Maggie O’Connor, MD
Maggie began her career as a family practitioner in the old style – doing everything from delivering babies to taking care of nursing home patients including hospice care. In 1984 she created Lagoon Family Health, the first all-women practice in Minneapolis. She moved on again when her twin boys led her to a saner lifestyle and became director of the Minnesota State University, Mankato student health service in 1989. Suddenly the focus and challenge became how to talk with young people about (safe) sex as well as answering a myriad of questions that students had never been able to ask before about how bodies work. During this time she did presentations to professionals, students and community audiences on professional boundary issues, spirituality and medicine, and bioethics. Her midlife crisis led her to do a fellowship in palliative medicine at San Diego Hospice in 2003 and eventually to lead the palliative care team at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis until her retirement in 2014. She has been a mentor to medical students and residents and continues to do presentations on palliative care, symptom management and how to control severe pain—including spiritual suffering, and advance care planning. Recently she has enjoyed having more time to research new topics related to the challenges of health care and is venturing into qualitative research.
When she isn’t in the midst of her studies, Maggie is an avid biker, loves to walk, plays regularly with her 2 year old neighbor Ray, and enjoys time with her family.