From the Forum – OB/GYN Recommendations

Photo by PoPville flickr user Lindsey Robinett

OB/GYN Recommendations in DC or Alexandria?

“MY OB/GYN is in Bethesda, however we just moved to Alexandria (I work in DC) and thinking Bethesda will be a hike for every appointment now that we’re expecting. Also pretty sure the doc is affiliated with Holy Cross in Rockville. Any recommendations for good OB/GYN in DC or even better- Alexandria? Thanks much!”

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148 Comment

  • Do NOT use Russell Bridges in Foggy Bottom.

    • Perhaps it’s just me, but why DO women go to male OBGYNs? Would you take your car to a mechanic who had never driven?

      • phl2dc

        I don’t think that having female reproductive organs necessarily makes one a better OB/GYN than someone who doesn’t have them. Do you really think that having a car would make one a better mechanic than one without a car? What’s the criteria for choosing a shrink?

        • phl2dc

          Misread – “never driven’, not ‘doesn’t have a car’. That’s a valid example, but I still don’t know about the female reproductive organs thing.

        • I would never go near a mechanic who doesn’t have a car or doesn’t drive. Like are you kidding with that example? You gotta spend time in cars to know and really understand what you’re doing.

      • I’m guessing it’s easier to get an appointment with them.

      • I go to a male OB/GYN because I’m accustomed to having a man down there.

      • My longest relationship with a doctor ever was my male OB/Gyn who delivered all of my babies and was my provider post-separation/divorce until I moved to DC. I prefer a no-nonsense approach to medicine. IMO, I prefer to have shit laid bare and go from there and therefore, I appreciated his style. I can see how it would be off putting to others though. I don’t think that his lack of female anatomy makes him any less able to doctor me. In fact, most physicians will never have the conditions they research and treat. I suppose it depends on the preference.

        • burritosinstereo

          my female OB/Gyn has that approach, which I do appreciate as well. I don’t think it’s reasonable to say that a “no-nonsense approach to medicine” is a characteristic specific to men (or women).

          • Yes, you are absolutely correct. I should have been much more clear that is his style, vs the style of a man. I have known plenty of female doctors who also take this approach, as well as male doctors who take the opposite approach. The point I was trying to make is that being a man doesn’t not make a physician any less qualified to treat women.

      • Why DONT women see male OBGYNs? They are doctors and professionals and they know a hell of a lot about their specialty.
        If you got cancer, would you only want to see a doctor who is a cancer survivor?

        • Female doctors frequently score better on bedside manner and patient satisfaction, which might matter particularly when dealing with your junk. I prefer female doctors for every specialization. Male doctors in general have a tendency to be douche bags IMO.

    • Can you share why you wouldn’t recommend Dr. Bridges? Not OP, just a Dr. Bridges patient who is interested.

      • I don’t like Dr. Bridges. I went to him once and in his attempt to get me to get the HPV vaccine (which in no uncertain words I told him I did not want) he told me I should reconsider because my husband may divorce me or cheat on me.

        Didn’t sound like a Dr. I was interested in going through a pregnancy with.

        • I guess that is one reason why a man’s perspective could come in handy! (joking, joking)

        • I’m surprised anyone who’s eligible for the HPV vaccine would turn it down. I wish I were eligible for it.

          • Of course I am not sure what your circumstances are, but last time I was at my doctor she recommended I think about it-despite me being under impression I didn’t qualify for it either (assumed I was too old/knowing I’ve already been exposed). However, it’s recently been improved upon and now protects against more strains than it originally did, and actually it doesn’t matter how old you are-it can still protect you from strains of the virus you haven’t been exposed to yet. So could be worth another ask next time you’re in!

          • MK — Thanks. I’ll ask, but my impression was that being over age 26 meant no insurance coverage for the vaccine, and I didn’t want to have to pay out of pocket.

          • As someone who has paid out of pocket for a vaccine that insurance would not cover, if you want it and feel that strongly that you need it, get it. It will cost you between$390 and $450 to get the series. Insurance companies adhere to strict standards for vaccines, but this does not mean it won’t benefit you.

          • Also, as a reminder, men can also get the HPV vaccine.

        • I wish I had a doctor that pushed the HPV vaccine harder back when I was engaged and young enough to be eligible, because I subsequently got divorced and dated again.

