Dear PoPville – Looking for OB/Gyn and Pediatrician Recommendations

Photo by PoPville flickr user Faucetini

“Dear PoPville,

I am expecting my first kid and just found out my OB/GYN is leaving. I was hoping I could get some recommendations from Popville re: obstetricians in the area? What about pediatricians? I would especially love to know if anyone has gone through Kaiser Permanente for pediatric care. Thanks!”

41 Comment

  • I would love to hear recs for those that deliver at Washington Hospital Center. As for peds, I like Drs. McKnight and Washington. They are over at WHC in the Office Building.

    • I didn’t deliver with her, but I used to go to Dr. Darolia at WHC. She is awesome. The only reason I switched was because I wanted to deliver at GW (for the Whole Foods and milkshakes, see below).

      • Yay! I adore Drs McKnight and Washington for pediatricians and I love having them so close by too. I also delivered with the WHC group (Dr. Draoui is my doc and Darolia actually delivered me) and have no complaints. I quite like them as a practice, but some of the other hospitals have nicer facilities, birthing tubs and wireless monitors and such.

    • I didn’t deliver at WHC, but another parent of a McKnight/Washington patient here – very happy with them, and it’s great having them close by (especially when they can slip you in for a last-minute appointment).

  • Congrats on the new baby. We go to Ariza & Pullman Pediatrics down near West End / Foggy Bottom. Very happy with them.

  • I have used Soma Chakroborty at Kaiser and Marie-Anne Draoui at Washington Hospital Center for gynecology. They are both terrific.

  • You have to think about where you want to deliver. I used Rieter Hill, big practice on 19th. They only deliver at Sibley (unless you are high risk and then they send you Gtown). Sibley wasn’t my first choice but I didn’t want to switch. I did really like Dr Hill but ended up having Dr Reiter for the actual delivery.
    We see Dr MckNight at WHC for pediatrician. She is very good but kind of reserved. If you aren’t one to come with all your questions/comments, she may not always bring stuff up. She is sort of old school and not one to prescribe a lot of stuff for babies. (eg, she doesn’t think most babies have reflux to warrant prescription meds and its just a ploy from big pharma to get new customers). But we live in petworth and its very convenient and the office seems well run.

    • Haven’t had a baby yet, but I also go to Drs. Reiter, Hill, Johnson and Nevin. I highly recommend their office and have nothing but nice things to say about PA Frisch and Dr. Muangman. I’ve had bad experiences as Sibley, but I had to have a procedure done there a few years ago and it was fine.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I use them for other lady issues and they are nice. The practice is huge and the folks that go there have very nice shoes. They also have eye candy for the single straight ladies (I’ve spent a lot of time there recently). Love Dr Osmun and the sonogram tech whose name I didn’t get and Mona MiIberg can do a quick comfortable exam. I’m happy with them even if they don’t take calls during lunch. (all my earlier call issues were resolved)

      Aside, my regular care giver prefers Sibley Hospital as well. He and she always tell me to go there for after hours care. Doctors really like Sibley.

      • KSB

        Sibley is definitely the way to go for after-hours care! Made the trek from Brookland to Sibley for en ER visit (non-life threatening, obvs) and it was completely worth it.
        And I’ve delivered there twice with RHJN and had great experiences both times. Heading there for round 3 in January…

        • Emmaleigh504

          I’m going there for surgery with RHJN in Aug so hopefully it’s as great as my doctors say!

  • Dr. Mary Fairbanks at Washington Hospital Center is great!

  • OB, I used Dr. Larsen @ GWU. Very happy with his no-nonsense style.

    For peds, I would ask the OP to post where they live, because that should be the deciding factor on where to go. If your in upper NW, like me, we go to Capitol Medical Group. But if you’re more downtown this recommendation wouldn’t be helpful.

