Nora O’Neill

Nora O'Neill's picture
PhD Student
Research Areas: 
history of medicine; disability studies; reproductive justice; narrative medicine


Nora is an MD/PhD student at Yale School of Medicine and in History of Science and Medicine. She is interested in the intersection of medicine, disability rights, and reproductive justice, with a focus on American medicine in the 20th century. Centering stories, interviews, and literary works from self-advocates, caretakers, and medical professionals, Nora’s research attempts to understand the historical viewpoints that shape how we think about disability today. As a future physician-historian, she hopes to both care for and partner with patients who have faced discrimination while examining the historical underpinnings of the healthcare disparities patients and doctors encounter in the present.

Nora grew up in Washington, DC, and made her way up north to attend Harvard College. She graduated magna cum laude in the History of Science in 2018. Her undergraduate thesis examined a grassroots organization of women with disabilities who grappled with topics such as abortion, self love, and motherhood. Prior to starting medical school, she conducted clinical research at Boston Children’s Hospital in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. Her clinical interests include women’s health, sexual health, and adolescent medicine.