According to her peers, Kelci Beardsley, DO, is someone you can count on.  

Since joining the anesthesiology department, Dr. Beardsley has served as both a peer-mentor and as a peer-selected class representative on the anesthesiology residency council. Dr. Beardsley is also an active member of the Kentucky Medical Association (KMA). She first served as an anesthesiology representative but was quickly elected as the events chair for all of KMA’s residents and fellows. In this role, she has organized presentations for residents and fellows across all medical specialties.  

 “Dr. Beardsley regularly volunteers on behalf of others,” said Amy DiLorenzo, PhD, assistant professor of anesthesiology and associate dean for educational innovation and scholarship within the Office of Graduate Medical Education. “She goes above and beyond to be a mentor and a leader.”  

Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pa., Dr. Beardsley received her undergraduate degree from Drexel University and her doctorate in osteopathic medicine from the Philadelphia College of Medicine. She still engages with her alma mater, volunteering to mentor and conduct mock interviews virtually with rising medical students.  

“I’m from a very large family, but I’m the first one to go to graduate school and the first to go to medical school,” shared Dr. Beardsley.  “When I was applying, I really had no idea how the process worked or what my next steps should be.”  She looked to friends who were a couple of years ahead in school for guidance. She then paid it forward by mentoring high school and first-year graduate students, and she continues to mentor others through today.  

When considering where to apply for residency, Dr. Beardsley wanted a change of pace from the bustle of a larger city like Philadelphia. Drawn to the idea of tackling complex cases and treating the sickest patients, the University of Kentucky seemed like the perfect fit. “I wanted to go somewhere where I could get hands-on experience with really difficult cases,” she shared. “I know it will make me a better doctor in the future, and so far, UK has not disappointed on that front.”  

As a teenager, Dr. Beardsley fractured her spine in an accident, resulting in several surgeries. She shared she was drawn to anesthesia in part because she could relate to her patients’ experiences and better understand what they were going through after her own experiences.    

When asked what advice she would offer to someone interested in a career in health care, she said, “don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it. If you’re passionate about something, whether it’s medicine, research, or something else, you can reach your goals." Sharing that she struggled with naysayers and doubt when she first decided to pursue medicine, she added, “don’t be discouraged by others telling you something isn’t possible—because it is. You have to advocate for and believe in yourself.”   

Dr. Beardsley also believes in advocating for others. She is a strong proponent of increasing health care literacy and providing accessible care to marginalized communities. Outside of her clinical duties, she volunteers for Love Letters for Literacy creating handmade packets of alphabetical flashcards and games to be delivered to preschoolers in need to help increase their language arts skills. Dr. Beardsley is also enrolled in the MBA program at the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, baking, and exploring Lexington with her husband.   

Thank you for all you do, Dr. Beardsley!