Name: Flynn Millard O’Neill, NP
Specialty: OB GYN
Education: University of Virginia, Georgetown University
Areas of Expertise: OB GYN infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome, genetic testing for hereditary cancers, preconception
Current Position(s): Nurse Practitioner, Bloom OB GYN, Maven Clinic; Founder, Stork Childbirth
1. What is the most challenging part of OB GYN?
Women’s health care can be emotionally rewarding, but also very demanding. Balancing my own family and the needs of my patients can be very hard at times. I also find it difficult to find time to care for myself, so often need to get creative.
2. What do you think distinguishes you in your field?
With fourteen years experience in nursing, I have seen medicine change drastically as it has become more complex, and sadly, confusing to our patients. As I evolved from a registered nurse to now a nurse practitioner for many years, I have learned to be efficient in my daily patient care, using technology and provider collaboration to help. I am honest with my patients and follow through on my word, which they value.
3. Can you talk about your experiences in founding Stork Childbirth Education?
My friend and partner Lauren Gordon (WHNP, CNM) and I founded Stork Childbirth Education out of a need for better prenatal education for new families. Our patients were not happy with the classes they found at local hospitals, so as experienced labor and delivery nurses turned NPs, we felt we could provide evidence-based prenatal care to our patients to increase comprehension and comfort. Three years later, our classes sell out and our referring doctors couldn’t be happier as we help their patients have more comprehensive views on expectations of the labor and delivery process.
4. What’s your best productivity tip?
If you have the time, review charts ahead of time and talk to your patient while ordering medications/lab work. That way, you are including the patient in the process which also serves as a double check as you make your orders out loud.
5. What has been your most gratifying moment of being a clinician?
I just received the nicest hand written note from a 33 year old patient of mine who I saw for counseling regarding her strong family history of breast cancer. She was negative for the BRCA gene when we completed our testing, but I urged her to get her sister tested since her negative result did not rule out her sister having a mutation. Her sister’s OB/GYN in Florida advised her against testing but my patient’s sister finally convinced them and she is BRCA2 positive. My patient thanked me for saving her sister’s life.
6. What is the most interesting medical news you’ve seen in your field recently?
The advancement of telemedicine and patient’s access to alternative providers.
7. What is a common misconception that other clinicians have about your specialty?
We are essentially primary care providers for many women, so often there is the assumption we will manage more chronic conditions.
8. How do you incorporate technology into your medical practice?
In my spare time, I am an NP on the telemedicine platform with Maven Clinic. On my days off or on weekends, I can open up my schedule and see women of all ages for simple problems like a sore ankle, to more complicated issues such as needing help managing anxiety. Seeing the improvement in options for women obtaining their patient care and increased access is very fulfilling.
9. Favorite apps & software?
American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) for cervical cancer guidelines and management, MenoPro by NAMS for menopause management and My Risk by Myriad for genetic testing counseling
10. Who are your mentors?
My partner, Lauren Gordon, fellow working mother and NP. She amazes me everyday. She is kind to her patients and considerate to her family. There is nothing she cannot take on and she always is thinking of others. I value her compassion and her drive to learn more and innovate. We laugh that she claims I am more efficient at work, but I remind her she has three kids and I have one. I would not be able to work without her, and I would not be as happy at my practice if she was not there. Yesterday I saw a patient of Lauren’s since she is on maternity leave, the front desk told the patient to see me as I was basically like Lauren. It is the best compliment my staff can give me.
11. What would your colleagues be most surprised to learn about you?
There is not much they don’t know, as we are very close. They know I have a hard time relaxing and leaving work behind. I love to vacation out west in the mountains and they call me a bottom feeder, always looking for free food or leftovers.
12. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My husband helps me find a balance with work and home. I was at a different practice before Bloom OB/GYN and upon leaving he told me that he felt as if the entire time I was there, I did not have a work life balance. This made me so sad and I now strive to slow down both at work and home. The stress of being a healthcare provider is very real and we all need a reminder to take care of ourselves otherwise we are no good to our patients.
13. Tag a colleague! Who would you like to see next in this “How I Work” Op-Med series?
Dr. Scott Osmun, principal of Bloom OB/GYN. He started the practice with the amazing Dr. Joan Loveland, Bloom OB/GYN in Washington, DC. They are doing OB/GYN differently and it is working. Our patients could not be happier. I admire the risk they took and am so proud to be a part of Bloom OB/GYN.