Gwendolyn O’Keefe, MD, FACP
Currently not accepting new patients
“I truly enjoy the immense breadth that is internal medicine.”
While all areas of internal medicine fascinate Dr. O’Keefe, she particularly enjoys geriatrics and complex diagnostic dilemmas that require thinking across multiple systems. Areas of particular interest for her include pulmonary diseases such as COPD and asthma, autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and preventative medicine and appropriate screening.
To increase available appointments and improve access to care, Dr. O’Keefe shares her internal medicine practice with Janel Lawrence, MD. What is a Physician Job Share?
Language(s) - English
Science and health were always of interest to Dr. O’Keefe, even as a young woman. Raised on the East Coast, she attended college in Florida, where she thought she would become a neuroscientist. However, after working for several years in a lab, she realized that she would enjoy working with people more than doing bench research. She decided to pursue medicine and attended medical school in New York City at the State University of New York in Brooklyn. Life eventually led her and her husband of 30 years to the West Coast with their daughter.
Internal medicine attracted Dr. O’Keefe for the intellectual challenges it offered with its complex diagnoses and the breadth of knowledge required. She appreciates that it provides her with the opportunity to get to know her patients on a deeper level over time.
One of Dr. O’Keefe’s most memorable and gratifying patient outcomes involved a woman who had severe complications from back surgery as well as a brain tumor that led to a very complicated medical regimen with over 25 medications; this included very high doses of steroids over several years after seeing many doctors. Dr. O’Keefe worked with her to untangle her symptoms and medications over several months. In the end, Dr. O’Keefe was able to simplify and correct the patient’s regimen, leading to her feeling immensely improved with decreased side effects. It also helped the patient avoid potentially life-threatening medication overtreatment with steroids. At the patient’s final visit, she said that Dr. O’Keefe “had given her back her life for the first time in over five years.”
Dr. O’Keefe works to understand her patients holistically, which enables her to hear how their health conditions affect them and what they hope to achieve with treatment and through self-management of their conditions. This helps her be thorough, make the correct diagnosis, and not miss essential clues in situations where the patient may be dealing with a new problem. When asked about her approach to patient care, Dr. O’Keefe responded, “I believe in avoiding medical jargon as much as possible and explaining diseases, medications, and testing in ways that are easily understood.”
Outside of her role at The Corvallis Clinic, Dr. O’Keefe can be found pursuing wildlife and landscape photography, cycling or hiking, cooking with her husband, trying new recipes, or enjoying a good book.
Chief Medical Resident, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, NY, NY, 1998-1999; Internal Medicine Resident Physician, Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, NY, NY, 1995-1998
MD, State University of New York, Brooklyn, NY, 1995; BS, Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL,1990
Internist, The Corvallis Clinic, 2021-Current; Locum Tenens Physician, Olympic Medical Center; 2020; Staff Physician, King County Public Health, 2020; Staff Locum Tenens Physician, Kaiser Washington, 2018-2019; Voluntary Clinical Faculty, UW Physicians and Harborview Hospital, 2017-2019; Principal, GO Healthcare Strategy, LLC, Seattle, WA, 2015-2019; Chief Medical Officer, Qliance Medical Group, Seattle, WA, 2015; Group Health Cooperative, Seattle, WA, 2008-2015; Medical Director and Assistant Professor, General Internal Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, 2005-2008; Medical Director, Medco Health Solutions, Franklin Lakes, NJ, 2002-2005; Medical Director, Active Health Management, New York, NY, 2000-2002; Attending Physician, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Medical Center, New York, NY, 1999-2000
American Board of Internal Medicine
O’Keefe, G., Leff, E., Mora, M., Scearce, T., Hereford, J. (2012) The virtual consult. In Berkowitz, L. & C. McCarthy (Eds.), Innovations with Information Technologies in Healthcare (Chapter 10). New York: Springer.
O’Keefe, G. (2009). Anemia. In Torre, D., et al. (Eds.), Kochar’s Clinical Medicine for Students, Fifth Edition (pp. 25-30). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
O’Keefe, G. and Torre D. (2009). Thrombocytopenia. In Torre, D., et al. (Eds.), Kochar’s Clinical Medicine for Students, Fifth Edition (pp. 137-140). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Feifer RA., Verbrugge, RR., Khalid, M., Levin, R., O’Keefe, G., Aubert, RE. (2004). Improvements in asthma pharmacotherapy and self-management by a population-based disease management program. Disease Management and Health Outcomes, 12 (2), 93-102.
Iwata, K., O’Keefe, G., and Karanas, A. (2001) Neurologic Problems Associated with Chronic Nitrous Oxide Abuse in a Non-Healthcare Worker. The American Journal of the Medical Sciences, The American Journal of the Medical Sciences, 322 (3) 173-174.
O’Keefe, G., Schumm, J., and Smith, J. (1994). Loss of sensitivity to low concentrations of NaCl following bilateral chorda tympani nerve sections in rats. Chemical Senses, 19(2) 169-184.
Smith, J., Davis, J., and O’Keefe, G. (1992). Lack of an order effect in brief contact taste tests with closely spaced test trials. Physiology and Behavior, 52(6) 1107-1111.
Stephan, F. and Becker, G. (1989). Entrainment of anticipatory activity to various durations of food access. Physiology and Behavior, 46(4) 731-741.