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Carlos Pellegrini

Professor Emeritus, Department of Surgery
University of Washington


Dr. Pellegrini is a surgeon with expertise on surgical education, simulation, professionalism, and leadership. He is also an executive coach who focuses on leadership and transitions of leaders in academic healthcare institutions. During his surgical career he pioneered the development of minimally invasive gastrointestinal surgery. The son of two physicians, Dr. Pellegrini spent his childhood years in rural Argentina. He attended the University of Rosario Medical School and remained there for surgical training until 1975 when he emigrated to the U.S. and completed a second surgical residency at the University of Chicago. In 1979, he was appointed to the faculty of the University of California, San Francisco. He remained there until 1993 when he moved to the University of Washington in Seattle, WA to become Chair of the Department of Surgery. In his 23 years as department chair, he assumed many leadership roles in the highest decision-making bodies across UW Medicine and chaired many committees overseeing a vast array of work, including continuous professionalism improvement, diversity, and multidisciplinary practices.

In 2015, Dr. Pellegrini was appointed as the first Chief Medical Officer of UW Medicine and as Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Washington to provide senior leadership for clinical practice standards across all UW Medicine sites of practice, a position he held until December 2018. As he retired from UW Medicine Dr. Pellegrini decided to apply his experience of more than 4 decades as a mentor, teacher, advisor, and trusted colleague, to help healthcare providers develop to their full potential, with particular emphasis on leadership skills. To that end he obtained additional training at SeattleCoach and, after obtaining certification from the International Coach Federation, became an executive coach who focuses on coaching/mentoring healthcare executives.

Dr. Pellegrini is a Past-President of the American College of Surgeons, the largest organization of surgeons in the world, and the American Surgical Association, the oldest and most prestigious organization of surgeons in the United States. He participates in the highest leadership roles in regional, national, and international surgical societies. His bibliography lists more than 400 peer-reviewed articles, chapters, editorials, and books. He is the current chair of the board of The Joint Commission.

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