I’m a practicing gynecologist, the Vice-Chair of Academics and the director of the Fellowship in Family Planning at Boston Medical Center, and an associate professor of OB/GYN at the Boston University School of Medicine.
Officially, my job is to oversee the education of fellows, residents and students in OB/GYN, to run the BEACON family planning research unit, to write grant proposals, and to provide excellent clinical care.
But really? I teach women how to better understand their bodies. I help women be unafraid of seeing the doctor, and to arm them with questions to ask. I empower women with the information they need to make the best choices for themselves and their lives. I speak English, not Doctor.
Katharine O’Connell White, M.D., M.P.H. is an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Vice-Chair of Academics in the OB/GYN department at Boston Medical Center. She received her undergraduate degree from Duke University, her medical degree from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and her master’s in public health from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at University of Massachusetts Medical School—Baystate Medical Center and her fellowship in family planning at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and of the Society of Family Planning, and a member of the American Public Health Association.
A board-certified OB/GYN, Dr. Kate has been taking care of women for more than 20 years, helping them navigate periods, childbirth, and every other stage leading up to menopause. She also conducts research in contraception, has been continuously grant-funded for 15 years, and has over 30 peer-reviewed publications. She teaches fellows, residents, and medical students, and has received numerous teaching awards for commitment to medical education. She is a sought-after speaker, and frequently lectures regionally and nationally on topics related to women’s reproductive health.
When I was a teenager, I got all of my information about sex and health from Glamour and Cosmo and Seventeen. I know that many girls and women also get their questions answered this way. So I love any opportunity to talk about sex, health, and birth control with the media. If we’re all gonna turn to Google to get health information, I want it to be the right information!
The Everygirl. Everything You’ve Ever Secretly Wondered About Discharge
SustainNatural. So, How Often Should You *Really* Be Tested for STIs?
StayTeen.org. Ask the Gyno: Side Effects
Refinery29. How to Talk To Your Doctor About Sex Injuries
Refinery29. What You Need To Know About This ‘Stealthy’ STI
Refinery29. How bad is it to leave a tampon in too long?
Refinery29. Can birth control pills expire?
Tone it Up. Love Your Body with Doc Appointments
Glamour. Why am I bleeding?
Chicago Tribune. There’s something I have to tell you
Glamour. What to do when sex hurts
As part of my work, I conduct research studies in family planning— I help develop new birth control methods, explore how better to use the methods we have, and discover how doctors can provide better care for all women.
Original, Peer-Reviewed Articles (selection)
Brandi K, Morgan JR, Paasche-Orlow MK, Perkins RB, White KO. Obstetrical outcomes after failed hysteroscopic and laparoscopic sterilization procedures. Obstet Gynecol 2018;131(2):253-261. PMID: 29324606
Lavelanet AF, Rybin D, White KO. The pharmacokinetics of 12-week continuous contraceptive patch use. Contraception 2017;95(6):578-585. PMID: 28285154
Goff SL, Mazor KM, Guhn-Knight H, Budway YY, Murphy L, White KO, Lagu T, Pekow PS, Priya A, Lindenauer PK. Factors that matter to low-income and racial/ethnic minority mothers when choosing a pediatric practice: a mixed methods analysis. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities 2017;4(6):1051-1060. PMID: 28275998
Goff SL, Mazor KM, Pekow PS, White KO, Priya A, Lagu T, Guhn-Knight H, Murphy L, Budway YY, Lindenauer PK. Patient navigators and parent use of quality data: a randomized trial. Pediatrics. 2016;138(4):e20161140. PMID: 27600316, PMCID: PMC5051210
