The never-ending primary care doc search :(

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Topic: The never-ending primary care doc search :(

Life and Society August 24, 2012 at 6:06 pm

The never-ending primary care doc search :(

I’ve spent the past month: yelping, googling, checking reviews on a multitude of sites for a decent primary care physician (internist/general practitioner) in DC and I have had no luck 🙁  I’ve called at least 10-15 docs that had good reviews and they are all not accepting new patients.  I found several places that charge a “member fee” on top of your copay and god knows what else.  My only criteria has been to find a GOOD female primary care physician in the metro accessible DC area that accepts United Healthcare Insurance…. oh and accepts new patients!  I scoured through the posts on POP and still… no luck 🙁 Help?

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I don’t have any doctor recos for you, but if you have the ability to switch your insurance, I highly recommend Kaiser Permanente.  I’ve had them for an HMO for over a decade now and am very happy.  Their center next to Union Station is really convenient (don’t even have to go outside to get there from the Red Line…just walk through Union Station and another walkway to get there).  Most services can be performed right there.  Some specialty stuff you may have to go to Washington Hospital Center for (accessible by bus).  

I went through the same thing when I first moved to the area. When I eventually found a primary care physician, three years after being here, he was terrible and all the way out by Landmark Mall. I don’t know why the shortage of doctors hasn’t been brought up as a public health concern; unless you’ve lived in DC for over a decade it’s nearly impossible to find one that will take you. 
Last year I was thrilled to come across a site that will identifiy doctors taking new patients that accept your insurance. It’s great!
Through ZocDoc I found Dr. Natallia Shotashvili, who is located right across the street from the Woodley Park metro. I’ve only seen her once but was happy with the visit. Although she seemed a little rushed she had a good bedside manner. She takes United Healthcare and her office hours are really convenient.

Have you tried Dr. Sylvia Medley? According to her website ( — she just set up her own practice late last year), she is both accepting new patients and takes United Healthcare. Dr Medley has been my primary care doc for 2 years (she used to be at Q St MDs), and I really like her.

You’d have to check with her office directly re what insurance they take and if they’re taking new patients, but Dr. Theresa Stone (1145 19th St NW) is fantastic. She really takes her time, never rushes, and listens intently. Oh, and she always hugs me at the end of the appointment. 🙂


I use One Medical ( Yes, they have a membership fee, but it’s only $199/year. In my opinion, it’s well worth it. Every doctor I’ve encountered there has been very friendly and professional and, more importantly, competent. I always get same-day appointments, and when I show up, I’m seen exactly when my appointment is scheduled to begin. Their locations are also conveniently located next to major Metro stations. (In fact, I’m heading there today to get a flu shot–for free, no appointment necessary.) Sure, it’d be great to get this type of service without the membership fee, but in my experience, it doesn’t exist in DC. If you’re interested in giving them a shot (no pun intended), they give members coupon codes to give to friends. Here’s mine: REFDCQW812. It’s for 20% off the fee, and I think it’s good through the end of the month.

No recommendation because my Doc, who I love, went to a “membership” model this year, too, and I can’t stand it.  They won’t deny me, but they won’t really help me, either.  It strikes me as so unethical to make people pay for the courtesy of maybe using your office once in a while.  I opted not to join.  I don’t want to reward this shift.  It’s a disturbing trent IMO

I have United as well, and I found Dr. Neelima Marpu (Friendship Heights) on ZocDoc. ZocDoc is a godsend, saving you the trouble of wading through insurance companies and such…and if for some reason their info is inaccurate, they’ll send you an Amazon gift card for your trouble. Dr. Marpu is very efficient and thorough. Good luck!

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