        • As an adult, I think you should research vaccine side effects before having any. Seriously. Did you know that 25% of adult women get rheumatoid arthritis symptoms from the MMR vaccine? Sometimes they go away relatively quickly, and sometimes they do not. I found this out the hard way, when I told my doctor I was thinking about having a baby but had never had rubella. Many years of rheumatoid arthritis pain and fatigue as a result. (I might have still done the vaccine before getting pregnant, but had I been informed about the side effects (they are from the live rubella in the vaccine) I probably would have waited until I was sure I was going to try to get pregnant (which did never happen, largely because I now had to deal with the effect the vaccine had on me for the rest of my fertile years.)
          I knew someone whose wife was paralyzed for a long time from a common vaccine (tetanus, I believe it was) – it was either a bad batch, or she was sick when she went to the doctor (that’s why she went) – and vaccines can have worse effects sometimes if you are sick, so it is best to get them when well. I can’t remember what they decided was the cause in her case – it was some years back now. She was otherwise young and healthy when it happened.
          There’s no way I’m getting the HPV vaccine – but I wouldn’t see reason to get that one anyway. So I haven’t followed it closely, but I think I have read that a high percentage get side effects. Read about them so you make an informed decision.

          • Most people get the MMR vaccine as children; very few do as adults. I’m guessing you must have been born before the early 1970s.

    • Just wanted to throw a positive plug in for Dr. Russel Bridges…he is solely responsive for saving the life of my daughter due to his quick thinking during a scary labor. I understand that everyone has personal relationships with their doctors and absolutely respect that, but Dr. Bridges is a top notch doctor that deserves to be recognized for his skills. My wife can’t say enough good thinks about Dr. B. As the new dad, I was impressed with him from the OB appt. we had. Great guy.

      • I agree. I loved my time with Dr. Bridges. I saw Dr. Bridges for quite a few years (before my insurance changed) and I was devastated when I realized that because of my new insurance, I wouldn’t be using him for the birth of my first kid. He was cautious and open to questions, and he took one-on-one time to listen to my questions.

        He also pushed me to get the HPV vaccine. I wish I had taken his advice and spent the money.

        • PS – It all worked out ok — I ended up going to Soma Chakraborty, who is awesome. And she is now in the same Capital Women’s Care group as Dr. Bridges. She’s more laid back than Dr. Bridges. And she was great to work with as I had kind of a difficult pregnancy. They’re both in DC, so probably not useful to the OP, but if anyone else is reading this, and needs an OBGYN, I can recommend both.

  • Capital Women’s Care (though I don’t go to the Alexandria location).

    • I’ve been going to Dr. Bajaj at the K Street location for years, she’s great. Apparently she’s on maternity leave at the moment though, so I recently saw Dr. Horwitz and he was great too.

      • Another Dr. Bajaj fan here!

        • Dr Bajaj is great when you’re pregs- use Dr. Safran before you get pregs. Great docs

        • I had a bad experience with Dr. Bajaj. I waited 6 weeks to get a first appointment and when I went in, she made an assumption that I probably had HPV because most people my age have HPV. This upset me, and she was not at all sympathetic to my concern, which made me even more upset. She called me a week later after my test results came in to tell me that I did not have HPV — after I was freaking out all week. I did have another issue which she told me would clear up on its own. The issue got worse over the next 2 months so I went to my GP who told me that it could take years to clear up on its own and that I should get treatment if I wanted it to go away. I now go to Dr. Darolia at Washington Women’s Wellness Center at the Medstar Hospital location and she is great.

      • Also a Dr. Bajaj fan. I like the clinic and their facilities.

        I liked how there were other offices/companies servicing women (mamo’s, breastfeeding organizations) in the K street building.

      • I used to go to Dr. Bajaj, she’s great! When she was on medical leave I started seeing Dr. Bohon who’s also great but very no nonsense. If you have a problem with your doctor expressing concern about your weight and diet and asking you frank questions about your plans to have kids, she’s not the doc for you. I for one, like Dr. Bohon, and her style. She won’t beat around the bush, but she’s very thorough in her explanations, talks you through your choices, and is very patient with some of my ridiculous questions.

        • big dr. bohon fan here. she’s the 3rd doc i’ve had at different capital women’s care locations, and she’s my favorite. i appreciate her no-nonsense, professional style. her nurse (whose name i’ve forgotten at the moment) is also super helpful with things like fixing RX refills that your stupid mail order insurance company repeatedly screws up.

        • I’m seconding the Dr. Bohon vote. She’s the second doc I’ve had at Capital Women’s Care after my first doc left the practice. I was super disappointed bc I liked her, but then I met Dr. Bohon and she’s great. Like others have said, she is pretty direct, and no-nonsense but I’ve always felt like she takes the time to listen to my concerns and respects me. She’s awesome!

