Last Updated: Mar 23, 2021
Kelli K. DeSanctis, DO, who practices as a family medicine physician at Millcreek Family Practice & Internal Medicine in Erie, has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) as an Everyday Hero.
PAMED’s Everyday Hero Award is designed to showcase talented physicians who probably don’t view themselves as heroes, but to patients and colleagues they are.
Her colleague and nominator, Timothy Pelkowski, MD, calls her an “energetic” family physician in their community who “serves patients every day with skill, dedication, and compassion.”
“In addition to providing stellar patient care, she has developed a passion for organized medicine in our community,” he said. She is currently serving as the president-elect of the Erie County Medical Society and will become its president in 2022.
“She has particularly been focusing on young physician needs in our community through the Erie County Medical Society, Dr. Pelkowski said. “This work in the Erie County Medical Society has positioned her as a physician leader in our community.”
Dr. DeSanctis provides well-baby, child, and adolescent care, as well as care for women, in Erie. Her clinical interests include geriatrics, LGBT+ health care, and medically supervised weight loss.
“One of the things I love about being a family physician is that you can treat the whole family – from the children, all the way up to grandma and grandpa,” Dr. DeSanctis said. I love building that relationship. That’s why I love what I do.”
One of the things that really makes Dr. DeSanctis an exemplary physician is the importance she places on carefully listening to her patients each day.
“The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten was from one of my teachers when I was in training, and he told me that if you listen carefully, your patients will tell you what their ultimate diagnosis is,” she said. “People know their bodies best. My job is to sit back, listen, use my brain, and help the patient and work with them to figure out what’s going on with their health.”
When asked why she went into medicine, she said she could never picture herself doing anything else. “It’s the only thing I ever wanted to do,” she said.
She received a medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency and fellowship at AHN Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania.
When asked why she chose to practice in snowy Erie, she said, “I’m an Erie-an by choice. Even with our horrible winters, I’ve chosen to stay here. I grew up on the other side of the state and came to Erie to go to medical school, and I really fell in love with the area.”
Patients and medical colleagues can nominate PAMED member physicians for this award at www.pamedsoc.org/EverydayHero.
Claire Shearer, Pennsylvania Medical Society
About the Pennsylvania Medical Society
PAMED is a physician-led, member-driven organization representing all physicians and medical students throughout the state. We advocate for physicians and their patients, educate physicians through continuing medical education, and provide expert resources and guidance to help physicians and their organizations navigate challenges in today’s ever-evolving health care system. For more information, visit www.pamedsoc.org.