Dr. Ted X. Connell, MDOn this special coronavirus episode of The Nurse Keith Show nursing career podcast, Keith discusses the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in the training of medical professionals with Dr. Ted O’Connell, the Founding Director of the Family Medicine Residency Training Program at Kaiser Permanente Napa-Solano and Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the UC San Francisco School of Medicine.

I am passionate about helping the next generation of physicians become successful, both as clinicians and as future professionals who can confidently navigate medical culture. I hope my textbooks, free resources, and blog posts will help cultivate the next generation of outstanding physicians.” – Dr. Ted O’Connell

Dr. O’Connell also founded the Kaiser Permanente Napa-Solano Community Medicine and Global Health Fellowship, the first fellowship in the United States to formally combine both community medicine and global health.

Prior to establishing the residency and fellowship programs at Kaiser Permanente Napa-Solano, Dr. O’Connell served as a faculty member, associate program director, and then residency program director at Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills. While at Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills, Dr. O’Connell established the Kaiser Permanente Community Medicine Fellowship Program, which has expanded to eight fellowship positions across six different medical centers. Dr. O’Connell also served on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Permanente Medical Group.

Dr. O’Connell received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame with honors and his medical degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He completed his internship, residency, and chief residency at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center. Dr. O’Connell has completed the Emerging Leaders Program through The Permanente Medical Group, the Leading Innovations in Health Care and Education course at Harvard University, and Disruptive Strategy at Harvard Business School.

Ted has written and edited over a dozen medical textbooks as well as numerous textbook chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles. Many of his textbooks are medical best-sellers (see Books). Dr. O’Connell currently serves as Editor-In-Chief for Elsevier’s Clinical Key MedEd, a worldwide medical education platform.

Dr. O’Connell is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of ExamCircle, a disruptive innovation dedicated to providing free online question banks in an effort to reduce the cost of education and help eliminate the access gap to high-quality exam preparation materials. Dr. O’Connell is also Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer of InsideTheBoards, which is focused on providing audio resources in the form of podcasts and apps for medical students.

For more than a decade, Dr. O’Connell has served as an Expert Reviewer and Medical Consultant for the Medical Board of California. In this role, Dr. O’Connell has reviewed dozens of cases to help ensure high-quality medical care in the State of California.

Recently, Dr. O’Connell was named Physician of the Year by the Napa and Solano Medical Society.

In the course of this far-ranging conversation, Ted and I discuss: 

  • The changes in medical and nursing education in the age of COVID-19
  • The agility needed as we pivot daily in relation to the ongoing pandemic
  • How medical professionals can be prepared for, and sit for, their Board exams and get licensed and into the workforce when they are not necessarily receiving the education they would otherwise receive under normal circumstances; they also cannot sit in a proctored room in close quarters with other exam-takers
  • How and when nurses will be able to sit for certification exams
  • The unhealthy and irresponsible social actions of healthcare professionals who are putting others at risk
  • How clinicians can up their game regarding protecting their loved ones and being vigilant vis-a-vis how they can change their behaviors when coming home to their communities and families after work
  • How we can best utilize retired medical and nursing personnel without putting them at undue risk while tapping their expertise and experience
  • The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance by Laurie Garrett, published in 1995

The quote from the Amazon description of The Coming Plague that Keith read towards the end of the episode:

Unpurified drinking water. Improper use of antibiotics. Local warfare. Massive refugee migration. Changing social and environmental conditions around the world have fostered the spread of new and potentially devastating viruses and diseases—HIV, Lassa, Ebola, and others. Laurie Garrett takes you on a fifty-year journey through the world’s battles with microbes and examines the worldwide conditions that have culminated in recurrent outbreaks of newly discovered diseases, epidemics of diseases migrating to new areas, and mutated old diseases that are no longer curable. She argues that it is not too late to take action to prevent the further onslaught of viruses and microbes, and offers possible solutions for a healthier future.

Connect with Dr. Ted O’Connell: 


DISCLAIMER: All information in these episodes about COVID-19 uses the most up-to-date information we can access, as well as some personal opinions and reactions. Please note that the situation is changing by the moment, and any information shared in any episode may not apply once that data has been updated. Please also note that nothing shared in the course of any Nurse Keith Coaching COVID-19 podcast is intended for diagnosis or treatment; please consult your healthcare provider or your local Department of Health.

If you hear or read something I have shared that appears to be erroneous, if you can, please leave an evidence-based comment or email me directly at keith@nursekeith.com. Thank you for understanding, stay safe, and keep informed.


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Nurse KeithIn case you didn’t already know, Nurse Keith is a holistic career coach for nurses, award-winning nurse blogger, writer, podcaster, keynote and motivational speaker, and popular career columnist. With two decades of nursing experience, Keith deeply understands the issues faced by 21st-century nurses. From 2012 until its sunset in 2017, Keith co-hosted RNFMRadio, a groundbreaking nursing podcast. Keith’s message of savvy career management and professional satisfaction reaches tens of thousands of nurses worldwide. Keith can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram—as well as at NurseKeith.com.
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