Doing primary care well requires not only the technical know-how of medicine but a heart for the individual relationship.
Patrick O’Connell, MD
Born and raised in a small town in North Carolina, Dr. O’Connell spent much of his youth outdoors enjoying swimming, hiking, and Boy Scouts. He received a BA from Brown University and returned to North Carolina for medical school at UNC-Chapel Hill. While he was drawn to the intellectual side of medicine and to the problem-solving of diagnostic thinking, it was in a clinical rotation with a family physician that he discovered the call to serve through the personal relationships of primary care medicine. Knowing that he wanted to be a primary care physician, he went from Chapel Hill to Baltimore to train at Johns Hopkins’ primary care internal medicine track at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. At the end of his first year he was named Intern of the Year and ultimately stayed on after completing residency training for an additional year as Chief Resident. After two years as a clinical faculty at a small residency training program an hour north of Baltimore, Dr. O’Connell married and returned to the Triangle in 2006. He established himself in Raleigh as a well-liked primary care physician with Duke Health for a decade before founding Sentinel Primary Care in 2017.
Known in his Duke practice for being notoriously behind schedule for spending “too much” time with his patients, Dr. O’Connell practices with a focus on the individual; his philosophy is that the best primary care is delivered one visit at a time, between a doctor and patient who know and trust one another. Doing primary care well requires not only the technical know-how of medicine but a heart for the individual relationship.
Dr. O’Connell is married with four children. The O’Connell family attends Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Raleigh. Dr. O’Connell’s former outdoor activities like mountain biking have given way to kids’ activities, and when he’s not at Sentinel Primary Care he’s working hard at his top priorities, being a husband and father.
Undergraduate: Brown University ‘94
Medical school: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill ’00
Internship & residency: Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center ’03
Chief resident: Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center ’03-’04
Board-Certified Internal Medicine
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