• English


Undergraduate Degree

  • Stonehill College , 1995 , Easton , MA

Medical School

  • State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine , 1999 , Buffalo , NY


Internal Medicine
  • Brown University Categorical Internal Medicine , 2002 , Providence , RI


Primary Care Sports Medicine
  • Boston Children's Hospital , 2004 , Boston , MA

Philosophy of Care

My path to becoming a doctor began with a passion for the power of science and innovation.  As I have progressed throughout my career I have come to find that the most important and fulfilling parts of the job are the personal interactions with patients.   As a non-surgical physician, and as a son of two teachers, I am proud to say that my communication skills are my strongest assets.  I know how essential it is to listen and convey a clear explanation and plan of care for every patient I see.


Michael J. O'Brien, MD is a physician in the Sports Medicine Division at Boston Children's Hospital, and an Assistant Professor in Orthopedics at Harvard Medical School. He is the Director of the Sports Concussion Clinic and his clinical interests include concussion management, traumatic brain injury, exercise induced compartment syndrome, and many other sports-related injuries.

Dr. O'Brien is the team physician for the Roxbury Latin School and a staff physician at The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention in Waltham. As a member of the Sports Medicine Division, he is proud to be a longtime part of the medical coverage team for events such as the Boston Marathon finish line and medical tent, the Boston Ballet, Bay State Games, and various synchronized ice skating and track and field championships. Dr. O'Brien lectures at national and international conferences on various sports medicine topics, with particular expertise in the evaluation and management of sports related concussions.


