“It is a calling, as well as a special privilege to practice medicine, one which can only be done with both mind and soul. An effective therapeutic relationship requires that a patient place complete trust in the treating physician. As a physician, I am allowed to participate in some of the most private, powerful moments of people’s lives–moments of joy, of crisis, of passing from one world to another, as well as to provide counsel at less climactic points in their lives. I strive to develop a relationship with patients, to understand what is important to them, so that we can work together to achieve the goals each individual has, healthwise, as well as to understand the factors in their lives that affect their health. Each individual is unique, and I strive to understand each individual patient’s health needs and goals of care, and for each patient to trust me to respect their needs and goals.”

Board Certification

  • Internal Medicine

Areas of Expertise

  • Family Medicine
  • Geriatric Medicine

Education

Fellowship

Duke University
Geriatric Medicine
Durham, NC
2005

Internship and Residency

Duke University
Geriatric Medicine
Durham, NC
2002 and 2004

Medical School

University of Virginia School of Medicine
Doctor of Medicine
Charlottesville, VA
2001

Undergraduate School

University of Mary Washington
Bachelor of Science
Fredericksburg, VA
1997

Hospitals Affiliated With

Martha Jefferson Hospital
University of Virginia Medical Center

Professional Associations

American Medical Association
2005 – Present

Phi Beta Kappa, Honor Society
1996 – Present

Virginia Medical Society
2013 – Present

Publications

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, March 2007, Dementia Assessment and Management, 17352998

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, June 2006, Dementia Assessment and Management, 16461253

Personal Interests

Dr. Christensen and her husband Neil have two wonderful children, Sophia and Dylan, and currently also share their home with three cats. They fell in love with Charlottesville while Dr. Christensen attended medical school and Neil attended graduate school here.

They enjoy hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, visiting McGuffey Art Center, and eating at Mas as often as possible. Dr. Christensen enjoys running, Zumba, and developing her garden. She also enjoys volunteering for her children’s school art programs.

Biography

Dr. Marisa Christensen is a fellowship-trained, board certified geriatrician and primary care physician who completed both her residency in family medicine and her fellowship in geriatric medicine at Duke University in Durham, NC. Dr. Christensen completed medical school at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and returned to beautiful Charlottesville upon completion of her fellowship.

Dr. Christensen worked for University of Virginia Health Services Foundation as a staff physician with Waynesboro Primary Care prior to joining Charlottesville Family Medicine in 2013. She currently splits her time between seeing patients age 16 and older in the office and visiting patients in the assisted living facility and nursing home settings.

As a primary care physician, Dr. Christensen enjoys the challenge of caring for complex patients with multiple chronic medical conditions, as well as working collaboratively with patients to maintain good health. Educating patients so that they can be partners in health, as well as in managing chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and hypertension, is the cornerstone of Dr. Christensen’s practice.