Currently I am employed as HRB Research Fellow in the Faculty of Eucation and Health Sciences at the University of Limerick. I am a staff member at the School of Allied Health, currently on research leave from my role as Practice Education Coordinator (Physiotherapy) in order to undertake my PhD. In 2016, I was awarded a Health Professional Fellowship by the Health Research Board, Ireland (€239,977) to undertake this research. My research addresses a specific aspect of health service delivery, i.e. readiness for independent practice of the health professional student.
My PhD research is focused on Health Professional Education specifically performance-based assessment of health professional students in the workplace, a process which essentially determines their readiness for independent clinical practice. The aim of my doctoral research is to explore key stakeholders’ perceptions of the performance-based assessment process of students that occurs in the clinical workplace in order to determine these stakeholders’ priorities towards its future development. I have published three papers from this research (two in Medical Teacher (I.F. 2.4; Q1), one in Physiotherapy (UK) (I.F. 3.0; Q1)). Two further papers are under review.
Other research interests include quality of health service delivery and continuous professional development of the health professional.
O’Connor A, McCurtin A, Cantillon P, McGarr O. (2018) Illusions of specificity in power-laden clinical performance assessment. Medical Teacher. 40(3):313-4. https://doi.org/10.1080/0142159X.2017.1340637
O’Connor, A., McGarr, O., Cantillon, P., McCurtin, A. and Clifford, A. (2017). Clinical performance assessment tools in physiotherapy practice education: a systematic review. Physiotherapy. 104 (1) 46-53. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physio.2017.01.005. Available online 3-2-2017.
O'Connor A, Cantillon P, McGarr O, McCurtin A. (2017) Navigating the system; Physiotherapy student perceptions of performance-based assessment. Medical Teacher. 19, 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1080/0142159X.2017.1416071
O'Connor, A., Cahill, M. and McKay, E.A. (2012). Revisiting 1:1 and 2:1 clinical placement models: Student and clinical educator perspectives. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal 59, 276-283. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1630.2012.01025.x
Coote, S., Alpine, L., Cassidy, C., Loughnane, M., McMahon, S., Meldrum, D., O'Connor, A., O'Mahoney, M. (2007). The development and evaluation of a Common Assessment Form for physiotherapy practice education in Ireland. Physiotherapy Ireland: 28(2): 6-10. https://epubs.rcsi.ie/sphysioart/9/