        • Another opinion about Bohon: she is the worst GYN I’ve ever been to (which probably numbers over 20 at this point in my life). Rude, dismissive, supercilious and the provider of the most uncomfortable pelvic exam I’ve ever had.

        • burritosinstereo

          I love Dr Bohon. She doesn’t beat around the bush (pun intended), is direct, yet not cold or rude. I was just at their office on Friday for an appointment; however, and had a pretty bad experience. My appointment for a routine six-month pap (wish I’d gotten that HPV vaccine when I was eligible) was at 10:00 and they didn’t call me back until 10:45. Once I finally saw Dr Bohon I was outta there in like five minutes. Really annoying.

    • Dr. Safran at Capital Women’s Care – DC is amazing too!!

    • Have seen several of the doctors at this location and they were each fantastic! Thumbs up!

    • Another Dr Bajaj fan here!

      She is fantastic, really listens, and caught a potential problem that other doctors had missed.

      Love her!

    • Love CWC. Bajaj and Newton delivered my babies and Safran guided me through my miscarriages.

    • Totally agree — Capital Women’s Care is awesome. The docs are great and their staff are nice and actually knowledgeable.

      • I’m shocked at all the love for Capital Women’s Care. I went to their DC office when I was pregnant with my daughter, and I started calling them CRAPital Women’s Care. Long waits, lightning-fast appointments with doctors who seemed like they’d rather be anywhere but there.

        That being said, Dr. Schichor did a terrific job with the delivery, and I really liked Sibley Hospital (where the CWC doctors deliver). Still, for my next pregnancy I will probably seek out an OB practice that is better organized and more focused on patient care.

  • What about Arlington? I LOVE Dr. Nicole McClendon.

    • Jen Lesko @ GW Docs was my OB. Love her – plus the M street location has good hours and little/ no wait time.

      • I second Dr. Lesko at GW Medical Faculty Associates!! Prepare to book your appointment well in advance, but it’s worth it, they are great there. She is clear, concise, friendly and no-nonsense. I also saw one of the male doctors there once when I needed to get in before Dr. Lesko was available-I’m blanking but I believe it was Dr. Powers-and he was also fantastic. Metro disaster morning had made me late but they still saw me.

        For context, my experience with them is for preventative/routine gynecological care-I don’t have experience with them for any baby-deliverin’!

    • Dr. Ingrid Winterling in the same practice and is amazing! She’s been by GYN and is now my OB. Have met Dr. McCleandon and Dr. Casadaban there as well, so at least three of the options at Health Care for women at VA hospital center are fantastic.

  • Dr. Cheri Marfori at GW medical faculty associates was awesome. I wanted her to be my girlfriend. But the practice is the pits… routinely running an hour+ behind.

    • GW medical faculty associates has the worst customer service. I wouldn’t go there unless the doctor is absolutely magical.

    • I like Dr. Marfori too -she’s great but you’re right the GW MFA practice sucks. Unless like I mentioned above the doctor works out of the 25 and M location.

    • I agree with the posters above — GW has mostly excellent doctors, but you have to be prepared for BS with their support staff. The waiting times have improved a lot over the last few years but can still be pretty bad. It may be worth it to deliver there, though. My friends who had babies at GW Hospital have all spoken very positively of the experience.

      • Having had care and a delivery at GW, I decided if I ever had another kid (and lived in DC), I wouldn’t return. My care and delivery are part of why I’m in therapy now. Just my experience.

      • saf

        It’s not just the GYNs either – my amazing orthopedic surgeon is at GW, and I despise his admin.

        • Yeah — I used to go to a general practitioner at GW MFA, but I gave up and switched to another practice because the admin staff was terrible.

  • Great timing! I haven’t been to an OB/GYN since I was in college, which was over a decade ago. I’m overdue for a checkup, don’t you think? 😉

  • Women to Women/Capital Women’s Care in Arlington is the best. I see Dr. Reepa Shah

  • Don’t go to Georgetown Hospital if you are considering an IUD. They won’t do it b/c it’s a religious institution (or whatever the proper wording of that is). They’re fine otherwise.

    • I was just going to say the exact same thing. I had a great experience with there with Dr Landy, the head of the Maternal Fetal Medicine/ High Risk Pregnancy Division, Dr Breen (who I had to see once due to an emergency), and Dr Maynard (who isn’t there anymore). And they have an excellent NICU. But they can’t do IUDs or any other birth control options that aren’t supported by the Catholic Church. But they will gladly refer you to a Dr outside the practice that will.