  • American Board of Internal Medicine


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. Association between post-concussion symptoms and oculomotor deficits among adolescents. Brain Inj. 2021 Aug 12; 1-11. View abstract
  2. Medical Therapies for Concussion. Clin Sports Med. 2021 Jan; 40(1):123-131. View abstract
  3. Youth American football quarterback injuries: a descriptive study of 15 years of retrospective data. Phys Sportsmed. 2020 11; 48(4):463-468. View abstract
  4. Platelet-Rich Plasma Is an Equal Alternative to Surgery in the Treatment of Type 1 Medial Epicondylitis. Orthop J Sports Med. 2020 Mar; 8(3):2325967120908952. View abstract
  5. Continuing Play, Symptom Severity, and Symptom Duration After Concussion in Youth Athletes. Clin J Sport Med. 2020 03; 30 Suppl 1:S42-S46. View abstract
  6. Double-Row Repair for Recalcitrant Medial Epicondylitis. Orthop J Sports Med. 2019 Dec; 7(12):2325967119885608. View abstract
  7. Near Point of Convergence and Gait Deficits in Adolescents After Sport-Related Concussion. Clin J Sport Med. 2018 05; 28(3):262-267. View abstract
  8. Continuing Play, Symptom Severity, and Symptom Duration After Concussion in Youth Athletes. Clin J Sport Med. 2018 Jan 15. View abstract
  9. Platelet-Rich Plasma for Primary Treatment of Partial Ulnar Collateral Ligament Tears: MRI Correlation With Results. Orthop J Sports Med. 2017 Nov; 5(11):2325967117738238. View abstract
  10. Sport-Related Concussions: Symptom Recurrence After Return to Exercise. Orthop J Sports Med. 2017 Oct; 5(10):2325967117732516. View abstract
  11. Prospective Multicenter Assessment of Early Complication Rates Associated With Adult Cervical Deformity Surgery in 78 Patients. Neurosurgery. 2016 Sep; 79(3):378-88. View abstract
  12. Comparison of Short-term Complications Between 2 Methods of Coracoclavicular Ligament Reconstruction: A Multicenter Study. Orthop J Sports Med. 2016 Jul; 4(7):2325967116658419. View abstract
  13. The flowering of pathology as a medical discipline in Boston, 1892-c.1950: W.T. Councilman, FB Mallory, JH Wright, SB Wolbach and their descendants. Mod Pathol. 2016 09; 29(9):944-61. View abstract
  14. Initial somatic symptoms are associated with prolonged symptom duration following concussion in adolescents. Acta Paediatr. 2016 Sep; 105(9):e426-32. View abstract
  15. Outcomes of Operative and Nonoperative Treatment for Adult Spinal Deformity: A Prospective, Multicenter, Propensity-Matched Cohort Assessment With Minimum 2-Year Follow-up. Neurosurgery. 2016 Jun; 78(6):851-61. View abstract
  16. Adolescents With Convergence Insufficiency Exhibit Gait Stability Deficits Acutely After Concussion: 2907 June 3 2: 00 PM - 2: 15 PM. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016 May; 48(5 Suppl 1):814-5. View abstract
  17. Evaluation of expansile nanoparticle tumor localization and efficacy in a cancer stem cell-derived model of pancreatic peritoneal carcinomatosis. Nanomedicine (Lond). 2016 May; 11(9):1001-15. View abstract
  18. Physical Maturity and Concussion Symptom Duration among Adolescent Ice Hockey Players. J Pediatr. 2016 Apr; 171:234-9.e1-2. View abstract
  19. Initial symptom burden predicts duration of symptoms after concussion. J Sci Med Sport. 2016 Sep; 19(9):722-5. View abstract
  20. The Subscapularis-Sparing Approach in Humeral Head Replacement. Bull Hosp Jt Dis (2013). 2015 Dec; 73 Suppl 1:S148-53. View abstract
  21. Mandibular Destruction Secondary to Invasion by Carcinoma Cuniculatum. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2015 Dec; 73(12):2343-51. View abstract
  22. A Risk Prediction Index for Advanced Colorectal Neoplasia at Screening Colonoscopy. Am J Gastroenterol. 2015 Jul; 110(7):1062-71. View abstract
  23. Colorectal serrated pathway cancers and precursors. Histopathology. 2015 Jan; 66(1):49-65. View abstract
  24. Epidemiology of goblet cell and microvesicular hyperplastic polyps. Am J Gastroenterol. 2014 Dec; 109(12):1922-32. View abstract
  25. Endoscopic histological assessment of colonic polyps by using elastic scattering spectroscopy. Gastrointest Endosc. 2015 Mar; 81(3):539-47. View abstract
  26. Evaluating the risks and benefits of participation in high-school football. Virtual Mentor. 2014 Jul 01; 16(7):526-33. View abstract
  27. Elastic scattering spectroscopy as an optical marker of inflammatory bowel disease activity and subtypes. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2014 Jun; 20(6):1029-36. View abstract
  28. Upper thoracic versus lower thoracic upper instrumented vertebrae endpoints have similar outcomes and complications in adult scoliosis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014 Jun 01; 39(13):E795-9. View abstract
