David T. Tayloe Jr., MD

The AMA “Members Move Medicine” series profiles a wide variety of doctors, offering a glimpse into the passions of women and men navigating new courses in American medicine.

On the move with: David T. Tayloe Jr., MD, a pediatrician at Goldsboro Pediatrics in North Carolina. Dr. Tayloe is also a member of the North Carolina Medical Society and the North Carolina Pediatric Society.

AMA member since: 1979.

What inspired me to pursue a career in medicine: I considered teaching, coaching, the ordained ministry of the Episcopal Church, and medicine. My dad, a pediatrician, and my “wife to be,” convinced me to get a medical degree first, and then decide what I really wanted to be. I am the fifth David T. Tayloe, MD, from Washington, North Carolina!

How I move medicine: I am a community activist who has organized coalitions to improve child outcomes. Some of my projects include efforts to reduce adolescent pregnancy, child neglect and abuse, improve the health and mental health of low-income public school students, and improve early literacy and school readiness for at-risk preschool children.

I have also been a state-government reformer, leading efforts to protect physicians from frivolous lawsuits involving childhood vaccines, improve children’s access to vaccines, improve physician payment for giving vaccines, improve physician payment by Medicaid, create a model Medicaid medical home program, protect the medical home Medicaid program from takeover by a large academic medical center, and establish a model CHIP program.

Career highlights:

  • Chair, Legislative Committee, North Carolina Pediatric Society, 1985–2001.
  • Vice-President and President, North Carolina Pediatric Society, 1989–1995.
  • Member, initial Committee on State Government Affairs for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), 1989–1996.
  • Served on AAP Forum Committee, 1997–1999.
  • Served on the AAP Board of Directors, representing North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia, 2001–2007.
  • Elected to the AAP Executive Committee, meaning I served as President-elect, President and Immediate Past-President during the 2007-2010 time frame.

Advice I’d give to those interested in pursuing a career in medicine: There are so many options open to those who have an MD. Therefore, going the MD route will most likely result in professional satisfaction and reasonable personal income.

How I give back to the community: I am on the front lines of primary care in a low-income rural community. I am constantly working with various community organizations to assist at-risk children and their families in order to improve the outcomes of the children.

I have worked in this community for almost 42 years, so I can open doors for families that other providers do not know exist. I serve on numerous boards of private nonprofit health and human service organizations in the community, and I show up for community functions when no other physicians are present.

Aspect of my work that means the most: Working closely with like-minded health professionals and child advocates to achieve common goals.

My hope for the future of medicine: That one day, all patients will be enrolled in a primary care medical home in which they can talk with a physician, 24/7, who can see the medical record of the patient. This is the gold standard for primary care practice, and very few physicians live up to that standard at the current time. At Goldsboro Pediatrics, we meet that standard and I will strive to be sure we never step away from that standard!

Visit MembershipMovesMedicine.com to learn more about other AMA members who are relentlessly moving medicine through advocacy, education, patient care and practice innovation, and join or renew today.

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