      • they also won’t help you with issues of termination or the awful decision of mother vs. fetus. My mother almost died at Holy Cross 40 years ago due to a placental abruption…just a warning about delivery at a Catholic hospital. I have a moms group mom who had a great high risk delivery there though. So YMMV

        • Accountering

          I couldn’t fathom encouraging a women I know/love to have a baby at a catholic hospital. The idea that a doctor would make medical decisions for my loved one based on their religion, as opposed to what is best for the mom is disgusting and scary.

          • Agreed – but in fairness, they do may this incredibly clear. My kids go to a Georgetown practice and there’s a disclaimer. Also, doctors who are privileged there – even if they are not employed by Georgetown – must agree to follow the rules. I wish I had the actual wording in front of me, but I recall seeing it the first time and being like, wtf? The doctors must sign it or they don’t get privileges.

          • *make this incredibly clear

        • I’ve heard similar horror stories about Catholic hospitals. I will say that I had the exact opposite at Georgetown. I had 2 extremely high risk pregnancies and the last one we had to have “the talk”. They presented me with all of my options, the science behind the statistics, and were willing to support what ever I chose. Both my Drs even suggested I get and IUD and talked about how this was one of the few things they hated about working at a Catholic Hospital. But other then that they were great. So maybe not great for regular OB appts but I’d highly recommend them for pregnancy related appts. Especially high risk pregnancies. Their MFM Dept and NICU are the best in the city.

    • As a patient at Georgetown, I’ve found that they can provide any birth control option other than IUDs. Most of the docs are also usually happy to counsel you on IUDs but may not be able to insert them because of “hospital rules” in which case I’ve heard they refer you to another clinic.

  • Dr. Paula Radecki or Dr. Matthew Peterson (google Reiter, Hill, Johnson & Nevin). I cannot sing their praises enough, best in DC.

    • Dr. Radecki is GYN only fyi, but Dr. Peterson is great!

    • Another Dr Radecki fan! And, I saw Drs Davis, Barsa, & Abraham when I was pregnant & they were all great too.

    • Another fan of RHJN – I see Dr. Erika Gibson, she’s great, and their office is busy but really efficient and kind.

      • YES. I love Dr Gibson. She did such a good job on my colposcopy. The first time I got one 5 years ago it was hell, but with her it was completely uneventful and not painful in the slightest. I was prepared for the worst and she made it not awful at all. She also has great style, and I want to be her best friend.

    • Dr. Peterson helped me through a very difficult birth, saved my daughter’s life, and got me through a bad recovery. He is amazing and his bedside manner is awesome. I’ve only ever gone to female OB/GYNs but I won’t see anyone else from now on.

  • Not very much help but I still schlep to woodbridge (VA) to visit my obgyn because I hated all 3 that I tried in DC. The AboutWomen obgyn office there rocks. It’s a huge pita though if you need to go for something more than an annual exam.

    I swear though I will never find an obgyn as good as the one I had in college.

  • Emmaleigh504

    not expecting, never expecting, but I’ve had good visists at Reiter, Hill, Johnson & Nevin. They have about a million doctors and a few locations. I adore Dr Osmun was my doctor and was wonderful. I found out later a colleague saw him for something and loved him too. I only quit going b/c my lady issues were cured by them, so now I just see my regular doctor b/c it’s easier. But if another issue popped up, I’d go to them in a heartbeat.

    • R,H,J, & N are great except they don’t really do high risk pregnancies. For many years I went to Mona Milberg their for all my regular appts (love her) and then switched to one of their OBGYN when I got pregnant. When my pregnancy got high risk they had to transfer me to another practice. They deliver at Sibley which doesn’t have a NICU. Most pregnancies are low risk and R,H,J and N would be a great option.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I went to Mona for a bit, too. She was so fast and painless with the regular exam! Love her. I had a very hurty doc when I first moved here. Mona was such a relief!

      • +1 Love Dr. Hill.

      • Weird, Mona is the only person I will not see at RHJN. The one time I saw her she was really snippy and rude with me and ran out of the room as I tried to ask her questions.
        I’ve had good experiences there with the two doctors I’ve seen, except that it’s impossible to get them to return phone calls.

    • Both myself, and friends of mine, had terrible experiences with RHJN. Two OB/GYN’s i saw there had HORRIFIC bedside manner. One literally rolled her eyes at me when I stated I didn’t want NuvaRing because someone i knew literally DIED from it. Friends experiences have been similar – one of my friends went in to discuss low libido and was told “maybe you just aren’t attracted to your boyfriend.” They were also terrible when I needed them to send records over to my general practitioner. I had to call three times, and only on the third time did they say “oh, sorry, yeah you need to fill out a form for that.”

      I wouldn’t recommend.

