A good pediatrician?

stethoscope and ophthalmoscopeSara emails:

I have two boys, ages 2.5 & 6. We all currently visit a very popular family practice in Slingerlands, and while we like a couple of the practitioners there, it's a hike for us to get there, we wait forever once we are there, they don't answer the phones between 11:30AM-12:30PM, etc.
We'd like to hear about some good practices or specific doctors, whether they are pediatricians, internists, and/or general practitioners. We live in Wynantskill, and our preference is within 15-20 minutes drive. Pleasant office staff, realistic scheduling, thorough doctors (NP's or PA's are also fine)...
Thank you! I really appreciate the input of AOA readers.

Showing up at the doctor's office on time and having to wait seemingly forever is frustrating. Having to do it with a sick kid? Eek.

Got a suggestion for Sara? Please share!

Earlier on AOA:
+ A good doctor near Saratoga?
+ Know of a good doctor near Albany?
+ A good eye doctor?
+ A good dentist?
+ A good oral surgeon?

photo: Flickr user a.drian


We've had good luck with Kathleen Zabinski at the Albany Med practice in Latham (on Watervliet Shaker Road next to the Northway) and have heard good things about other docs in that practice. They're closer to you than Slingerlands, too.

My recommendation is for Dr. Kari Bovenzi of Genesis Pediatrics. Her office is in Albany, so that would put her about 20 mins, but I think she is well-worth the drive. We have been using her since my first son was born, 4.5 years ago. She is the only doctor in the office, with 2 nurses and a receptionist.

She is the local Lyme expert, and is a Certified Lactation Consultant. She answers her own on-call and easy to reach during business hours or otherwise. She supports cosleeping, extended breastfeeding, and while I would describe her as pro-vax, does not pressure parents to vax if they choose not to. She's experienced, knowledgeable and not alarmist at all. We love her.

We have been bringing our daughter to Pediatric Associates of Troy since she was born and have never had an issue getting a same day sick appointment, a nurse to ask a quick question to, or a doctor call back when they are closed. We specifically see Dr. Carol Greenblatt when we schedule ahead, but also really like Dr's Bello and Malone. The practice is right in the Federal Building in downtown Troy.

Wynantskill to Slingerlands? That is a hike.

We've been very happy with Pond View Pediatrics for the past 18 years. They're now on Miller Road in Schodack, just west of Exit 10 of I-90. Our daughters are patients of Dr. Karen Kennette, but the whole practice has been very helpful and responsive. When the kids are sick, they nearly always squeeze them in. When our doctor isn't available, we've never been disappointed in seeing one of the other members of the practice. They're especially good at handling all the school requirements (medical permissions, vaccination forms, etc.), and they always know what's going around our schools. And I can't recall ever sitting and waiting.

I absolutely love Dr. Melinda Clark with Albany Med Pediatrics. They're right in Albany, relatively close to the hospital, near Hackett Blvd. It doesn't take long to get there at all. There are many doctors/students there and when your kids are sick you'll see whoever is on call. But Dr. Clark does all of our well visits and if she's in the building during a sick visit she'll stop in to make sure everything went well.

I LOVE our pediatrician. Dr. Brand is totally wonderful. He is with Delmar Pediatrics: http://www.delmarpediatricspllc.com/
Dr. Larner (a fantastic lady) and Dr. Looney (his real name!) are great too. They have office hours on the weekend and will call you back any time of night or day. I don't know how far that is for you, but thought I'd mention them in case anyone else is looking. I can't recommend them highly enough.

We LOVE LOVE LOVE Dr. Lorraine Lemons and Dr. Mike Morin (Capital Care Pediatrics). They are located behid Stuyvesant Plaza. Patient centered care. They will make a recomendation but the final decision is up to the parent--as opposed to some practixes that say "if you don't do this or this or this...then don't come here." Weekend hours and timely responses to all phone calls. Also, it's a small enough practice that day of sick visits aren't impossible to book. Dr Lemons has a 4 year old so every decision that you have to make...she's also made so I often ask "What did you do for your daughter?"

Thanks for all of the suggestions so far! Yes, Wynantskill to Slingerlands takes us about 25-30 minutes, assuming no traffic, and the practice is moving even farther away.

Dr Jack Quarrier in Troy (2200 Burdett Avenue) is also fantastic.

We also have Dr. Bovenzi in Albany. What are your main issues with your current office? If it's the distance from your home, then Dr. Bovenzi isn't much closer. If it's having trouble reaching the doctor, then this would be a great practice to move to. I was worried about there only being one doctor in the office, but in the 10 years we have been going there, we have had absolutely no problem reaching her. We almost always get same day appointments for things other than physicals, a real person answers the phone right away, she takes all the time you need to have your question answered. The office goes above and beyond to fit you in - when I didn't have a car, she would fit me in whenever the bus could get me there. Once when I got a call from the day care to pick up my child immediately because of "chicken pox" - which I was fairly sure it wasn't - she had me come in right away, looked at it and said it was bug bites, gave me a note for the day care, and 45 minutes later I was back at work. Her office is off Western on Brookline, so there's plenty of street parking.

My wife, Dr Melissa Veino, just finished her residency at AMC Pediatrics (where she worked with Dr Clark mentioned above) and is going to be joining the office of Drs. Gaffuri and Kroopnick in Delmar and is going to be looking for new patients.

She was very well liked by her patients at AMC Peds and was always complimented on how well she explains things and interacts with kids. Numerous patients of hers asked where she was going so they could follow her.

So, yeah, obviously a bit of a personal bias, but I promise you she's good ;-)

I agree on Delmar Pediatrics! We took a tour there before our son was born and I was impressed with the thought the docs had given to every detail---pictures of themselves on the doors of exam rooms rather than names, so kids who aren't reading yet can figure it out themselves, cute murals in every exam room, hallways wide enough to accomodate double strollers, etc. We love it!

It's farther than you wanted to go, but in case anyone else is looking in the Schenectady area, Capital District Pediatrics has Dr. Samina Mian. She is wonderful! Attentive, kind, thorough, and she really understands how difficult it can be to make decisions as a parent. This may sound strange, but I think she's one of the smartest doctors I've ever met. She's also one of the nicest.

Good luck finding one that works for your family!

I'm going to second Pediatric Associates of Troy, with Greenblatt, Bello and Malone over in the Troy Medical Building, right off of the Green Island bridge, across from Dino BBQ. Or, you can just shoot down Route 4, and take a left onto to Peoples. They are phenomenal, thorough, KIND doctors who do a great job be it with customer service or with crisis.

Pondview also does a great job. They're the folks off of Exit 10 on 90.

I second Dr. Morin and Dr. Lemons of Capital Care Pediatrics (www.pedsalbany.com). I have four children and we have been a patient there for 9 years. The staff is amazing. You can very easily get same day sick visits. You hardly have to wait to get into a room and once you get in a room, its only a few minutes for the doctor to come in. My two youngest children and special needs and both doctors are extremely supportive!!! Its easy to get referrals to see other doctors for extended care. Check them out. You won't be disappointed!

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