Physician to President Biden to deliver med school commencement address

Kevin O’Connor, DO, will bring the 5th Commencement Address to the School of Osteopathic Medicine via prior recording on Thursday, May 6

BUIES CREEK — Kevin O’Connor, DO, commissioned as Physician to the President and personally selected by Joseph R. Biden, 46th President of the United States, will deliver the commencement address to the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2021 on Thursday, May 6.

Dr. O’Connor completed his medical degree at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1992 and residency training at The Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, New Jersey, where he was named Chief Resident in 1995. He remains a Diplomate of the American Board of Family Medicine, by which he has been board certified since 1995. He was appointed as a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians in 2009 and was inducted into the Order of Military Medical Merit in 2013.

In 2016, Dr. O’Connor received the Army Surgeon General’s “A” Proficiency Award — the highest level of achievement in the Army Medical Department. His military education has included Airborne School in 1986, AMEDD Officer Basic Course in 1993, and U.S. Army Flight Surgeon training in 1998. He graduated from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in 2003, and the U.S. Army Advanced Operational Warfighter Course at Fort Leavenworth in 2004. He was designated Master Flight Surgeon in 2010.

As an Army family physician, teacher, flight surgeon, and hyperbaric medical officer, Dr. O’Connor served in clinical, academic, leadership, and operational assignments at Fort Liberty and Fort Carson, to include tours of duty with the 82nd Airborne Division, 75th Ranger Regiment, and United States Army Special Operations Command. COL O’Connor was deployed on numerous combat rotations in support of classified missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia. He served as a White House Physician starting 2006, over several Administrations, providing contingency planning and medical coverage for the President and Vice President “anytime, anywhere.”

In February 2009, Dr. O’Connor was appointed “Physician to the Vice President,” and was retained in that position for Vice President Biden’s entire eight-year term. His military service has required Dr. O’Connor to travel to over 79 countries.

Dr. O’Connor is a charter member of the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care, and most of his publications and public speaking engagements have addressed “point-of-wounding” care on the battlefield. He was chosen to be the Inaugural “Leader-in-Residence” Distinguished University Alumnus by St. Bonaventure University in 2014, was named “Michael J. Scotti, MD, 2015 Family Physician of the Year” by the Uniformed Services Academy of Family Physicians (USAFP) and was chosen as the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine’s “Distinguished Alumnus of the Year” in 2016.

He serves on several Advisory Boards, to the Dean’s Advisory Board at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine. In 2019, he was inducted into the Seneca Battalion ROTC Hall of Fame. He also serves as Medical Director of the Franciscan Health Professions Program at St. Bonaventure University, and of the Governor’s Health Sciences Academy at Alexandria City High School. In 2020, he was selected by his peers as a Washingtonian Magazine distinction as “Top Doc.”

As Physician to the President, he provides primary care for the President and First Family and is responsible for the medical planning and emergency actions in support of the President at home, domestically and abroad. Dr. O’Connor retains his academic credentials as Associate Professor of Health, Human Function and Rehabilitative Sciences, with a secondary appointment in Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences and is committed to his teaching responsibilities.  He was called back to the Executive Mansion after 22 years in the Army and a decade at the White House. After retiring from the Army, COL Kevin O’Connor joined The GW Medical Faculty Associates in 2017, as Director of Executive Medicine. Additionally, he served as the Medical Director of International & Diplomatic Affairs at The George Washington University Hospital and Senior Medical Advisor for Health Sciences Programs at the School of Medicine & Health Sciences.

Dr. O’Connor is a sought-after speaker at national professional venues. He has appeared on CNN for commentary, been featured on Sirius XM Doctor Radio, and is a frequent Distinguished Commencement Speaker.

He lives in Maryland, with his wife of 25 years, Chris, and their three daughters, Kieran, Ryan and Dylan.

The School of Osteopathic Medicine’s commencement ceremony is the first in-person ceremony for the University since the start of the pandemic and will be preceded by a Military Promotion Ceremony on Wednesday, May 5, for graduates serving in the United States Army, Navy and Air Force.  The School has 148 Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine candidates and 19 Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences candidates participating in the May 6 commencement exercises.  Dr. O’Connor’s address was pre-recorded and will be presented to the graduates by video presentation during the May 6th ceremony at Barker-Lane Stadium.

All University commencement ceremonies will require ticketed assigned seating as guests will be limited.  Under North Carolina’s COVID-19 restrictions, social distancing and face coverings will be required for all events. All ceremonies at Barker-Lane Stadium will be live-streamed and will occur rain or shine. In the event of extreme weather, the events will be moved to a virtual format.

As with any event or plan during pandemic times, the University continues to monitor ever-changing conditions and local, state and federal health guidelines. The arrangements detailed in this message may be subject to change, depending on public health conditions and state regulations. 

For the latest information on the School of Osteopathic Medicine’s and all University graduation information, visit Campbell University’s graduation website at

About Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine
Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine is committed to educating and preparing community-based osteopathic physicians in North Carolina, the Southeastern United States and the nation. As the first and only osteopathic medical school established in the state of North Carolina, Campbell Medicine provides students with a seamless transition from learning to delivering the highest quality patient care in the communities they serve.  For more information, visit