Family Medicine Residency - Erie

Program Director: Caitlin S. Clark, D.O.
Associate Program Director: Timothy D. Pelkowski, MD
Accreditation: ACGME
Program Length: 3 years (PGY1-PGY3)
Residents per year: 6

About the program

The Family Medicine Residency Program at Saint Vincent Hospital offers residents the option of both an urban and rural practice in which to complete their residencies. The urban setting at Saint Vincent Family Medicine Center is located on the campus of Saint Vincent Hospital and provides a valuable opportunity for residents to gain a full understanding of a private office practice. Saint Vincent Family Medicine Center has 20 examination rooms, a well-equipped laboratory with a full-time technologist, an electronic medical record system, a large conference room and library. On average, residents and faculty see 100 patients each day at the Center, involving everything from routine well-child care to examinations and treatment of the elderly. Faculty member preceptors assure a superior blend of practice and conceptual teaching for residents.

The Elk Valley Medical Center in Girard provides a rural setting for residents. This practice is located approximately 15 miles from center city Erie. This state-of-the-art office employs three board-certified physicians who are committed to excellent resident education. Elk Valley boasts a full -time lab as well as onsite X-ray equipment, a procedure room, conference area and resident library. There are 23 exam rooms, each with computer screens for easy access to electronic medical records. As is the case at The Family Medicine Center, residents provide a wide variety of medical care. This practice sees a slightly higher volume of patients seeking obstetrical care, providing increased opportunities to experience prenatal patients and procedures. In both settings, the dedicated clinical faculty works elbow-to-elbow with residents, assuring the highest quality experience and

Saint Vincent is a 400-bed tertiary hospital with wide-ranging clinical inpatient learning opportunities. The hospital provides international health rotations, integrated AOA internships, plentiful medical student teaching opportunities and a unique Wilderness Medicine track.

Why Choose Erie?

Erie, Pennsylvania combines small-town charm with big-city opportunities. Located on the shores of Lake Erie, it is Pennsylvania’s fourth largest city and its only Great Lake city port. Centrally located, Erie is within two hours driving time to Cleveland, Buffalo and Pittsburgh. Erie is known for its affordable cost of living, four-season climate, year-long recreation, natural beauty and vibrant arts community. And, there are no traffic jams!

Residency highlights

  • Night float system which eliminates long duty hours
  • Exceptional training in pediatrics
  • Strong adult medicine and subspecialty education
  • Dedicated family medicine faculty with strong OB skills
  • Unopposed primary care residency giving the residents major responsibility for most hospital patients
  • Elective Wilderness Medicine Track and Sports Medicine Tracks
  • Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship with numerous opportunities for residents’ event coverage
  • Full-time faculty geriatrician and behaviorist dedicated to resident education
  • Residents can choose either an urban/suburban or rural site for their continuity practice
  • Family practice is well respected and the largest department at Saint Vincent
  • Close working relationship between residents and faculty that is both mentoring and collegial
  • Resident input in decision-making vital to the curriculum and overall success of the program
  • Full-time medical technologist helps all graduates achieve office laboratory director certification

Our academic affiliations include:

  • Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Pennsylvania State University, Hershey Medical Center
  • Temple University School of Medicine


Benefits and salaries

Residents are paid a yearly salary per the list below, divided into bi-weekly paychecks. Paychecks will be dispensed via direct deposit only.

As of 2020:

  • PGY1: $58,390
  • PGY2: $60,004
  • PGY3: $61,640
Educational Stipends
  • Chief Resident: $4000
  • PGY1: $2000
  • PGY2 & PGY3: $1800


  • Reimbursement of out-of-town moving expenses up to $2,000 with receipts (subject to prevailing tax rate)
  • Meal stipend provided by direct deposit
  • Paid time off per year: 
    • 16.5 days of vacation
    • 3 days for personal holiday
    • 4 days for CME for 2nd and 3rd year
  • Medical/Dental/Prescription Plan with family plan option (residents and associates pay a portion of the premium)
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Life insurance and long-term disability insurance
  • 24-hour parking available in parking garage
  • Scrubs provided for in-hospital use
  • Child Care Center available
  • Online resources including AHN library,, Lexicomp, and regional guidelines
  • Access to online journal article via the LECOM library

Saint Vincent Hospital Medical Education Administrator
Phone: (814) 452-5100 or 1-800-730-3003 

For more information about the Wilderness Medicine Track, email: Dr. St. Julien,



"I absolutely love being a part of the Saint Vincent Family Medicine Residency! My experience has been far better than anything I expected. Everyone at Saint Vincent Hospital whether they are involved with the residency or not is welcoming and friendly. The hospital and outpatient offices create an excellent environment for learning with unwavering support from attending physicians and faculty. At the end of the 3rd year I feel comfortable practicing in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. This residency not only provides you with the knowledge and skills to practice family medicine, but also allows you to pursue unique opportunities related to your personal interests. I would absolutely recommend this program!"

- Amanda Wincik, D.O., 2019 Graduate


"I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to complete my training at St. Vincent. Aside from the knowledge and skills I acquired during my three years, what I will remember most is the community around me. Our attendings instilled in us that as physicians we are life long learners and that it is a privilege to be able to do what we do each day.

My fellow residents provided an endless amount of support and encouragement. I cherish the friendships I formed during residency and am certain that they will be life long.

My three years at St. Vincent’s were filled with challenges, but it was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had and I am grateful that it has shaped me into the physician I am today."

- Krystina Bodalia, M.D., 2018 Graduate


"My residency training at St. Vincent family medicine was a great preparation for family practice. In order to be a competent family medicine practitioner, you must be exposed to all scopes of medicine so that you know in what direction to point your patients. Training at St. Vincent allows you exposure to all major specialties, and over the course of three years, you become familiar with the management of patients with certain diagnoses from both a primary and specialist perspective. I’m very pleased with the training I received at St. Vincent family medicine residency."

