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Patrick G. O'Connor, MD, MPH, MACP

Dan Adams and Amanda Adams Professor of General Medicine; Chief, Section of General Internal Medicine

Chief of General Internal Medicine and Professor of Medicine at Yale, Dr. O'Connor's research has focused on the interface between primary care and substance abuse, resulting in nearly 200 scientific papers. His work has been published in leading medical journals including The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, The Annals of Internal Medicine, The Archives of Internal Medicine, The American Journal of Medicine, The Journal of General Internal Medicine, as well as in a number of substance abuse specialty journals.

Dr. O’Connor has recruited and mentored a number of highly skilled clinical investigators (his faculty included 17 alumni of the RWJ Clinical Scholars Program) who are conducting groundbreaking work in clinical epidemiology, health services research, outcomes research and clinical effectiveness as well as focusing on chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke, heart failure, cancer and substance abuse. Beginning with the recruitment and mentoring of Dr. D. Fiellin, and followed by the recruitment and mentoring of Drs. Justice, L Fiellin, and three new junior faculty—Drs. Tetrault, Becker and Edelman, Dr. O'Connor has built one of the most accomplished internal medicine-based substance abuse research programs in the United States.

The research portfolio of this investigative group includes topics at the core of the Yale DAHRS program related to opioid dependence, alcohol use disorders, and the overlap between addiction and chronic pain. Dr. O’Connor’s accomplishments as a mentor and academic leader have been recognized by his receipt of two major national mentorship and leadership awards, one from the Association for Medical Education and Research on Substance Abuse (2005) and the other by The Society of General Internal Medicine (2007).

During his tenure as Section Chief, Dr. O’Connor has successfully recruited a number of female faculty as well as faculty from underrepresented minority groups. He has built an internal medicine-based program focusing on research and education in substance abuse that includes several research staff and seven full-time faculty. Three of the senior faculty have held grants funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Dr. O’Connor is the recipient of an R25 grant, Advancing Clinical Research Training Within Addiction Residency Programs, serving as MPI with Dr. Jeffery Samet.

Dr. O’Connor has been the Principal Investigator on a number of research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health that explore topics at the core of the Yale-DAHRS program. Topics include:

  1. Integration of primary care and drug abuse treatment services
  2. Strategies for primary care-based opioid detoxification and opioid maintenance treatment
  3. Strategies for treating alcohol dependence in primary care settings
  4. Medical education about substance abuse

Dr. O’Connor has been a highly active mentor and teacher in general internal medicine and specifically within the field of substance abuse. In recognition of his attributes as a mentor he received the Excellence in Mentorship award from the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA) in 2005 and the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM)/Association of Chiefs & Leaders of General Internal Medicine (ACGIM) Chief’s Award in 2007.

As Chief of General Internal Medicine (GIM) at Yale, he has transformed the program into the foremost GIM Section in the United States. He is the past President of AMERSA and is President-elect of the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM).