Mellisa Pensa, M.D., M.P.H.
Mellisa A. Pensa, M.D., M.P.H.
M.D. Degree: University of Connecticut School of
Residency: Portland State University
I grew up the rural town of East Haddam, CT, where I developed a love of nature and all things living. While always encouraged to pursue medicine and the sciences by teachers and my parents, I first knew I wanted to be a physician at the age of 17, when my grandfather died of an aggressive lung cancer. I was awe-struck by the power of disease and the transformation it had on individuals' and families' lives, and wanted to ameliorate suffering. I studied biology and classical studies at the College of William and Mary, and there I developed a strong interest in environmental research. My love of serving people influenced my decision to attend medical school instead of pursuing a career in conservation biology. I attended medical school at the University of Connecticut, where I developed a strong interest in mind-body medicine.
I met my husband, Jonathan, in medical school, and we moved to Portland, OR in 2008, where I completed a combined residency in Family and Preventive Medicine. Our family grew in 2011 when we welcomed our son. We are happy to be in Charlottesville where we enjoy shopping at the farmers' market, bike commuting, attending concerts, hiking, running, and the beautiful scenery!