  29. HD chromoendoscopy coupled with DNA mass spectrometry profiling identifies somatic mutations in microdissected human proximal aberrant crypt foci. Mol Cancer Res. 2014 Jun; 12(6):823-9. View abstract
  30. Does recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 use in adult spinal deformity increase complications and are complications associated with location of rhBMP-2 use? A prospective, multicenter study of 279 consecutive patients. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014 Feb 01; 39(3):233-42. View abstract
  31. Surface Replacement Arthroplasty of the Humeral Head in Young, Active Patients: Midterm Results. Orthop J Sports Med. 2014 Jan; 2(1):2325967113519407. View abstract
  32. Effect of cognitive activity level on duration of post-concussion symptoms. Pediatrics. 2014 Feb; 133(2):e299-304. View abstract
  33. Leiomyoma of the gastrointestinal tract with interstitial cells of Cajal: a mimic of gastrointestinal stromal tumor. Am J Surg Pathol. 2014 Jan; 38(1):72-7. View abstract
  34. The prevalence of undiagnosed concussions in athletes. Clin J Sport Med. 2013 Sep; 23(5):339-42. View abstract
  35. Identification of decision criteria for revision surgery among patients with proximal junctional failure after surgical treatment of spinal deformity. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2013 Sep 01; 38(19):E1223-7. View abstract
  36. Prevalence of advanced colorectal neoplasia in white and black patients undergoing screening colonoscopy in a safety-net hospital. Ann Intern Med. 2013 Jul 02; 159(1):13-20. View abstract
  37. The epidemiology of outpatient visits for minor head injury: 2005 to 2009. Neurosurgery. 2013 Jul; 73(1):129-34; discussion 134. View abstract
  38. The effect of recommending cognitive rest on recovery from sport-related concussion. Brain Inj. 2013; 27(7-8):839-42. View abstract
  39. Incidence, mode, and location of acute proximal junctional failures after surgical treatment of adult spinal deformity. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2013 May 20; 38(12):1008-15. View abstract
  40. Is pyloric gland metaplasia in ileal pouch biopsies a marker for Crohn's disease? Dig Dis Sci. 2013 Oct; 58(10):2918-25. View abstract
  41. Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 is increased in colonic epithelial cells from patients with colitis-associated cancer. J Crohns Colitis. 2013 Jun; 7(5):403-11. View abstract
  42. Truncated neurokinin-1 receptor is increased in colonic epithelial cells from patients with colitis-associated cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Oct 18; 108(42):17420-5. View abstract
  43. The clinical significance of serrated polyps. Am J Gastroenterol. 2011 Feb; 106(2):229-40; quiz 241. View abstract
  44. Variation in the detection of serrated polyps in an average risk colorectal cancer screening cohort. Am J Gastroenterol. 2010 Dec; 105(12):2656-64. View abstract
  45. Arthroscopic tennis elbow release. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2010 Mar; 19(2 Suppl):31-6. View abstract
  46. Pragmatic classification of superficial neoplastic colorectal lesions. Gastrointest Endosc. 2009 Dec; 70(6):1182-99. View abstract
  47. Reinterpretation of histology of proximal colon polyps called hyperplastic in 2001. World J Gastroenterol. 2009 Aug 14; 15(30):3767-70. View abstract
  48. Case report: a case of persistent back pain and constipation in a 5-year-old boy. Phys Sportsmed. 2009 Apr; 37(1):133-7. View abstract
  49. Raising gestational choline intake alters gene expression in DMBA-evoked mammary tumors and prolongs survival. FASEB J. 2009 Apr; 23(4):1054-63. View abstract
  50. Nonpolypoid neoplastic lesions of the colorectal mucosa. Gastrointest Endosc. 2008 Oct; 68(4 Suppl):S3-47. View abstract
  51. 5 approaches to leading successful organizational change. Healthc Financ Manage. 2008 Sep; 62(9):138, 140. View abstract
  52. Leading innovation in a risk-averse healthcare environment. Healthc Financ Manage. 2008 Aug; 62(8):112-4. View abstract
  53. Melanin-concentrating hormone as a mediator of intestinal inflammation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jul 29; 105(30):10613-8. View abstract
  54. Corticotropin-releasing hormone deficiency is associated with reduced local inflammation in a mouse model of experimental colitis. Endocrinology. 2008 Jul; 149(7):3403-9. View abstract
  55. Easing tensions between systems and hospitals for better performance. Trustee. 2008 Apr; 61(4):32-3. View abstract
