole Singh for general medicine is great!

  • For dentists, I highly recommend Mahvassh Abreu (or her husband, Carlos).

    http://www.abreudental.com/

    Great patient care, easy to schedule appointments, and a friendly staff. I went there for years, and they took every dental insurance I ever had.

  • I have CareFirst. My doctors…

    Primary: Lee Medical Associates in Chinatown. My main doctor is Andrew Lee, but I have also seen his wife, Renee. I was recommened by several friends… and I, too, would recommend them.

    Dentist: Ingber Dental on K Street, near Farragut North. My dentist is Dr. Charles Porvaznik. Absolutely adore this guy!

    Still searching for an OB/GYN, but I may go with Reiter, Hill and Johnson. Dr. Lee recommended them to me; they accept CareFirst and I have read some positive reviews about them.

    • I second the recommendation for Dr. Porvaznik, he’s great. After a disaster with a previous dentist (Dr. El Haje — NEVER go there), Dr. P restored my faith in dentists.

      • I third the recommendation for Dr. Porvaznik! Dr Parker (see above) referred me to Porvaznik a couple of years ago, and he’s been great.

    • Dr. Engle (at reiter, hill and johnson) is awesome! He has been my Gynecologist for about 8 years. He is a wonderful doctor.

    • I love Dr. Lee! He spends so much time with you, and you always feel like he actually cares about helping you and making sure you are completely healthy.

  • Dentists: Fitzmorris and Larose. Office is at 17th and I NW, very nice guys who saw me same day when I broke a tooth and have been taking care of my teeth ever since.

    Chiro: Dr. Oliver Roberson is great, he’s at 17th and K.

    For general ailments (sinus infections, strep etc) I just go to the Medics USA clinic at 17th and R. They’ll always get you in same or next day, especially if you have insurance.

  • Dr. Julian Safran – Capital Womens Care at 21st ad K. He is kind, easy going and a I have rarely had to wait too long. Best of all he is responds to most emails personally and within less than a day. Dr Safran is GREAT

  • Primary: Jessica Osborn. She’s been at Washington Primary Care Physicians but told me at my last appt. that she’s starting her own practice downtown soon. She’ll still take Carefirst. Since I love her and hate the practice (hard to get an appointment, rude receptionists, being charged the wrong copays) I’m thrilled. She’ll also do routine gyn exams during a physical, so you don’t need a separate ob/gyn appointment (unless you get pregnant or have some other need for a specialist).

    Dentist: Watergate dental. I have Dentaquest. Margo Robinson was really good!

  • Dr. Jaime Camacho

    It’s worth the drive to his Leesburg Pike office.

    On my initial visit he sat and casually talked with me for more than 30 minutes about my life and medical history. He looks you in the eye and listens — sadly a rare trait for a medical doctor. At the next visit weeks later, he remembered the most minute details of our previous discussion.

    Highly recommend.

  • Endocrinologist: Ace Lipson is THE BEST. I’ve been seeing him for over 10 years. He takes his time with all his patients, but gets booked up really quickly. He’s at 1120 19th St. If he retires before I die, I’ll be really pissed because he is a fantastic doctor with a very dry sense of humor.

    Ortho: Louis Levitt. Great surgeon. Great doctor. He’s at 19th & M and I love him too. I don’t see him too often (thank goodness) but he took care of my knee, my husband’s knee and my husband’s hip.

    Dentist: Howard Froehlich: 1234 19th St. Really good guy.

    Podiatrist: Harold Glickman. 1145 19th St. Wonderful man. Love him. He takes careof my feet.

    Neurologist: Joe Laukaitis. 2141 K St. Very nice man and a super doctor.

    Physical Therapy: Emily Jeter. 1900 L St. She’s really good. I’ve been to her twice in the past 5 years for two different injuries. She’s got a great staff.

    Allergist: Henry Fishman, or the PA Pat (I can ‘t remember her last name). He gets quite busy, but Pat is really good and I know he’s taken on another doctor in his practice, but I don’t know her name either.

    I would highly recommend all of these doctors. I’ve been seeing all of them for at least 6 years and in some cases, 12 plus years. I’ve referred friends to them too and they’ve all had good things to say. I have BCBS Federal.

  • Dentist: Dr. Harvey Levin, 1712 I Street, NW, Ste 802
    Great guy, nice practice. Washingtonian rated, not that that matters but it’s a nice fun touch.
    Delta Dental, BCBS…and I believe he takes lots of others.

  • For a GP I like Dr Andrew Lee on I St NW in Chinatown. He is fantastic!

  • I was going out to Healthy Steps in Silver Spring, MD – I like to be able to drive to my doctor and not have a problem parking (if you’re really sick you don’t want to walk anywhere). I really liked them – Dr. Baksh was great http://www.myhealthysteps.net/

    Dentist – Dr. Tsaknis – 2 locations downtown – really great. He was the first dentist I saw after my hiatus in college, and he filled a bunch of cavities and did a great job. He’s really really nice and remembered me everytime. I wish I was still able to go to him! http://www.dentalbug.com/

  • OBGYN – Reiter, Hill and Johnson are amazing! My old Gyno just moved over there, Dr.Engle and he is really awesome. I couldn’t ask for a better doc. Highly recommend.

  • OBGYN – another Reiter, Hill fan! I see NP Laurie Lemieux, although she now has limited hours there b/c of teaching. Drs. Hill, Johnson and Jackson are also great.

    Dentist – Sharman Johnson at 17th & I

  • OB-GYN – Susan Jaffe at Physician Associates in Rockville. Busy practice (i.e., full waiting room) and somewhat shabby offices when I was last there a few years ago, but the medical care was fine. I stopped going only because they stopped accepting my insurance (BCBS at the time, which I think they now accept).

    OB-GYN – Another vote for Dr. Rebecca Busch and Sharon Frisch, RN, CMN at Reiter Hill (Falls Church and Friendship Heights offices respectively). FH waiting room is crowded, as noted above; can’t comment on FC waiting room as I had the first appointment of the day.

    Internist – Dr. Rebecca Seigel at Metropolitan Internal Medicine in Bethesda. This is a small practice, so no crowded waiting room but you will have to get some labwork done off-site. I’m very pleased with the length and helpfulness of my appointments, and the front office staff was very helpful in making sure that they accept my insurance.

    Dentist – Dr. Ralph Mazzuca in Friendship Heights. Have had just a few cleanings so far, but I’ve been pleased with Dr. Mazzuca and his hygienist whose name I’m blanking on. I don’t have dental insurance and the prices for cleaning and x-rays seems reasonable.

    Optometrist – Dr. Karen Langan at Bethesda Vision Care. Good, but have had some minor front office issues (billing, getting contacts sample). Would be willing to return but I’m looking to find an ophthalmologist instead.

    Neurologist – Dr. Aman Savani at The Neurology Center, Friendship Heights office. Went for possible carpal tunnel symptoms. Medical care was fine but had a couple of front office issues (appointment cancellation and billing). Would probably be willing to return, however.

  • Pediatrician: Dr. Marilyn Corder
    Chiropractor: Dr. Eric Meyer, Washington Medical Group
    Dentist: Dr. George Baird, he’s good but I LOVE the dental hygienist, Zoya. She consistently does a really thorough job without causing me much pain.

    ObGyn: i had our baby in June at the Family Health and Birth Center in NE. That place is amazing. All midwives and NPs, no docs. So, if you are in a position to experience pregnancy as an intense and normal part of life (not a sickness), go there.

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