American pain institute large sharpDr. Michael J. O’Connell commented that the word “institute” is used quite a bit today in medicine.  There is the Institute of Pain, Institute of Internal Medicine, Institute of Headache, Institute of Addiction Treatment, and on and on.  In the New Hampshire Seacoast region alone, there are at least five “institutes” in the medical field.  What they all comprise is simply standard medical practices – a collection of physicians, nurse practitioners, and other providers.  They are hardly ‘institutes’ of anything.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word ‘institute’ means “an entity for advanced study, research and instruction.”  There is no research, no advanced study, no medical breakthroughs, no attempt at systematic instruction at any of these so called “institutes.”  In fact, with evidence based medicine, providers of all specialties will be reduced to little more than reciters of what Obama feels are the ‘real’ harbingers of knowledge.  Practitioners will no longer be encouraged, but in fact DIScouraged to learn from anecdotal experience, but rather relegated to blindly following and applying solely the knowledge gleaned from sterile peer reviewed double blinded scientific articles.

Clearly the word ‘institute’ is being misused, probably for purposes of marketing alone, as if by employing the word, prestige is bestowed.  But sadly, all of medicine, real medicine where there is a meaningful interaction between patient and practitioner, is changing forever.  The so called “science” of medicine has won out, practitioners reduced to automatons, and the patient has lost.

About Dr. Michael J. O'Connell, New Hampshire
Dr. Michael J. O'Connell of Barrington, New Hampshire, has forged a distinguished career spanning over three decades, as entrepreneur, physician, businessman, philanthropist and healthcare consultant. As former owner, administrator and CEO of a 225+ employee multi-specialty medical practice, Dr. O'Connell has dedicated his entire professional life to helping patients with family medicine and especially those experiencing chronic pain and all aspects of addiction. Since selling his family of healthcare businesses, he has never once contemplated retirement despite his rich and fulfilling journey, but instead has turned his focus to consulting in an industry starved for courage and creativity. Having weathered many political, technological and legal challenges, there is hardly a storm he has not confronted, a tempest he has not quelled, an urgent need he has not met. While the talking heads and self-proclaimed experts in the field have assumed the conventions and standards of the times, Dr. O'Connell does not believe in merely reflecting the herd mentality, but rather in leading the charge. Eschewing political correctness, Dr. O'Connell says and does what needs saying and doing, and not what the mindless masses expect. In addition to the continual education afforded by his variegated life experiences, Dr O'Connell earned his BS in Biochemistry at the University of NH in 1975, his Medical Degree from Dartmouth College in 1981, interned at Walter Reed Medical Center in 1982, Residency/Fellowship at UCSF in1986, and finished his Masters in Healthcare Administration at UNH in 1995. Dr. O’Connell enjoys many outdoor activities, including rock climbing, snowboarding, hiking, and golf. Through the decades Dr. O'Connell has supported many non-profit charities to include the St. Charles Home in Rochester NH, the Tri City VNA and Hospice, Hyder House, and Cocheco Valley Humane Society. To the latter organization alone Dr. O'Connell has donated over $180,000 and pledged another $250,000 in the “Bring-Us-Home” campaign for a new building. His “Matching Donations Christmas drive” has generated over $175,000 in charitable giving from the community. In addition Dr. O'Connell has participated in many dozens of other volunteer and donation efforts locally as well as in Africa and the Dominican Republic. For a listing of how I gave back to the community during my career and continue to do see:

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