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Adversity of the Homeless and a Street Doctor’s Mercy


Join us for an insightful presentation by Dr. Jim O'Connell, a renowned figure in the field of homelessness and healthcare. As the inspiration for Tracy Kidder's book "Rough Sleepers," Dr. O'Connell will share his experiences and expertise in caring for the homeless population. Discover challenges and solutions he encounters while working tirelessly to provide medical aid and support to those in need. Prepare to be inspired by his dedication and the profound impact he has made on the lives of “rough sleepers.” You will learn of the complexities of homelessness and the compassionate efforts to alleviate its hardships. 

Instructor Biography

Jim O’Connell, M.D. was born and raised in Newport. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1970 and received his master’s degree in theology from Cambridge University in 1972. After graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1982, he completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 1985, Dr. O’Connell began fulltime clinical work with homeless individuals as the founding physician of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP), which now serves over 11,000 homeless persons each year. Dr. O’Connell has been featured on ABC’s Nightline and in a feature-length documentary entitled “Give Me a Shot of Anything.” His first book, “Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor,” was published in 2015 and featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He has received numerous awards, including the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award in 2012 and The Trustees’ Medal at the bicentennial celebration of MGH in 2011. Dr. O’Connell is president of BHCHP and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

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