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Dr. Sue Kressly is the mother of a blended family of three children and two grandchildren, a board-certified pediatrician, and a board-certified clinical informaticist. She was the founding partner of Kressly Pediatrics, an independent pediatric medical home in Bucks County, PA, served as the Medical Director for Office Practicum EHR, and was the school physician for Central Bucks School District for more than a decade. Sue is first and foremost a dedicated advocate for children and pediatricians and serves in many volunteer capacities at the American Academy of Pediatrics, and national pediatric and health IT organizations. 

Dr. Kressly believes that all children deserve access to a well-coordinated patient-centered medical home neighborhood and all pediatricians (including medical and surgical specialists) deserve the resources, payment, and support to meet the needs of the patients and families they serve.

Among her proudest accomplishments are the patients she has mentored into pediatricians. There is nothing more satisfying than watching children say “I want to be like that” and then have the pleasure of helping them turn their dreams into reality to serve the next generation.

Pediatrics: An Early Calling

Throughout her education and career, many have asked the common question: Why did you want to become a pediatrician?” Sue always pauses and is reminded that it was not really a conscious decision or a career revelation. She can remember telling others that she was going to be a pediatrician at the age of 4. This may seem odd since there was no pediatrician in her community. She spent a lot of time in the Family Practitioner’s office down the street with frequent strep throat (only IM Bicillin and nasty crushed-up penicillin tablets for treatment) and was hospitalized with viral encephalitis at age 6. She asked lots of questions of Doc K, curious about his tools and how things worked, and questioned why he would want to take care of “cranky old people.”

Using her first doctor’s kit, a fourth birthday present, to provide care to the dolls in her neighborhood she started practicing her craft before her formal education began. There are so many aspects to pediatrics that drew her in and captured her heart. Loving a good puzzle (especially word puzzles), the challenge of using clues to learn more about a patient and family and then providing a diagnosis and treatment plan satisfies her curious mind.

The hope, honesty, and bravery of children feed Sue’s soul. She is quick to crawl under an exam table to meet a frightened child where they are, share hugs with families, or stay late in the office to support a struggling teen. When a 5-year-old patient was explaining that she either wanted to be Doc McStuffins or a Disney princess for Halloween, Sue suggested that maybe she could be a mermaid doctor. The 5-year-old looked her straight in the eye and said, “No, Dr. Kressly. YOU should be a mermaid doctor. You are the one who likes the beach and the water so much!”


Not many people know her almost side-tracked story. Sue wanted to be a pediatrician since the age of 4. She received an academic partial scholarship to a liberal arts college to study pre-med. Many readers will find this hard to believe, but Sue let a boy almost hijack her dreams. Being in a relationship for 2 years in high school with a local sweetheart, he began to ask her how it would feel to not be home when their kids learned to walk, talk, tie their shoes, etc. He planted seeds of doubt. She turned down the scholarship in the spring of her senior year of HS and headed to nursing school. It seemed like a reasonable compromise at the time.

Partway through her Freshman year she realized that if someone really understood her, they would support her dreams, not try to change them. Needless to say, the relationship ended and Sue transferred to Moravian College where she graduated with a BS in Biology. 

See one, do one, teach one. Putting knowledge into action is how Sue learns best. Temple University School of Medicine allowed her to roll up her sleeves and be intimately involved in caring for patients in a neighborhood that is woefully underserved. Never did her dedication to pediatrics waiver during her medical school years. 

Staying in Philly, Sue completed her pediatric residency training at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children where learning while doing was the cornerstone of her education. Going the extra mile for her patients in the underserved community always left her with an overbooked clinic schedule and getting paged by families to help them navigate the healthcare system. She stayed an extra year to be Chief Resident which was among her first leadership experiences, balancing scheduling and education for all residents with caring for patients and families. In addition, since her medical education left her with almost $200,000 in debt in 1989, she spent time moonlighting in the Intensive Care Nursery of a local community hospital. 

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