    I hate to suggest this, and so enter with caution (because there are so crazy ladies there) but DCUrban Mom (.com) can be pretty helpful with this kind of stuff. Don’t let the drama suck you in… But lots of great info in the muck about dealing with parenting issues in DC>

    • Co-sign on Dr. Larsen. I love him. I had a high-risk first pregnancy (ended with a loss at 16 weeks in March 2012, so I can’t recommend a pediatrician, never got that far) and he gave me his cell phone number and said I could use it anytime I had a question or a fear or just wanted to chit chat. His bedside manner is great.

    • DC Urban Mom was how I found my peds (Drs. McKnight and Washington), and I’m very happy with them, so it can be a help (drama aside)

  • I delivered with the Wisdom midwives at GW and loved them. It may seem insignificant, but I also loved that there was a Whole Foods and a milkshake place across the street. Those were lifesavers.

    We live in Petworth and go to the Mary’s Center for pediatrics. The pediatricians there are great and they are open on Monday nights and some Saturdays, so the hours are good.

  • i go to foxhall ob/gyn at Sibley Hospital. I have had nothing but terrific experiences with the doctors there, and thought they went above and beyond when i delivered my first baby. We also go to pullman and ariza and cannot say enough niec things about them. i would avoid both physicians for women (alexandria) and pedicatric village (spring valley) as we did NOT have good experiences with either.

    • I have been going to Dr. Stany at Foxhall Ob/Gyn at Sibley for the past four years, and she is really amazing. I never feel rushed, and she’s very personable and relaxed. I can’t imagine going anywhere else. In fact, I wish she could be my doctor for everything!

  • OP here– thanks for the recs! We live in the near SE, but as we rent, and one of us works in Alexandria and the other in downtown Dc, location is not as big a factor as if we owned (though avoiding huge commutes is ideal).

    Haven’t had any experience with the DC hospitals except GW, what should we be looking for there?

    Thanks! And thanks for humoring us, we’re just trying to figure it all out!

    • For hospitals… closer the better is my preference. Helps when your partner wants to go grab something from home and also reduces discomfort in getting to the hospital in labor… All I wanted to do was move around, so being in a car was torture. Also WHC has standard private rooms for recovery from delivery. I had to pay extra for that at sibley… They have tours you can take, so that’s another way to figure it out.

      • Another thing about proximity for delivery – I delivered at Sibley, which wouldn’t have been that big a deal if everything had been normal, but my daughter was premature and had to stay in the NICU for a month. While I was very happy with Sibley and her care there, it was quite a haul to have to drive to the hospital multiple times a day for a month.

        • Thats a big thing to consider. SIbley doesnt actually have a NICU its a “special care” nursery (My daughter spent one night there as well for breathing issues). If you even suspect you may have complications you definitely want a baby at the highest rated NICUs in DC (and we are lucky to have several)-Gtown, GW and WHC and Childrens.

  • We too used Dr. Larsen at GWU to deliver (twice). Terrific. We use Dr. Hamburger’s practice for pediatrician. The nurse on call is the most amazing asset when you are a new and nervous parnet. She’s around the 2100 block of K, NW. And the breast feeding center’s there too, and they give free classes.

  • For OB/GYN, Dr. Footer is great. He’s at Sibley.

  • I’ve had several appointments with Dr. Bridges and really like him — he takes a lot of time to talk through things and has a good sense of humor to boot!

  • OP-you will find that in DC most women deliver at Sibley. I have no idea how they have managed to corner the baby market. Its worth doing the free tours at the hospitals. But Sibley cannot guarantee you a private room, although I thinks its rare they dont have singles available. I ended up having a good experience with them even though they weren’t my preferred choice.
    Second another reader who suggested DC Urbanmom. its a one of the most insane and informative sites ever. Go to expecting moms or general parenting and search for pediatrician, OB or a hospital name. But brace yourself for some of whacko comments (and number of times women call each other the C word).

  • I was once a Kaiser pediatric patient (Virginia). My advice on Kaiser is always: RUN IF YOU HAVE AN OPTION.

