Dec. 20, 2022

A Holistic Approach to Orthopedic Care with Dr. Mary O'Connor

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Orthopedic care is one of the most commonly sought-after medical services. It is also one of the most complex, with a wide range of subspecialties and treatment options.

In this episode, Lauren and Jacque talk with Dr. Mary O'Connor, Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder of Vori Health. As an orthopedic surgeon and academic leader at Mayo Clinic for over 24 years and Yale University School of Medicine for over five years, Dr. O’Connor knows the problems facing patients, providers, and payers in musculoskeletal care. At Vori Health, Dr. O’Connor brings her clinical & administrative experience, passion for change, and missional focus to the patients and systems.

Dr. O’Connor talks with Lauren and Jacque about how she redesigns and transforms orthopedic and healthcare delivery. Dr. O’Connor also speaks about what motivated her to advocate for women and what she would like to share with orthopedic surgeons who want to become entrepreneurs. 

Key Takeaways

  • [02:37] - Dr. O’Connor’s life before becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
  • [05:47] - Why are more women becoming nurse practitioners or physician assistants?
  • [08:11] - Why Dr. O’Connor chose to become an orthopedic surgeon.
  • [12:01] - What studies say about female physicians leading a hospital team.
  • [16:17] - What inspired Dr. O’Connor to advocate for women.
  • [20:57] - What Dr. O’Connor stands for regarding women in sports.
  • [25:02] - How Dr. O’Connor redesigned orthopedic care.
  • [28:57] - Why reforming the healthcare system is difficult.
  • [31:19] - How Vori Health has revolutionized medical practice.
  • [34:24] - The challenge of transitioning from a high-paying job to a start-up.
  • [40:38] - Dr. O’Connor's advice to women orthopedic surgeons interested in entrepreneurship.
  • [47:58] - What Dr. O’Connor's book, Taking Care of Yourself, is all about.
  • [53:08] - Dr. O’Connor’s definition of wealth that matters.


[28:57] - "Making a change in these big, established healthcare systems is very difficult. It's not because the people there don't recognize that change is needed but because the system is anchored to the current model, the status quo. And by that, I mean it's the money." ~ Dr. Mary O'Connor

[43:37] - "Unless you decide to stay a practicing orthopedic surgeon for the rest of your career, if you think you want to pivot, then you need to put yourself in a position where you can afford to do it financially." ~ Dr. Mary O'Connor

[49:17] - "Disparities in healthcare are very real for women and individuals of color." ~ Dr. Mary O'Connor


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