      • Emmaleigh504

        whoa! Dr Osmun and his scheduler were awesome for me. I had to have surgery and they did everything! Cleared it with my insurance, scheduled all blood work, etc. My mom was really impressed with Dr Osmun’s bed-side manner too. He was great at communicating what was was going on and what bad things could happen and what he would do. He also listened to me and believed what I said which was basically, I need surgery, take this sht out. I lucked out with him.

    • I go there — I see Dr. Busch and I like her. She’s great!

      • Dr. Busch is not an OB, just GYN.

        Reiter and Hill have a terrible reputation for incompetent office staff, long waits and medicalized births. If you want to give birth on a conveyor belt according to arbitrary deadlines and are comfortable with a dangerously high C-section rate for low-risk women, go right ahead. if those are things that concern you, I’d recommend looking elsewhere.

        • Dr Peterson delivered my daughter but I LOVE Dr Blackburn at Reiter Hill. I have been going to them for over ten years and all great experiences, including two hospitalizations during my pregnancy. I don’t want to disclose too much online but in my circumstances, many doctors would have pressured me for a C-section but everyone at Reiter Hill was very supportive of my wish for a vaginal birth and never pressured me. I was very well taken care of- appointments were easy to schedule, on-time, and the support staff was all great. I don’t think their reputation is up to date. Dr. Blackburn was wonderful and extremely supportive.

    • I LOVE Dr. Osmun but don’t love the rest of the practice. You usually wait 15-20min on hold to get someone on the phone. Over the years, the front desk staff have gotten much better and more polite but they see so many people that sometimes it’s hard to get someone on the phone… even if you are calling someone back!

  • I actually love the Kaiser Capitol Hill OB/GYN practice. Granted, I have not been through a pregnancy so can’t speak to that. However, I find them to be professional, easygoing and easy to talk to, and very pleasant. Also, they do shit that is medically accurate, like not lecture you about how you shouldn’t get an IUD if you haven’t had kids. They prescribed and installed (heh) one right away when I asked. Cost me about $60.

    • Any specific doctor you would recommend there?

      • Dr. Stacey Anderson Garrett is my regular doc and the one who put in my IUD. I have also seen Dr. Maloy and was happy with that experience.

      • Dr. Sharma at Kasier is awesome!

      • Nancy

        I go to Cicely Walker here and she has been great. No lectures or questioning my decisions. No pregnancy just IUD insertion. She was great when I had an unexpected medical emergency during a visit.

        • Another vote for Dr. Walker! She makes you feel really comfortable and her bedside manner is impeccable!

        • Dr. Walker delivered my baby. She is super! My regular OBGYN with Kaiser is Dr. Banulis at the West End (NW) office. She is really really terrific.

    • I love them too but wasn’t going to add to the thread because you can only use if you have Kaiser insurance.
      I have Dr. Sharma and she is WONDERFUL. She speaks to you like a real human and seems to really care. Plus she knows what she’s talking about.

      I also went to Dr. Virginia Thompson over on K street when I first moved here. She is absolutely the best I’ve ever been to. Sadly, my insurance doesn’t take her now. Here’s what I love the most: speaking and doing are completely separate: You go in to her office FULLY CLOTHED and discuss whatever’s on your mind and any changes. Then you change and go to the exam room. then you get dressed and go BACK TO HER OFFICE to discuss the results and anything else. Honestly, I felt as if she would have spent all day long with me if I had had any more questions. And any time I asked a question, she took the time to explain to me how things work. A lot of the time, I think even doctors are embarrassed by some questions or else they’re just in a hurry. She never was.

      • I used to see Dr. Thompson as well — I think I switched only because she stopped participating with my insurance, or maybe my (then) primary care provider would no longer issue referrals to her. (My PCP’s admin person had some sort of weird vendetta with Dr. Thompson’s admin person and wouldn’t deliver any paperwork to her, even though their offices were right across the hall from one another.) Or maybe it was because I changed jobs and thus changed insurance.
        I do remember Dr. Thompson’s office having lots of photos of babies, so I’d imagine that she (or someone else in her office) does the OB side of things as well as the GYN.

  • binpetworth

    Am I the only one here who’s never had an OB/GYN? I’ve always had my preventive screenings done by my GP, and since I have no intention of having babies, never thought a separate physician was necessary. But I wonder if I’m an anomaly…

    • Emmaleigh504

      I only got one when things got complex. Things are no longer complex so I use my regular doctor again. I see no reason for a specialist if I’m not birthing babies and everything in “lady town” (thanks Grey’s Anatomy) is normal.

    • Hmm, I never thought of doing through a GP…in fact for a long time I didn’t have a GP, just OBGYN! I’ve also had issues in the past that warranted a specialist and I want a kid at some point.

    • I never did until I got pregnant.

      • Ditto. All medical care pre-babies was with a GP. And now I’m with Kaiser, which doesn’t do routine lady business in their internal medicine department, but the OBGYNs are just across the hall, so it’s no big deal.

    • Same. I get preventive screenings done by my GP.

    • The only concern I would have with going to a GP vs and OB/Gyn is that they do not have to be up on the latest research. Doctors only have to maintain CME credits in their specialty, although they may opt to take credits in other areas. So out-dated advice may be given in certain situations. Personally, I think if you are sexually active with a male partner (because of the significantly higher risk for STD vs having a female partner or not being sexually active), on any sort of birth control, or have any sort of “female” health issue, you should go to an OB/Gyn vs a GP.

      • Actually that’s not entirely correct. GPs do have to be up to date in women’s health if they are providing that service. Part of the reason our healthcare is so expensive compared to other countries is that people don’t use their GPs enough. More practically for you, if you get your women’s wellness done by your GP, you’ll have to pay one less copay, and you’ll have one doctor who knows your whole history better. That said, there are not as many GPs in the district that do women’s wellness as you might think…

    • Me either. I haven’t even been to a GP in three years (but do have an appointment next week!). I’m a lesbian and in a monogamous relationship so I don’t really see the need for an OB/GYN.

  • I’ve been going to Washington Women’s Wellness Center (MedStar Health) at 2112 F Street NW for about six years now (the doctors there also see patients at Washington Hospital Center). I’ve been seeing Dr. Renuka Darolia for the past couple years and she’s fantastic. Great bedside manner, easy to talk to as she’s refreshingly up front about things. I previously saw two other OBGYNs out of that office (one left on maternity leave and then the next moved away), and I also really liked both of them. The 2112 F Street staff has been pretty friendly and the waits that I’ve had haven’t been too bad (at least not compared to my primary doc!).

    Hopefully, you never need any surgery, but I did have an outpatient surgical procedure with my first doc at WWWC (pre-op stuff at 2112 F ST, surgery itself at WHC) and the staff was great and everything went well.

    Not to sound like a paid Yelp reviewer or anything, but I honestly cannot recommend WWWC enough, as my experiences have all been really good with the docs/staff there.

    • +1 for Renuka Darolia she is the absolute best, great bedside manner and have gone to her for years! I have recommended her to friends looking and they have liked her too.

    • Nancy

      I used to go here for many years and loved every doctor I had. I went to Dr. Darolia for a few years and she was great. I switched to Mary Fairbanks because of availability and she is amazing. I plan on switching back to this practice when I get off Kaiser. They have 3 different places in MD and DC you can see a doctor.

    • +1 for WWWC and Dr. Darolia. I’ve seen her (and other drs at that practice) through my pregnancy and really like her style–calm, down to earth, not overly fear-mongery. I also really like Dr Hamilton at that practice.

  • I know a number of people who had great care and deliveries at the WHC midwives. I had a terrible experience with care and delivery at GW. I was relatively low risk, went to GW for fertility treatment (male factor), so was pro-GW and gave them the benefit of the doubt. From the awful care Dr Metz (now gone) gave me to the three day labor to them saying, “you can’t just demand a C section!” after three days, the parade of residents with their hands inside me, never getting recovery pain relief because they later said you had to ask for it (which they never told me, or did and I was groggy), the nurse making fun of me for not knowing I had to ask for it, lack of lactation consultant… was just terrible. The only recommendation I have is to consider a Doula to help advocate for you and become familiar with the breast feeding center. I wish I had better things to say about GW. But to this day, I still break down and cry when I think about how awful my care was. I know how to advocate for myself, specifically picked a provider and hospital that were pro-drug free, ect. I’m not just ragging because it wasn’t perfect – just want to warn women who have a choice to not go there.

  • Reiter, Hill, Johnson and Nevin are fantastic! They are super convenient to both the Dupont Circle and Farragut-area metro stations. They are a big practice, so have a nice mix of doctors, midwives, nurse practitioners, and PAs (generally, I prefer using a nurse practitioner, so I love having this option). They also have a high level of experience and comfort with IUD insertions for younger women or women who have never had children, which was a big plus for me.

    • No they are not.

      They are one of the largest practices in DC and they do not have a good reputation. If you want a natural birth, for example, you’ll be completely out of luck.

      One of their NPs told me offhandedly that I was going to miscarry, based on no real evidence. That “miscarriage” is now six years old. That’s just one of many examples of how bad they were. Others: failing to share test results in a timely manner, not returning calls, and the fact that every single one of the dozen or so women I know that have delivered with them (at Sibley) were low risk and yet ended up with a C-section.

