A native of Huntington Beach, CA, Dr. O’Leary was inspired to go into medicine in high school after an injury brought her to the office of orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Ahearn. Impressed by his professionalism and care, she shadowed him one year later and discovered her passion for patient interactions. After earning her bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University, Dr. O’Leary attended medical school at St. George’s University on the Caribbean island of Granada. She completed her clinical rotations at New-York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. When searching for a residency program, The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education’s focus on community health caught her attention. “Here I can learn a lot, make great connections with patients and thrive in my field,” she says.
As one of four peer-elected Chief Residents, Dr. O’Leary serves as an advocate and mentor for almost 100 fellow internal medicine residents. “I’m honored. It’s nice to know the residents respect me and think highly enough of me to believe I can take on this role,” she says. “I’m currently a resident leader, so I’ve already been a spokesperson for the class. Now, in this role, I’ll get to take the reins a bit more. It’ll be a challenge, but a good challenge.” In addition to mentoring and caring for patients at Scranton-based hospitals and The Wright Center for Community Health’s clinics, Dr. O’Leary sits on several organizational committees, helps organize a health fair, prepares presentations and engages in community service projects. She also volunteers at Pittston’s Care and Concern Free Clinic, serving residents who do not have medical insurance. Outside of work, she enjoys immersing herself in the northeastern Pennsylvania community by trying new restaurants, hiking and skiing.
Following residency, Dr. O’Leary plans to work in primary care as a general practitioner and internist. Though she has not yet determined where she will practice, she says doing her residency in northeastern Pennsylvania has been a great experience. “I genuinely enjoy going to work every day,” she says. “The team at The Wright Center for Community Health, and everyone who supports the residents and fellows through The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, are making amazing strides to help the health of the community and create the physicians America needs.”