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Alumna Makes History as the NYPD’s First Black Female Colorectal Surgeon

Rutgers alumna Lynn M. O’Connor

Renowned colorectal surgeon, Lynn O'Connor, got her start in Rutgers' ODASIS program.
Photo Courtesy of Lynn M. O’Connor

February 26, 2024

ODASIS graduate plans to use her platform to promote early colorectal screenings and the  importance of diversity in medicine
For the first time in its 178-year history, the New York Police Department welcomed its first Black female colorectal surgeon to the medical division: Rutgers alumna Lynn M. O’Connor.

The renowned surgeon made NYPD history on Sept. 25, 2023, when she was sworn in at One Police Plaza. O’Connor’s new duties with the NYPD include determining the fitness of officers for duty, coordinating care and authorizing medical service for line of duty injuries.

“It really is an honor and a privilege to be able to affect change in the lives of a lot of young officers,” said O’Connor, who is also chief of colon and rectal surgery at Mercy Hospital, Rockville Centre, N.Y., and St. Joseph Hospital in Beth Page, N.Y., and runs her own private practice on Long Island. “It means a lot because I always say to my students and my residents, ‘You can’t be what you can’t see.’”

O'Connor takes on her new role at a time when incidents of colorectal cancer have risen significantly in young people and become the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. O’Connor plans to use her new platform to promote early colorectal screenings for the police department and healthy living. 

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