Dr. Mary Bengtson (formerly Mary Witges) grew up on a farm in southern Illinois. After receiving a B.S. in Microbiology at SIU, Carbondale, she attended SIU School of Medicine, where she received her M.D. at age 24. After a residency in Family Practice at Deaconess Hospital, Evansville, Indiana, she joined the staff of Purdue University Student Health, where she worked for five years.
Dr. Bengtson has been a physician at NC State Student Health Services since 1984 and served as Medical Director for sixteen years. She currently is staff physician and Lab Director.
Dr. Bengtson is Board Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and previously received a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Sports Medicine.
Dr. Bengtson sees the general student population and athletes of any sport at Student Health Services. Her special sports interests are pre-season lab screening to detect and correct iron or vitamin D deficiencies and detection and prevention of Female Athlete Triad. She has been a team physician for Wolfpack Women's Basketball since 1984 at all home games and at post-season play. She has been a frequent site physician for cross-country and track and field competitions, such as Raleigh Relays and Wolfpack Invitational. She gives an annual presentation to the Cross-Country teams about Medical Aspects of Cross-Country.
In addition to her black bag, she carries her camera to most athletic events and has captured memorable moments of the Wolfpack Women since 1984, including the Final Four, Hoops for Hope, and senior night.
A former marathoner and triathlete, Dr. Bengtson won her age division in the Midwest Triathlon in the 80's. Her most memorable race was the honeymoon running of the Stockholm (Sweden) Marathon with spouse Neal and crossing the finish line together in the 1912 Olympic Stadium.
She feels fortunate to have worked with Dr. Loyal Combs, "Pinky" Newell, ATC, and Dennis Miller, ATC, at Purdue and feels that their excitement about sports medicine, expertise, and willingness to teach provided the initial inspiration to provide medical care to athletes. The interest continued with her own participation in running and triathlon competitions and, later, as a soccer mom to two sons.
She developed an added appreciation for those on the front line in the Athletic Training Room when a son pursued a career in sports medicine and is now a Certified Athletic Trainer. She feels that she has come full circle, having been an athlete, physician for athletes, mother of athletes, and mother of a Certified Athletic Trainer.