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8095 Innovation Park Drive, Fairfax, VA 22031


Christopher M O'Connor, MD

A member of Inova Medical Group
The doctors of Inova Medical Group are Inova’s premier primary care and specialty physicians, offering top-notch medical expertise, full access to Inova facilities, and the convenience of integrated electronic medical records.
Christopher O'Connor, MD


Board-certified specialties granted by an ABMS Member Board. Learn more about board certification.
Cardiovascular Disease, Internal Medicine

Years of Experience





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About Christopher O'Connor, MD

Dr. Christopher O'Connor is the President of Inova Schar Heart and Vascular. While Dr. O'Connor is actively involved in complex cases at the request of attending physicians, it is not possible for individuals to schedule outpatient office appointments with him.

Dr. O'Connor joined Inova as the chief executive of Inova Schar Heart and Vascular in April 2015. In this role, Dr. O'Connor directs Inova's system-wide cardiovascular strategy, expanding the clinical, research and education programs, and recruiting notable cardiac and vascular professionals to further Inova's stature as a national and international cardiovascular leader.

During his tenure at Inova, he has applied the scientific rigor of a clinical investigator to promote a culture of excellence in research and bring about outstanding clinical outcomes.

In addition to his work at Inova, Dr. O'Connor is Professor of Medicine, Duke University and Editor in Chief Emeritus of JACC: Heart Failure. He serves on the editorial boards for various top-tier medical and cardiovascular journals and has authored more than 900 publications, 3 textbooks and 15 textbook chapters. He has consistently been an invited speaker and moderator at the annual scientific meetings of national and international societies, has served in leadership roles in major professional societies, is a Past President of the Heart Failure Society of America and is the 2021 recipient of the American College of Cardiology’s Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award.

Dr. O'Connor returned to the Washington, DC, area after 31 years at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. While at Duke, his research earned him worldwide recognition as an authority on heart failure. Prior to joining Inova, he served at Duke as the Richard Stack Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Chief of the Divisions of Cardiology and Clinical Pharmacology and Director of the Duke Heart Center.

He is highly regarded internationally for leadership in clinical trials addressing therapeutics for the treatment of acute and chronic heart failure and his work has uncovered links in how mood disorders and stress affect heart disease, and also has led to insights into pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies to treat heart failure.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Maryland College Park and his medical degree from the University of Maryland Medical School in Baltimore. He went on to Duke to complete his internship, residency, chief residency and cardiology fellowship.


American College of Cardiology

  • Co-Chair, ACC Scientific Sessions (2006)

European Society of Cardiology

  • Fellow (2010-present)

Food and Drug Administration Cardiovascular and Renal Advisory Committee Member (2020-present)

Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology

  • Fellow (2019-present)

Heart Failure Collaboratory

  • Principal Investigator (2017-present)

Heart Failure Society of America

  • Chair, Research Committee (2019-present)
  • Chair, Research Network (2017-present)
  • Fellow (2016-present)
  • Chair, Nominations Committee (2019) 
  • Immediate Past President and Executive Committee, (2018-2019)
  • President (2017-2018)
  • Chair, Finance Committee (2013-2016) 


  • American College of Cardiology, Distinguished Scientist Award (May 2021)
  • Master of the American College of Cardiology (March 2018)
  • University of Maryland Honor Award and Gold Key Recipient (March 2018)
  • Duke Cardiology & Heart Surgery, ranked #4 in U.S. News & World Report (2013 - 2014)
  • Duke Cardiology & Heart Surgery, ranked #7 in U.S. News & World Report (2011 - 2012)
  • Joseph C. Greenfield, Jr., M.D. Research Mentor Faculty Award (June 2006)


Standardized Team-Based Care for Cardiogenic Shock, Journal of American College of Cardiology (Vol. 73, No. 13, 2019)


Medical Education

University of Maryland School of Medicine 1983


Duke University Hospital
Training Specialty: Internal Medicine
7/1/1983 - 6/30/1984


Duke University Hospital
Training Specialty: Internal Medicine
7/1/1984 - 6/30/1986


Duke University Hospital
Training Specialty: Cardiovascular Disease
7/1/1986 - 6/30/1989

Board Certification

Cardiovascular Disease, Internal Medicine

Hospital Affiliation

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