Publications included

O'Connor, Patrick J., MD uri icon
Senior Research Investigator


Overview/research interests: After completing his family medicine residency training at Duke, Dr. O’Connor worked in a remote rural clinic on the Navajo Reservation, where some of the 50 patients he saw each day arrived on horseback. The clinic had no electricity or phone, and he needed a translator (who served as a Navajo “Code Talker” in World War II) for nearly all visits. Dr. O’Connor tried to learn a few things from several medicine men who were his patients. In the absence of timely lab results, it was a challenge to take care of his 25 patients with diabetes. His first research project was a study of whether his 25 diabetes patients did worse than the 600 diabetes patients at a local hospital clinic. The results showed no difference in quality of care at the two clinics. The paper reporting the findings was his first publication and won an award from the U.S. Public Health Service, presented by then-U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, MD. Over the subsequent decades, Dr. O’Connor’s major research interests have include chronic disease prevention and quality improvement in adults and children, clinical decision support for primary care providers and patients, shared decision-making and patient-centered care.