Goff SL, Pekow PS, White KO, Lagu T, Mazor KM, Lindenauer PK. Successful strategies for practice-based recruitment of racial and ethnic minority pregnant women in a randomized controlled trial: the IDEAS for a healthy baby study. J Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities 2016;3(4):731-737. PMID: 27068662, PMCID: PMC5064805
Beasley A, White KO, Cremers S, Westhoff CL. Randomized clinical trial of self versus clinical administration of subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate. Contraception 2014;89(5):352-6. PMID: 24656555, PMCID: PMC4086940
Goff SL, Pekow PS, White KO, Lagu T, Mazor KM, Lindenauer PK. IDEAS for a healthy baby – reducing disparities in use of publicly reported quality data: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials 2013;14(1):244. PMID: 23919671, PMCID: PMC3751013
Hall K, Reame N, White KO, Rickert V, Westhoff C. An exploratory analysis of associations between eating disordered symptoms, perceived weight changes and oral contraceptive discontinuation among young minority women. J Adolesc Health 2013;52(1):58-63. PMID: 23260835, PMCID: PMC3530081
Hall K, Reame N, White KO, Rickert V, Westhoff C. Influence of depressed mood and psychological stress symptoms on perceived oral contraceptive side effects and discontinuation in young minority women. Contraception 2012;86(5):518-25. PMID: 22673038, PMCID: PMC3440521
White KO, Westhoff C. The effect of pack supply on oral contraceptive pill continuation: a randomized controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol 2011;118(3):615-622. PMID: 21860291
Hall KS, White KO, Reame N, Westhoff C. Studying the use of oral contraception: a review of measurement approaches. J Women’s Health 2010;19(12):2203-2210. PMID: 21034277, PMCID: PMC2990281
O’Connell K, Westhoff CL. Pharmacology of hormonal contraceptives and acne. Cutis 2008;81(supp1):8-12. PMID: 18338652
Thiboutot DM, Harper JC, O’Connell K, Rich P, Sondheimer SJ. Improving outcomes through collaboration. Cutis 2008:81(1 Suppl):26-31. PMID: 18340677
Mansel R, Goyal A, Nestour EL, Masini-Eteve V, O’Connell K. Afimoxifene (4-OHT) Breast Pain Research Group. A phase II trial of Afimoxifene (4-hydroxytamoxifen gel) for cyclical mastalgia in premenopausal women. Breast Cancer Research & Treatment 2007;106(3):389-97. PMID: 17351746
O’Connell K, Davis AR, Kerns J. Oral contraceptives: side effects and depression among adolescent girls. Contraception 2007;75(4):299-04. PMID: 17362710
O’Connell K, Davis AR, Westhoff CL. Self-treatment patterns among adolescent girls with dysmenorrhea. J Ped Adolesc Gynecol 2006;19(4):285-289. PMID: 16873033
Davis AR, Osborne LM, O’Connell K, Westhoff CL. Challenges of conducting a placebo-controlled trial for dysmenorrhea in adolescents. J Adol Health 2006;39(4):607-609. PMID: 16982402
O’Connell K, Osborne LM, Westhoff CL. Measured and reported weight change for women using a vaginal contraceptive ring versus a low-dose oral contraceptive. Contraception 2005;72(5):323-327. PMID: 16246655
Davis AR, Westhoff CL, O’Connell K, Gallagher N. Oral contraceptives for dysmenorrhea in adolescent girls: a placebo-controlled randomized trial. Obstet Gynecol 2005;106(1):97-104. PMID: 15994623
Editorials and Invited Critical Reviews:
Castaño P, White KO. Should we do more to improve oral contraceptive continuation? Women’s Health 2013;9(2):145-156. PMID: 23477321
White, KO. Update on contraception. Semin Repro Med 2010;28(2):93-94. PMID: 20352557
O’Connell K, Burkman RT. The transdermal contraceptive patch—an updated review of the literature. Clin Obstet Gynecol 2007;50(4):918-926. PMID: 17982334
Chapters and Books:
White KO, Castaño P. Surgical Management of Ectopic Pregnancy. In Te Linde’s Operative Gynecology, 12th Handa V and Van Le L. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer, 2019.
Burkman RT and White KO. Contraception. In Clinical Gynecology, 2nd Bieber EJ, Sanfilippo JS, Horowitz IR and Shafi MI. Cambridge University Press, 2015.
Gebbe A and O’Connell White K. Fast Facts: Contraception. 3rd edition. Oxford, UK: Health Press. Published February 2009.
Invited Guest Editorship:
White KO (ed): Seminars in Reproductive Medicine: Update on Contraception. 2010:28(2).