Office News

Dr. Berenter Featured in Union Tribune

Some players on the youth softball teams he has coached have been particularly glad to discover that their coach is also a doctor.

In lieu of a fee from most Olympic athletes, Berenter has asked for action pictures that fill a wall in his office near Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla.

“It’s one of the most rewarding things that I do because the athletes are so appreciative,” said Berenter, who has practiced in San Diego since 1989. “I feel I’m doing my small part to contribute to the Olympics.”

Berenter’s evaluation of athletes includes a computerized foot scan that can be used to devise orthotics, particularly for arch support.

“Because they train so hard and so heavily, any little biomechanical problem they have is accentuated,” Berenter said. “So it’s my job that they function biomechanically as close to perfect as they can to prevent injuries. Hopefully, it will make them a little better as well.”

Most of the players on the U.S. softball and field hockey teams, which train in Chula Vista, wear orthotics that are especially helpful over long hours of running in practice, according to Berenter.

In terms of injury care, an advance within the past year has been an anti-inflammatory pad applied to the sore spot for 12 hours. This replaces medication in pill form.

“So it saves the athletes’ stomach,” Berenter said. “If you take an anti-inflammatory over time, it’s not good for the stomach in particular. This way, we eliminate a lot of the side effects of heavy does of anti-inflammatory.”

The pads, available through prescription, can be cut to fit the size of an injury. They also can be applied to other body parts experiencing such pain.

One grateful beneficiary has been Mariah Gearhart, who plays for Berenter on the San Diego Breakers club softball team. In a recent tournament, Gearhart experienced a flare-up from prior ailments but was able to keep playing with medical treatment.

“I’ve been able to use it on not just my foot, but elsewhere on my body,” said Gearhart, a Bonita Vista High grad entering her sophomore season at Oklahoma State. “It helped every single muscle just to loosen up. That was the problem ‘a everything would get really, really tight. Then I felt no pain anymore.”

Berenter has ended a four-year stint coaching the softball team at La Country Day School, where his two daughters played. They are now involved in college softball ‘a Ally at Washington University in St. Louis and Sammy at Indiana.

As a youth, Berenter played baseball and soccer in Silver Springs, Md., near Washington, D.C. He studied medicine at Boston University and eventually moved to San Diego to be near his wife’s family.

His father-in-law is Thomas Day, the former president of San Diego State.

Berenter became involved at the Olympic Training Center through the referral of another doctor and has consulted in coordination with the center’s training staff.

“These Olympic athletes are just incredible people who are fun to work with,” Berenter said. “Then I get to see them when they’re on TV. We like to follow along and see how our patients are doing.”

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Dr. Berenter Featured in La Jolla Light

Now there’s a better way to repair unsightly toenails.

And Scripps Memorial Hospital podiatrist Dr. Jay Berenter has the answer: laser nail treatment, which he performs in his office.

“Toenail fungus is the most common problem I see in my practice and in the past we didn’t have many effective treatment options,” noted Berenter, a foot and ankle surgeon whose office is in Scripps Memorial Ximed Medical Building, 9850 Genessee Ave., Suite 360. “Laser is a huge breakthrough: There’s no side effects, it doesn’t hurt, and it kills the fungus 88 percent of the time.”

Toenail fungus is not only painful but extremely unsightly, particularly for people who need to wear sandals or other open-toed shoes.

Previously, patients with toenail fungus problems were given an oral medication that had side effects, or were administered a topical treatment that was “not very effective,” according to Berenter, who noted his office procedure doesn’t require anesthetic and takes just a couple of minutes per nail. Berenter said his procedure is also unique in San Diego in that he uses a cool touch laser. “It gets warm but the laser has a built-in temperature sensor and cryogenic cooling spray with an automatic coolant,” he said. “We’e the only laser outfit in town that has it.”

Cost of the anti-fungal nail procedure is $295 per nail up, then $100 per nail after that to $795 for all 10. The procedure, he said, is not covered by insurance as it is elective and cosmetic. Berenter said some people have a genetic predisposition to contracting foot fungus, which is all around.

“You can’t pick it up at the gym or in the shower, though you’e more susceptible if you’ve had trauma to the nail,” he said. Berenter couples laser nail surgery with a topical anti-fungul used once or twice a week “to make sure it doesn’t come back.”

For more information about Berenter or his medical practice call his office at (858) 450-9218 or visit

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