  56. Comparative efficacies of rifaximin and vancomycin for treatment of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea and prevention of disease recurrence in hamsters. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2008 Mar; 52(3):1121-6. View abstract
  57. Hyperplastic and serrated polyps of the colorectum. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2007 Dec; 36(4):947-68, viii. View abstract
  58. Beyond the hierarchy. Seven innovations have enabled this executive team to become more productive. Health Prog. 2007 Nov-Dec; 88(6):60-3. View abstract
  59. A multinational, internet-based assessment of observer variability in the diagnosis of serrated colorectal polyps. Am J Clin Pathol. 2007 Jun; 127(6):938-45. View abstract
  60. Mutations in BRAF and KRAS differentially distinguish serrated versus non-serrated hyperplastic aberrant crypt foci in humans. Cancer Res. 2007 Apr 15; 67(8):3551-4. View abstract
  61. Reorganize for effective communication. Changing expectations to get more accomplished. Healthc Exec. 2007 Mar-Apr; 22(2):54, 56-7. View abstract
  62. MIP-3alpha neutralizing monoclonal antibody protects against TNBS-induced colonic injury and inflammation in mice. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2007 May; 292(5):G1263-71. View abstract
  63. Recommendations for the reporting of surgically resected specimens of colorectal carcinoma. Hum Pathol. 2007 Apr; 38(4):537-545. View abstract
  64. CT findings of rupture, impending rupture, and contained rupture of abdominal aortic aneurysms. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2007 Jan; 188(1):W57-62. View abstract
  65. SIR 2006 Annual Meeting Film Panel Case: Budd-Chiari syndrome in a patient with Cogan syndrome. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2006 Dec; 17(12):1881-3. View abstract
  66. Comparison of microsatellite instability, CpG island methylation phenotype, BRAF and KRAS status in serrated polyps and traditional adenomas indicates separate pathways to distinct colorectal carcinoma end points. Am J Surg Pathol. 2006 Dec; 30(12):1491-501. View abstract
  67. Recommendations for the reporting of surgically resected specimens of colorectal carcinoma. Virchows Arch. 2007 Jan; 450(1):1-13. View abstract
  68. Interleukin-6 genetic ablation protects from trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid-induced colitis in mice. Putative effect of antiinflammatory cytokines. Neuroimmunomodulation. 2006; 13(2):114-21. View abstract
  69. Bradyarrhythmias during use of the AngioJet system. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2006 Oct; 17(10):1693-5. View abstract
  70. Using bicellar mixtures to form supported and suspended lipid bilayers on silicon chips. Langmuir. 2006 Sep 12; 22(19):8163-8. View abstract
  71. Corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 2-deficient mice have reduced intestinal inflammatory responses. J Immunol. 2006 Sep 01; 177(5):3355-61. View abstract
  72. A new transcription factor that regulates TNF-alpha gene expression, LITAF, is increased in intestinal tissues from patients with CD and UC. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2006 Jul; 12(7):581-7. View abstract
  73. Saccharomyces boulardii inhibits ERK1/2 mitogen-activated protein kinase activation both in vitro and in vivo and protects against Clostridium difficile toxin A-induced enteritis. J Biol Chem. 2006 Aug 25; 281(34):24449-54. View abstract
  74. Guidelines for colonoscopy surveillance after cancer resection: a consensus update by the American Cancer Society and the US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer. Gastroenterology. 2006 May; 130(6):1865-71. View abstract
  75. Guidelines for colonoscopy surveillance after polypectomy: a consensus update by the US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer and the American Cancer Society. Gastroenterology. 2006 May; 130(6):1872-85. View abstract
  76. Guidelines for colonoscopy surveillance after cancer resection: a consensus update by the American Cancer Society and US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer. CA Cancer J Clin. 2006 May-Jun; 56(3):160-7; quiz 185-6. View abstract
  77. Guidelines for colonoscopy surveillance after polypectomy: a consensus update by the US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer and the American Cancer Society. CA Cancer J Clin. 2006 May-Jun; 56(3):143-59; quiz 184-5. View abstract
  78. Misplaced devices in the chest, abdomen, and pelvis: Part II. Semin Ultrasound CT MR. 2006 Apr; 27(2):98-110. View abstract
