Hometown: Mobile, Alabama
Major: Fourth-year medical student at the Brody School of Medicine
Career goals: Become an emergency medicine physician with a fellowship in sports medicine
After a standout career as a defensive end at William & Mary, O’Connor played professional football for the Minnesota Vikings, the Hamburg Sea Devils of NFL Europe and the Carolina Panthers. Now, he’s completing medical school at ECU.
Why did you choose ECU?
I really appreciated the sense of camaraderie that was apparent when I interviewed. Such a dynamic is not always as fundamental to other medical schools. Additionally, I was impressed at the level of community awareness and engagement exhibited by ECU, particularly Brody.
What service activities are you involved in as a medical student?
The students of Brody have a great relationship with the Greenville Community Shelter Clinic, allowing us to engage with folks in the community from the first day we step foot on campus all the way through to graduation and beyond. I’ve also had the opportunity on a number of occasions to speak with elementary and high school students about medical school and my own path.
What other activities are you involved in?
School definitely predominates my life, but in the hours I have free, I enjoy working out, playing hockey and cooking.
How have your experiences as a football player helped you succeed in medical school?
Through football came the recognition that success in any endeavor is rarely attained overnight, but rather is the product of countless hours of work behind the scenes. A career in medicine is no different. There are no shortcuts to success in medicine, only a lot of hard work and dues to pay.