Dr. Braden O’Neill

“Our challenge is to break down silos. When we care for people with serious mental illness we so often see the results of stigma and discrimination, of systematic marginalization. Helping people live the lives they want and deserve requires upending our traditional ways of looking at health and social care.”

Dr. Braden O’Neill

Dr. Braden O’Neill is a clinician-scientist and family physician working at the intersection of primary care and psychiatry. His research addresses how to work together across health and social care to improve the lives of people with serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Most interactions between people and the health system are in primary care, so it represents an essential point of contact and opportunity for meeting people’s needs. Dr. O’Neill’s work explores these interactions through the use of primary care electronic medical record data and administrative data, understanding who is seen where for what reasons, and who is left out or disadvantaged from our current system and ways of working. He investigates how people with serious mental illness access and benefit from primary care, including acute illnesses, management of long-term conditions, and screening. His studies contextualize these findings through multidisciplinary, mixed-methods approaches, seeking to address identified disparities. Having worked in both academic and community settings, he collaborates across these environments, supporting the spread and scale of innovations where they will have the broadest impact.

Originally from Alberta, Dr. O’Neill started his career as a homelessness outreach worker in Edmonton’s inner city. He completed medical school at the University of Calgary, a DPhil (PhD) in Primary Care at the University of Oxford, and residency at the University of Toronto.

Dr O’Neill is a Scientist with MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital. He is a family physician in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital, and an assistant professor in the University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine. He is also an associate editor at CMAJ.