  79. Misplaced devices in the chest, abdomen, and pelvis: Part I. Semin Ultrasound CT MR. 2006 Apr; 27(2):78-97. View abstract
  80. Induction of colitis causes inflammatory responses in fat depots: evidence for substance P pathways in human mesenteric preadipocytes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Mar 28; 103(13):5207-12. View abstract
  81. Prognostic significance of superficial fissuring ulceration in patients with severe "indeterminate" colitis. Am J Surg Pathol. 2006 Feb; 30(2):165-70. View abstract
  82. HIV infection does not affect the performance of noninvasive markers of fibrosis for the diagnosis of hepatitis C virus-related liver disease. . 2005 Dec 15; 40(5):538-44. View abstract
  83. NF-kappaB activation precedes increases in mRNA encoding neurokinin-1 receptor, proinflammatory cytokines, and adhesion molecules in dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis in rats. Dig Dis Sci. 2005 Dec; 50(12):2366-78. View abstract
  84. Electrokinetic molecular separation in nanoscale fluidic channels. Lab Chip. 2005 Nov; 5(11):1271-6. View abstract
  85. Pathophysiological role of Toll-like receptor 5 engagement by bacterial flagellin in colonic inflammation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Sep 20; 102(38):13610-5. View abstract
  86. Gallery of medical devices: part 2: devices of the head, neck, spine, chest, and abdomen. Radiographics. 2005 Jul-Aug; 25(4):1119-32. View abstract
  87. BRAF and KRAS Mutations in hyperplastic polyps and serrated adenomas of the colorectum: relationship to histology and CpG island methylation status. Am J Surg Pathol. 2004 Nov; 28(11):1452-9. View abstract
  88. Hyperplastic polyps, serrated adenomas, and the serrated polyp neoplasia pathway. Am J Gastroenterol. 2004 Nov; 99(11):2242-55. View abstract
  89. Flat adenomas in the National Polyp Study: is there increased risk for high-grade dysplasia initially or during surveillance? Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2004 Oct; 2(10):905-11. View abstract
  90. Rifalazil treats and prevents relapse of clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea in hamsters. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2004 Oct; 48(10):3975-9. View abstract
  91. Spondylolisthesis, pelvic incidence, and spinopelvic balance: a correlation study. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2004 Sep 15; 29(18):2049-54. View abstract
  92. Beyond "best intentions". Health Prog. 2004 Sep-Oct; 85(5):47-50, 60. View abstract
  93. Histologic predictors of pouchitis in patients with chronic ulcerative colitis. Am J Surg Pathol. 2004 Aug; 28(8):999-1006. View abstract
  94. Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) requirement in Clostridium difficile toxin A-mediated intestinal inflammation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Jun 01; 101(22):8503-8. View abstract
  95. Dual closed-loop, optoelectronic, auto-oscillatory detection circuit for monitoring fluorescence lifetime-based chemical sensors and biosensors. J Biomed Opt. 2004 May-Jun; 9(3):609-17. View abstract
  96. Hyperplastic (serrated) polyps of the colorectum: relationship of CpG island methylator phenotype and K-ras mutation to location and histologic subtype. Am J Surg Pathol. 2004 Apr; 28(4):423-34. View abstract
  97. Nomothetic science and idiographic history in twentieth-century Americanist anthropology. J Hist Behav Sci. 2004; 40(1):77-96. View abstract
  98. Clostridium difficile toxin B is an inflammatory enterotoxin in human intestine. Gastroenterology. 2003 Aug; 125(2):413-20. View abstract
  99. A neurokinin 1 receptor antagonist reduces an ongoing ileal pouch inflammation and the response to a subsequent inflammatory stimulus. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2003 Dec; 285(6):G1259-67. View abstract
  100. Colonic metaplasia in the ileal pouch is associated with inflammation and is not the result of long-term adaptation. J Gastrointest Surg. 2003 Feb; 7(2):246-53; discussion 253-4. View abstract
  101. Two issues in archaeological phylogenetics: taxon construction and outgroup selection. J Theor Biol. 2002 Mar 21; 215(2):133-50. View abstract
  102. On finding flat adenomas: is the search worth the gain? Gastroenterology. 2002 Mar; 122(3):839-40. View abstract
  103. A surface plasmon resonance array biosensor based on spectroscopic imaging. Biosens Bioelectron. 2001 Jan; 16(1-2):97-108. View abstract
  104. Computer-controlled laser ablation: a convenient and versatile tool for micropatterning biofunctional synthetic surfaces for applications in biosensing and tissue engineering. Biotechnol Prog. 1998 May-Jun; 14(3):371-7. View abstract