Dr. Jane D’Isa – A Life's Journey through Medicine, Mentorship, and Spiritual Exploration


April 22, 2024

Jane D’Isa, DO, FACOI, Program Director of Internal Medicine Residency and Patient Experience Officer at South Pointe, a Cleveland Clinic Hospital in Warrensville, Ohio, is more than a seasoned physician; she is a beacon of endurance, empathy, and spiritual depth. Her career has been marked by many significant roles, and now as she transitions from the role of Program Director that she has held since 2005, she faces the question of "what’s next?" with a special focus on spiritual calling.

Driven by a desire to help others and explore her own personal interests, she recently enrolled in a spiritual direction certification program at the Ignatian Spirituality Institute at John Carroll University in Cleveland. Her decision to pursue the certification aligns with her long-standing commitment to spiritual growth, influenced by the Jesuit tenets of contemplative action, daily examination, and discernment, as well as her professional commitment to the osteopathic principles. “The Jesuit philosophy stands for social justice, peace, and equity; it's unique. Osteopathic medicine is also unique. The marriage of those two disciplines together is thrilling for me."

Family Values Provided Guidance

Growing up in Youngstown, Ohio, Dr. D’Isa was surrounded by a family of educators and physicians. Her upbringing, steeped in integrity and a strong work ethic, set the stage for a career that seamlessly blended medicine and education. Inspired by her godfather's compassionate approach to medicine, she recalls, "He was such a role model of empathy and care for his patients, and he just loved his vocation."  

Her father was the Chair of Mechanical Engineering at Youngstown State University for 44 years and her mother was a watercolorist and art instructor at the University for nearly as long. "My parents’ role-modeled integrity and constancy to purpose. There is no question that the way I was raised, and the role models around me, formed a vision for my life. I was fortunate to have these great people around me. They never put their expectations on my sister or I, and as a result, we were able to pursue our true passions."

For Dr. D’Isa, she was able to meld her two passions into a perfect blend that resulted in compassionate care and teaching excellence sprinkled with the values of her faith. "I credit my faith life as much as the reason I've had such great relationships with my patients," she says.  


Dr. D'Isa with her godfather, Dr. John Buckley and her sister, Dr. Nancy D’Isa Turner.


Balancing Roles and Her Ongoing Commitment to Osteopathic Recognition

A significant chapter in Dr. D’Isa’s career is her long tenure as Program Director at South Pointe, a position she has been able to balance with her other responsibilities, including as an Advanced Peer Coach, a Patient Experience Officer, and more recently, serving in the role of Board of Governors Physician Advancement Council for the Cleveland Clinic. Additionally, the ACOI 2012 Teacher of the Year recently became an ACOI mentor for medical students.  

Thinking about everything she does, even as she prepares to exit her role as a Program Director, she says she often thinks about a philosophy expressed by Dorothy Day, a journalist and social activist, “No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.”

For Dr. D’Isa that feeling of work that needs to be done also extends to her quest to help her facility meet the requirements for osteopathic recognition (OR). "South Pointe was an Osteopathic hospital to begin with, and we are dedicated to remaining an osteopathic teaching institution. I'm proud to be part of the team to ensure OR continues here.”  

Dr. D'Isa with her residency team.

Osteopathic Principles Drive Patient Care Approach

She knew since the third grade that she wanted to be a physician, yet it was the DO philosophy when she was older that became the real driver for her to choose the osteopathic route. “The difference is in the osteopathic philosophy. It was the principles in practice that attracted me the most and that has remained true throughout my entire career in terms of how I approach every aspect of my job. I have never been prouder to be a DO. As an osteopathic physician we prioritize empathy, compassion, and our good patient communication skills – from admission to discharge.”  

"Patients feel listened to and validated when they have a structural exam in the hospital and are treated by our OMM team, it can often make a tremendous difference in their care, length of stay and overall patient experience.  We are blessed to have a very robust osteopathic environment."


Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of ACOI.

Stay True to Why You Pursued Medicine.