    I have heard they have improved since I graduated college and got my own insurance, (2005, so, it’s been quite a chunk of time) but, I still haven’t forgiven them. I had surgery – surgeon gave me an infection (apparently somewhat common) – they didn’t inform my parents I had one and sent me home. I then had to have a second surgery, fully conscious, where an outpatient surgery cut me back open. They also sent me home once when I didn’t have strep. I didn’t have strep, I had tonsillitis, but they wouldn’t look at my throat to see that, so 2 days later I was back, much worse, and needed IV antibiotics.

  • novadancer

    not the OP but thanks for all the rec’s for WHC!! I posted on DCUM for recommendations and got nowhere. Now I have a few & just need to see if they are in my plan 🙂

  • Our family stays with Kaiser just so we can keep our pediatrician, Dr. Baldwin at West End. She’s done an amazing job with our older child’s significant health issues. In recent years we’ve occasionally seen other pediatricians at West End; they also seem to do a fine job.

  • We used Birth Care in Old Town and delivered both our kids in our home in the Capitol Riverfront (near SE). We had a great experience with both births. Not sure if you are interested in that type of birth though. Our pediatrician isn’t accepting new patients anymore so no rec. on that one.

  • I’ve delivered at WHC, with the midwives from the Family Health & Birth Center, and also at GW with the midwifery group there. They were pretty comparable in terms of facilities (delivery room and maternity ward), but I definitely felt like my husband and I were treated a little more like grown-ups at GW. And the nurses were a little nicer and more respectful of our/my privacy at GW. But I wouldn’t recommend against WHC at all. If you are open to midwives, you may want to check out FHBC–you can deliver at the free-standing birth center near RFK, which is where all appointments are, or at WHC. I think WHC also has a group of midwives if that’s convenient to you. I really liked the GW midwives, but you have to get into their practice pretty quickly after finding out you’re pregnant and the location may not be that convenient for you. And seriously, the Whole Foods and other nearby food options at GW are great–hospital food sucks, no matter where you are. Both practices will do regular GYN stuff, too, not just deliver babies, and both hospitals have all private rooms (unlike Sibley, which makes you pay $200+ per night for one).

    We also see Dr. McKnight and Dr. Washington at WHC and have been really happy with them. As others noted, Dr. McKnight is a little more reserved, but once you get her talking she’s happy to chat. I really appreciate not having to fight downtown or cross-town traffic in order to get there from Columbia Heights/Petworth, plus they open at 7am four days a week so we can often schedule early-morning appointments and not be (too) late getting into work.

  • KSB

    I saw Reiter Hill with my first pregnancy (they were my Gyn before I got pregnant) and they were great. I liked delivering at Sibley. I switched to WHC group for my second pregnancy but wasn’t crazy about delivering at WHC so I switched back to Reiter Hill in my third trimester and delivered #2 at Sibley. Heading back to Sibley with RH for #3 in a few months…
    And my oldest saw Pullman Ariza pediatrics for her first year of so and we really liked them but we switched over to McKnight Washington for purely logistical reasons. More fans of McKnight Washington over here too!

  • I used to go to Reiter, which was great for routine women’s health stuff, but once I got pregnant, I switched to Birthcare in Alexandria for prenatal care and the birth. The prenatal care was wonderful, and their packaged price is very reasoanble (insert dozens of articles out about the cost of birthing in this country). Unfortunately, we had to transfer mid-delivery to INOVA (no fault to Birthcare). Anyhoo, after post delivery stuff was done, I switched to the GW midwifery program (closer and in the hospital). I”m not pregnant again, yet, so I can’t vouch for the the process, but I’ve been very happy so far and have heard wonderful things from everyone who has birthed there with the midwives. Also, as an aside, we checked out the Family Health and Birth Center in NE and decided it wasn’t for us. I would suggest checking out several places before making a decision.

