bayside clinician profile

Janet Perlman, MD

BA, Rutgers University
MA, UC Berkeley
MPH, UC Berkeley
MD, UC San Francisco
Peds Residency, Kaiser Oakland
Board Certified, Pediatrics


I am also originally from the East, New Jersey, to be exact. I graduated with honors from Rutgers University with a major in, believe it or not, Fine Arts. Then I heard the siren call of California, and came to U.C. Berkeley for a Masters in Fine Arts in Sculpture.

While art was wonderful, I had to get back to people, so I then worked with adolescent boys in a psychological rehabilitation center, and got my teaching credential at UCB the next year. My first teaching was at the Lakeside School for 7th and 8th grade children who just were not making it in the public schools.

I had by then discovered that I loved taking care of children, but something was missing for me in the experience of teaching, so I turned to health. I was a community health worker at the Berkeley Women's Health Collective for the next four years, while I went back to college yet again, and gathered up my premed required courses. I applied to medical school and they told me I was too old.

I fell back and regrouped, and since I had always been into food, I managed the bakery for a year at Fat Apple's, and learned how to engineer large scale production. I was regrouping, but I also found a part of myself that I hadn't known was there: I loved running a small operation, and always "keeping the ovens full. Finally, I thought that I would give medical school one last try, and they took me!

I went to U.C. Berkeley Medical School, got my Masters of Public Health in 1982, my M.D. from U.C. San Francisco in 1984, wrote papers on health policy issues, especially on the disabled and on prenatal care for low income women, went to Kaiser Oakland for my three years of pediatric residency, and subsequently became Board Certified in pediatrics.

The highlight of my professional career so far has been joining Bayside Pediatrics. I still keep my ties to academia by teaching physical diagnosis and medical interviewing to UCSF medical and nurse practitioner students. I am a clincial professor at UCSF. I often have students with me and toatally enjoy this aspect of my work, mentoring students as they start on their career path. I was honored to receive the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2012 from UCSF's Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators. I also lead workshops on physician wellness and enjoy exploring the meaning of our work with other physicians.

But my heart is here at Bayside, where I can control much of my professional activity and don't have to be constrained by a bureaucracy the way a Kaiser doctor has to -- I can "keep the ovens full" all by myself. This way, I feel a lot closer to my patients, and that's the way I like it.