Featured Clinician: Michael Connor

Michael Connor, Jr., MD

Meet Featured Clinician Michael Connor, Jr., MD (Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine/Renal Medicine).

Tell us about yourself.

I was actually born and raised here in Atlanta. After graduating Marist School, I went to University of Notre Dame and medical school at MCG. I did residency in Combined Internal Medicine & Pediatrics at Brown in Rhode Island and fellowship training in nephrology and critical care medicine at Cleveland Clinic. I joined Emory in September 2010 and I currently work at EUH in the cardiothoracic & vascular ICU as a member of the ECMO program and I also work in the Grady MICU and with Emory nephrology at Grady. My clinical & research interests are in acute kidney injury, various forms of acute dialysis, ECMO, and fluid management in the critically ill and in AKI. I am also very lucky to be married to a brilliant Emory Tropical Medicine ID attending, Jessica Fairley, and we have three wonderful kids – Erik, Aila, and we just welcomed baby girl Avery in July 2016.

Why did you go into Medicine?

Like most in medicine, I went in to medicine to take care of people. I did not enter medicine to be a ground breaking scientist or brilliant clinical researcher. I truly enjoy the day-to-day challenges and joys of clinical medicine in the high-stakes world of ICU medicine. As people and, eventually, as patients, we all yearn for compassion, empathy, and honesty at the darkest, most difficult times in our lives. I strive every day to demonstrate and honor the humanity in all of the patients and families that are unfortunate enough to require ICU care and to pay it forward by teaching and sharing my knowledge and approach with the patients, their families, trainees & students, and the staff in the ICU.

What does Clinical Excellence mean to you?

Critical care medicine is a team sport with the patient and family as the most important members of our team and all members of the ICU teams have important and valued roles to play. “Clinical Excellence” goes beyond providing the “right care” or doing all the correct and appropriate things for a patient. Clinical excellence requires us dive deeper and help support patients and families with all aspects of their health care journey — physical, emotional, spiritual — remembering and respecting each patient as an individual always mindful that we too will one day be patients and how would we hope to be cared for. Clinical excellence means accepting that forming bonds with our patients and families is a necessary requirement of the job and not something that we should teach medical students as not desirable — attachment rather than detachment is an important key to clinical excellence

Dogs or cats?
Neither — I am not a pet person. They will not be eventually helping with chores around the house.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love to snow ski — unfortunately, being as we live in Atlanta, I spend only a fraction of my spare time getting to do that.

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About the Author

Emory Department of Medicine
Emory Department of Medicine
The Emory University Department of Medicine, within the Emory University School of Medicine, is steeped in a rich tradition of excellence. Through the work of its nine divisions and numerous centers and institutes, the department has pioneered discoveries in medicine, education, scientific and clinical investigation, and clinical care. Emory University School of Medicine's medical school, residency, transitional-year, and fellowship programs offer students the latest knowledge in treatment practices, scientific theories, research, and patient care. The Emory University Department of Medicine is a component of the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University, which includes the Emory schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare.

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