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Wendy P. Bernatavicius, MD

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Division Chief, General Pediatrics

Areas of Expertise

  • Special Needs Promoting Med. Educ. Pediatrics Hospice & Pall. Med.

About Wendy P. Bernatavicius, MD

Taking care of children with complex medical needs -- including life-limiting illnesses -- is a passion for Wendy Bernatavicius, MD. As chief of the Division of Primary, Complex Care and Adolescent Medicine at Phoenix Children's, she strives to provide holistic care that considers the entire child, their family and their unique circumstances.

I work to improve care coordination for children with medical complexity so that patients and families experience a less fragmented healthcare experience," says Dr. Bernatavicius, who also is director of the Phoenix Children's Complex Care Clinic. I focus on the goals of the patient and family so that together we improve quality of life."

Medicine is a second career for Dr. Bernatavicius. After earning her undergraduate degree in business, she worked in advertising for six years. During that time, she volunteered to provide transportation to doctor appointments for an older adult. Realizing that she enjoyed her volunteer work more than her advertising career, Dr. Bernatavicius decided to go to medical school.

I had a quarter-life crisis and decided to shift my focus to medicine," she says. I have not looked back since."

Dr. Bernatavicius, who is board certified in general pediatrics and in hospice and palliative care medicine, completed her pediatric training and was a chief resident within Phoenix Children's pediatric residency program. She joined the medical staff in 2008 as an attending physician in the General Pediatric Outpatient Division. Phoenix Magazine has recognized Dr. Bernatavicius several times as a Top Doc" for general pediatrics and for hospice and palliative care medicine.

As an advocate for children with special healthcare needs, Dr. Bernatavicius improves the quality of care and care coordination delivered to this population. She is also interested in medical education and is a clinical assistant professor for the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix and an assistant clinical professor at Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska, as well as volunteer faculty with Mayo Clinic School of Medicine - Phoenix. She works closely with pediatric residents and palliative care fellows from nearby training programs.

Though she enjoys the challenge of her administrative and teaching roles, Dr. Bernatavicius' heart is in clinical medicine. She enjoys the opportunity to develop relationships with her patients and their families.

Children are so resilient and so genuine," Dr. Bernatavicius says. They understand what is important in life, and they never sweat the small stuff. Families are so appreciative and so grateful for the care we provide to their child, which is very rewarding for a physician."

Outside of work, Dr. Bernatavicius enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter. She also enjoys cooking, hiking and playing the piano.

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Phoenix Children's Medical Group - General Pediatrics

1919 E Thomas Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85016-7710
United States

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Education & Training

Board Certification

General Pediatrics, Palliative

Medical School / Education

Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA


(Pediatrics) Phoenix Children's Hospital/Maricopa Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ

Professional Affiliations

American Academy of Pediatrics


  • Top-Doc

Research & Publications

Promoting Medical Education; Special Needs