The American Health Council has warmly welcomed Dr. Beth A. Pletcher, MD as “Best in Medicine.” Having worked in the healthcare industry for over 24 years, Dr. Pletcher is an esteemed expert in pediatrics and genetics. She demonstrates an exceptional willingness to constantly learn and share her knowledge with others.
Dr. Pletcher always wanted to be involved in the healthcare industry, originally in internal medicine or cardiology, but during medical school she found pediatrics to be more compelling, as it allows for early intervention and a lifetime of health benefits. With a clear path in mind, Dr. Pletcher completed her medical studies at Rush Medical College, successfully obtaining her M.D. in 1982, followed by pediatric residency training at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and genetic fellowship training at Yale University School of Medicine.
Dr. Pletcher has held the position of Director of Division of Clinical Genetics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School for the past five years. As one of the nation’s top medical schools, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School is best known for providing top quality medical education, research, patient services and community outreach. Additionally, it has a commitment to constant innovation and progress, whilst keeping its core values and goals in mind. The medical school’s main services and treatments focus on infectious diseases, cardiovascular science, neurological and visual sciences, as well as cancer and trauma.
On a daily basis, Dr. Pletcher is responsible for a wide variety of tasks. She works closely with genetic counselors and interdisciplinary teams to diagnose complex patients, provide prognostic information to patients and their families, and develop patient-centered treatment plans. In addition, she devotes much time to teaching 1st and 2nd year students medical interviewing and physical diagnosis, mentoring medical students at all levels, as well as overseeing 4th year students during their elective genetic rotations.
Throughout her impressive and long-standing career, Dr. Pletcher has been the recipient of numerous successes, awards and honors. Dr. Pletcher cares for both adult and pediatric genetic patients, has co-edited a book on autism and has also written many book chapters. She was awarded the American Association of University Women Scholarship in 1982, received Golden Apple Teaching Awards in 2012 and 2018 at New Jersey Medical School, and received a Lester Z. Lieberman Humanism in Medicine Award from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey in 2018. She was also inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society in 2018.
She has served nationally at the American Academy of Pediatrics, as the Chair of the Section on Genetics and Birth Defects as well as the Chair of the Committee on Pediatric Workforce. She also served for 6 years on the Board of Directors for the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. She is a faculty advisor for the New Jersey Medical School Humanism Center and is a faculty advisor to many groups including the NJMS student literary magazine, Ars Literarium.
In an effort to continually broaden her knowledge, Dr. Pletcher is involved with various professional associations including; the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, the Human Genetics Association of New Jersey and the American Society of Human Genetics.
Looking to the future, Dr. Pletcher plans to continue to expand her teaching role by developing more modules for the medical students, as a follow-up to a session on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) she envisioned and designed that is now a part of the Health Equities and Social Justice course for first year medical students. Outside of work, Dr. Pletcher enjoys traveling, spending time with her family (which includes two creative film-making children), and crocheting for relaxation.