Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Welcome to The Medicine Mentors interview series. Our mission is to create a platform for top physician mentors to share key insights, traits and best practices based on their experiences to guide medical students and residents.

To learn more please visit us at

Feb 27, 2021

Bethany Pellegrino, MD, FACP, FASN, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Chief of the Section of Nephrology at West Virginia University. Dr. Pellegrino completed her medical school, residency in internal medicine, as well as her fellowship in nephrology from West Virginia University. She is currently Medical Director of the Renal Center of Keyser (WV) and the Renal Center of Moorefield (WV). She has served as the Nephrology Program Director in the past. Dr. Pellegrino's interests include home dialysis therapies and improving access for patients with kidney disease throughout West Virginia. She has received many awards including the Cornerstone of Recovery Award and the Press Ganey Top Provider Award: Patient Satisfaction for multiple years.

Dr. Bethany Pellegrino’s mentor told her the most profound thing about medicine: “Sometimes all we have to offer our patients is kindness.” This helped shape the kind of physician that Dr. Pellegrino became. She realizes that sometimes she can’t make the patients better. But she can offer them kindness every day. And what does that kindness look like? “Sometimes the most important thing you’re going to do for a patient that day is sit in their room and listen to them.” Dr. Pellegrino has extended that kindness by listening to her mentees as well. She’s drawn to trainees that have doubt, who worry that they’re not doing the right thing. She offers help by listening, and kindness by telling them she’s been there, and they’ll make it through.

Pearls of Wisdom:

1. As a mentee, identify your problem areas and approach people who can help you in those areas, especially during transition, such as medical school to residency, or residency to fellowship.
2. Success comprises lots of small successes. Catalog your small successes! When you’re feeling overwhelmed, look at your catalog for inspiration and motivation.
3. Even as a busy resident, take time to show kindness to patients. That can go a long way.
4. Knowing what you want and customizing your training to align with those goals might require you to say “no” to some opportunities presented by your mentors. Yes, it’s difficult, but you’d be surprised how understanding they can be.