      • I had a natural birth with Reiter Hill and I have several friends who had vaginal deliveries there. I think your information is outdated.

      • Isn’t it possible that both anons are correct here — maybe R, H, J and N is a practice that’s better for gynecology than for obstetrics?

  • This is less helpful for the original poster, but I see Nichole Pardo at Foxhall OB/GYN. They are in the Sibley medical buildings. She has a good bedside manner and rapport; I’m gay and she didn’t make me feel awkward (I’ve had other docs (not OB/GYNs) act stunned to have a real live lesbian in their exam room); and she solved some lingering issues that had been bugging me. She’s also a US Army veteran, and was on the cover of the Washingtonian Best Doctors issue for 2014. Cool lady.

  • Dr. Fern Graphin is located off of Duke Street in Alexandria

  • When I lived in Alexandria, I saw Gina Haldeman at Physicians and Midwives. She’s a Certified Mid Wife, but there are doctors there as well. I preferred her over any doctor I’ve ever been to. She was real with me and I never had any problem talking to her. I’ve only been to the Alexandria location (Seminary Rd/395), but they have several different locations including Kingstowne and Arlington.

    • Second Physicians and Midwives in Kingstowne. Professional. Fantastic online system for booking and past medical info. After numerous horrible experiences at Reiter, Hill, Johnson & Nevin in DC it was a 180 switch to a fantastic set of doctors, etc near home. I also had one last minute appointment at their Arlington location as well.

  • Sorry to piggyback, but does anyone have a regular doctor / GP in Alexandria (or maybe Arlington or somewhere downtown DC nearish to Gallery Place?)

    Like someone else said, I should probably get *a doctor* – not sure if I really need an OBGYN though.

  • Dr. Cheryl Ferrier in Del Ray. I’ve been going to her for 11 years and love her! Stuck with her even after I moved to the District.

    • I’ve been scanning these post to make sure Dr. Ferrier is represented- Love her too! I’ve been going to her for 5+ years. I’m moving to MD and will still go see her.

  • I really liked Bruce Bonn at 3211 M Street NW. I’d been very apprehensive about going to a male gyno, but the fact that Dr. Bonn’s interest in vaginas is purely clinical made me feel a bit more comfortable. Also, he always offered the option of having a female staff member sit in on the exam. As a very nervous patient, I really liked his outgoing and straightforward manner. A reserved or shy lady might feel overwhelmed, though. I think he might be only a GYN or just doesn’t do babies any more. (Alas, I had to give up Dr. Bonn when I switched insurance to Kaiser. )

    • I’m a huge Dr Bonn fan. FYI, he just joined GW Faculty and is taking more insurance plans as of this month!

      Likewise on your “purely clinical” comment :). I’ve had a douchey male doc, too, but Dr Bonn is my favorite doc with best bedside manner of any I’ve had – very straightforward and no bullshit but reassuring and a funny guy.

      And I agree, I think he’s GYN only. Great for endo or other complications that might require surgery. I’m OK thinking that my bits and babies might need different doctors.

  • I go to RHJN and haven’t been super impressed, although I’ve only seen PAs there. One of the providers was VERY judgy when I mentioned my female partner (she’d put in my IUD the year prior, when I was still having sex with men) and was incredulous that I had an IUD. Things change, lady! She was also terrible about explaining what to expect post-IUD insertion, so when I had perfectly normally hellish cramps, I was quite sure something had gone horribly wrong.

    Side question, since there seems to be a fair number of lesbian women here – any suggestions for places that are especially queer friendly, such as OB/GYNs who understand the needs of trans or genderqueer folks?

  • I really like Dr. Santiago at Ob/Gyn Associates of Northern Virginia and have been going there for about 5 years. Her office is located by the Franconia Springfield metro.

  • Dr. Lightfoote at Foxhall OBGYN. She rocks! She delivered my baby (she wasn’t my original OB but she was on call that night) and she was wonderful. Then when I ended up in the hospital again she visited me daily and walked with me from my room to surgery in a different department. And Foxhall is easy to deal with regarding billing/staff.

  • Dr. Rebecca Busch, amazing!

  • My good friend and neighbor, Elizabeth Coviello works with Medstar hospitals WHC, Georgetown, and Virginia Medical Center.

  • Reiter, Hill, Johnson & Nevin in the Dupont Circle/Farragut area are great! They can always fit me in- even for last-minute emergencies- and are really caring.