    Same goes for pediatricians – check out a few before deciding. Our pediatrician is Dr. Ioana Razi – a small amount of googling/checking out mom boards and you will find she is quite literally incredible. Not sure if she is accepting new patients, though, and she does not accept insurance – you get reimbursed for out of network costs.

    Good luck and congrats!

  • I really like Dr. Metz and Dr. Larsen at GW. I haven’t delivered yet, but I have seen them both during my pregnancy. Dr. Metz is young-ish and has a young child of her own, so I really feel like she understands my concerns and I really just connect with her. Dr. Larsen is extremely experienced and made me and my husband feel so comfortable and at-ease during some very intense in invasive testing that I needed to have done. I don’t have experience with other GW OBs, but I’ve heard very good things in general. And, I like that they have all private rooms at GW and are very supportive of unmedicated birthing plans.

  • I really like Dr. Kelly at Georgetown. She and the staff have helped me through two miscarriages (one that was horribly traumatic). Outside of the horrible parking situation, I’ve never had a bad experience with anyone. From sonography to OB/GYN to labs to the Labor and Delivery Unit, I can’t speak highly enough of Dr. Kelly and her team.

  • I’d say it depends on your birthing goals. If you are very set on having childbirth go a particular way (i.e. all natural, planned c-section, water tub with dolphins, etc.) use that to choose your OB/GYN. Washington Hospital Center has a great midwife practice if you’re into that, and the hospital is decent. Capital Women’s Care and RHJN are both very good practices, but tend towards more medical births. They are both based out of Sibley, which is fabulous but charges extra for a private room. I personally had a great experience at Capital Women’s Care and Sibley, even though I have been told by more than a few women that my c-section was a failure of will on my part 🙂

    As far as pediatricians, I will join the chorus supporting McKnight and Washington. Both excellent physicians. My child was premature and had all manner of problems in the first few weeks. They took an approach that was measured, practical, and effective without being overly aggressive. They also have a remarkably efficient office. I have always been seen on time, appointments run like clockwork, and I can always get my son in if he’s sick.

  • Capitol Women’s Care – Dr. Blank at the K St Office.

    he is the best OB/GYN i’ve ever had. Patient, easy to get a hold of and caring.

  • For OBs, I really like Dr. Walker at Kaiser Capitol Hill and Dr. Marfori at GW

  • Unless you really want a c-section I would avoid Capital Women’s Care at all costs. I also wasn’t particularly impressed with the staff at Sibley. I felt like lowest priority as a c-section patient and the nurses seemed like having to provide proper care was inconveniencing them – they let my IV run out, didn’t respond to pages to turn off alarms going off in the room in the middle of the night, didn’t take any proactive approach to managing pain.

    I’ve been working with GW Midwifery group – Laura Eammons specifically – towards my next hypothetical pregnancy and seems good so far. I also have a friend who loves Dr. Macri.

    Other OBs I’ve visited who have been highly recommended by friends or other doctors (but weren’t a good fit for me) are Dr. DeSouza who is up in Foxhall, delivers at Sibley but is part of GW and Dr. Pardo at Foxhall OB/GYN.

    For pediatricians we’ve been going to Dr. Lang at Washington Pediatrics south of Dupont. The practice has been great but I have an especially healthy kid who hasn’t been sick with anything that required medical attention and so has only been for well-child visits.

  • We have used Kaiser for pediatric care and have been very happy with them. We also see Dr. Baldwin at the NW Medical Center; if you’re in SE the Capitol Hill center is probably a lot more convenient but I don’t have personal experience with any of the peds there. The things I like about Kaiser are the ability to email your doc, being able to call the nurse advice line after hours, and the one-stop shopping aspect (lab and pharmacy are right there, there’s also no charge for having the medical records office complete required day care and school forms). I go to Dr. Walker for gyn care at Kaiser Capitol Hill and really like her, but I did not deliver w/ Kaiser. We’re covered by FEHB and Kaiser is more affordable than the BCBS option, and the copays are minimal.

Comments are closed.