- Lydia Travnik, D.O., 2015 Graduate


“The environment at Saint Vincent’s is a perfect combination of scholarship and camaraderie.”

- Medical Student, Temple University


"Saint Vincent is a great place to train for a career in family medicine. You have the opportunity to learn in a tertiary center without competing programs, which is essential for family practice. The faculty and staff are outstanding and the office staff treated us like one of the attendings. Erie is an awesome city. There is so much to see and do and you're within 3 hours of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Toronto. We still travel back for visits and are amazed by all the wonderful changes in the area."

- Jill Owens, MD, 2000 Graduate


"Saint Vincent Family Practice Residency Program was my first choice because of the strong training and supportive faculty. The top-notch education received and life-long friends made, more than made up for the sun, beaches and skiing on the West Coast. The small-town atmosphere and rural American culture in the surrounding townships were also a refreshing change from the fast living of California. Lastly, I had a blast living in a place that is known for snow. I have not had a white Christmas since moving back to the West Coast 5 years ago."

- Ed Wakatake, MD, Kent, Washington, 2000 Graduate


"When I was thinking of residency programs in medical school I knew that I wanted to branch out and ""see the world"" aka the United States. I interviewed at over 13 programs all over North America from New York, to Atlanta and up to Portland OR. My most enjoyable interview was at Saint Vincent Family Practice Residency. It was there I was met with warm greetings and smiling faces as well as a sense of ""family"". My, then fiance and now wife accompanied me and she felt the same. Iam very happy I matched and enjoyed my 3 years in training in Northwest Pennsylvania. The experience was excellent and the training I received has served me well. I would highly recommend Saint Vincent Family Practice Residency to anyone considering a career in Family Practice as my time spent in Erie was unforgettable. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona went to medical school at the University of Arizona in Tucson and then decided that I wanted to experience a different world and that is why I chose Erie. When I arrived I not only felt welcome but felt that I was part of a family. The camaraderie was second to none and the Faculty and Mentors I trained under have shaped me into what I am today. If I had the opportunity, I would do it all over again and not change a thing. I truly enjoyed the 4 seasons especially the fall colors, wow, what a site to behold! I miss my friends there and hope to see them all again sometime soon in a reunion. I would be happy to speak to anyone regarding my time there and entertain any questions that they may have about the program."

- Richard Covey, MD, Prescott, Arizona, 2000 Graduate



Built into the program is a strong emphasis on evidence-based medicine. Our longitudinal lecture series introduces the elements of critical appraisal and statistical analysis which are put into practice during our monthly journal club. 

Public speaking and presentation skills are integrated into service months with weekly evidence-based review of live inpatient cases. Additionally, residents will arrange and deliver a formal clinical presentation. Further scholarly opportunities include but are not limited to; a variety of presentations at local, regional and national conferences; curricular projects; a quality improvement project; individual research; or sports medicine research projects with one of our four CAQSM certified faculty. 

Community Outreach and Advocacy

As primary care physicians we pride ourselves on outreach and community health impact. Our program offers many opportunities to get involved and make a difference!

  • We are the sole primary care provider for Perseus House, a youth residential care system in our community.
  • The Stop The Bleed® educational campaign from the American College of Surgeons has made waves worldwide. Our program certifies residents as designated instructors, allowing us to spread this education to the community.
  • In conjunction with our Sports Medicine fellowship program, we provide pre-participation physicals and sideline coverage for many of the high school and college athletic programs in Erie County
  • Further volunteer opportunities include; regular school based tobacco cessation education utilizing the American Academy of Family Physicians “Tar Wars” program; interaction with the Dr. Barclay’s Camp for Children with Diabetes at Camp Fitch; involvement with Camp Frog at Camp Fitch which is a specially designed camp experience for children and teens with epilepsy; and the Multicultural Health Evaluation Delivery System (MEHDS) which provides care to local refugees. 
  • Interaction with the Erie County Medical Society and Pennsylvania Medical Society are available for those with interest in advocacy as well as the regular community outreach programs available through those organizations.

Physician Wellness

Our family medicine program has designed a longitudinal wellness curriculum to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our residents and creating a culture that aids in the development of skilled, compassionate and resilient physicians. Our
multifaceted approach targets all aspects of resident wellness including social
well-being, mental health, financial education, physical health, technology training, and professional growth.

A few highlights of our program include:

  • Magellan Health offers 24/7 mental health support including 5 free, confidential counselling sessions. No diagnosis is reported. No employer notification. Additionally, we have an on site licensed behavioral therapist available for personal or clinical consultation
  • An active and creative Wellness Committee led by both faculty and residents 
  • The Pulse”, our monthly newsletter, keeps residents and faculty apprised of upcoming wellness and community happenings, important announcements and birthdays.
  • Periodic assessment with a validated burnout inventory
  • Monthly class meetings to discuss resident specific concerns, troubleshoot problems, and share experiences.
  • Protected personal time for mental health, medical, and dental care appointments
  • An annual program sponsored Intern Retreat
  • A dedicated mentorship program to provide new residents with consistent, organized, and compassionate support directly from their senior residents and faculty.
  • A focus on achievement through a monthly “Success Rounds” where residents and faculty are recognized for their dedication and passion for patient care.
  • Creative and fun social gatherings; including local festivals/tours, faculty sponsored journal clubs, holiday get togethers, ice cream after rounds and much more!


About Graduate Medical Education

The Family Medicine Residency - Erie program is part of the graduate medical education (GME) opportunities offered by the AHN Medical Education Consortium. Learn more about graduate medical education.