  • If you’re interested in having a low intervention delivery I’d recommend the midwife practice at GWU. I have a bunch of mom friends who had good experiences at GWU with various doctors. I started there with Laura Emmons for my second because I have PTSD from my first birth experience (with Capitol Women’s Care – Newman in particular) and she was amazingly understanding and reassuring and patient and supportive of a VBAC.

    • I know the GW Midwives can be polarizing, but I also had a pretty awful 1st birth that left me with PTSD (not in this area) and delivered with them this summer and they were AMAZING. It was such a relief to be treated as a person with a brain and feelings who happened to be pregnant, rather than as a walking uterus. They included my husband in appointments as well and actually took the time to listen to any concerns I had. Their admin is rough and appointments often took forever, but I liked everyone I saw.

  • This isn’t necessarily helpful to the OP but it follows some earlier comments and I figure it could be helpful to others reading through this thread. I used to see NPs at Reiter Hill for several years but they were unresponsive to my complaints of severe pain and told me I probably wasn’t having sex enough or that I needed to use more lube or try different positions, etc. Finally after three years of that advice, and my continued insistence that something was really wrong, I told the NP that I thought I might have a vaginal pain disorder and she told me I probably didn’t but gave me the name of a GYN outside their practice who specializes in vaginal pain issues – Dr. Jeff Andrews at Physician Associates in Chevy Chase. He diagnosed my issue in 5 minutes and treated it effectively. I can’t say enough good things about him.

    1. I never thought I’d go to a male GYN but he was the best person to treat my specific issue. He knew more than the numerous (female) providers I had seen over the years and didn’t treat me as though I was overreacting and nothing was wrong. That has nothing to do with being male vs. female, it’s his specific expertise and approach to practicing, but my point is that I had ruled out seeing a male doctor in the past and now recognize that was a mistake. I’d encourage people to be more open to male OB/GYNs.

    2. I always thought there was no difference between seeing a GP or NP for my annual exam and any other issues (I had never been to an actual GYN before this) but now I realize that there can be. Obviously I had a specific medical issue and that isn’t everyone’s situation, and I know that there are plenty of qualified NPs, PAs, and GPs out there, but I will always go to a GYN from now on because I feel like their specialized training makes them more likely to recognize any problems and to know how to treat them.

    3. I didn’t love RHJN. I echo the comments about it feeling like a baby factory. I always felt like a second-class citizen there because I was not having a baby, and part of the reason I saw NPs there was because they always made it seem like the doctors were pretty much unavailable to do routine exams for non-pregnant people. The NPs didn’t spend much time during the appointments and were always running way behind. I was pretty shocked that the “best” OB/GYN practice in DC didn’t have a doctor who was capable of evaluating a pain issue and referred me elsewhere, but I’m very glad they did and their recommendation was excellent.

  • I don’t know if the poster is still interested – but I can definitely recommend Dr. Bruce Bonn. I have been a patient of his for 20+ years. And I was referred to him by not only 2 of my friends [women] but also by my Primary Care doctor [also a woman].

    Man, woman, gay, straight makes no difference to me – is the doctor qualified and do I feel I am getting the best care? – Those are my qualifiers. I can also say that in VIP cases where I need an urgent appointment, none of my current physicians have let me down.

    Good luck with your search!

  • Myself and every single one of my girl friends go to Reiter, Hill, Johnson & Nevin; most of us see and love Mona. One of the girls just announced her pregnancy and will be moving to another doctor in the practice but I would highly recommend them!!

  • I used to live in Alexandria and I saw Dr. Kristina Hibshman at Physicians for Women at 4660 Kenmore Ave. I moved to NW DC and still make the trek to see her because she’s that awesome.

  • Thank you for posting this. I have been living in DC for over a year and in need of an ob/gyn. I found a couple of great referrals on here and made an appt today! Thanks!

  • Another recommendation for the GW midwives. If you’re healthy and your pregnancy is low-risk, they are great. I loved their low-fuss, low-fear philosophy and methods. At EVERY turn, they assured me that my experience was normal and healthy, which is a really important thing for a first-time expectant mama to hear. (If you’re scared off by the food advice on the website, don’t be; it’s not as big a deal to them as you’d think from the website.) My labor was remarkably simple, which I know wasn’t the midwives’ doing, but I thought they way that they handled it was great. Very comforting, very capable. I’ll certainly continue to use them for well-woman care and any other pregnancies.

  • Kenneth Ahdoot in Alexandria, worth the 15 minute drive from Old Town – his father was my mom’s OBGYN for myself and my sister. And he was my sister’s OBGYN for my two nephews. Best advice, attitude, etc…

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