David T. Tayloe, Jr., MD

Dr. Tayloe is a dad of four adult children, all of whom have entered the medical field. He is a pediatrician in private practice with Goldsboro Pediatrics in North Carolina. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), has served as the President the national American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as its North Carolina Chapter, and is currently serving an appointment as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the UNC School of Medicine.

What’s your specialty? Pediatrics

How many children do you have, and what are their ages? Four, ages 38, 36, 35, and 32.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while your wife was pregnant and/or as a dad, and how did you overcome it? I was working long hours as a resident in training and then as a solo pediatrician, so I was not around much. To try to do as much as I could, I tried to spend as much time as possible at home whenever I was “off” and set a schedule whereby I did not see patients one weekday per week. I also tried to leave town with my family whenever I was not on weekend call. I found it much easier to spend quality time with my family when I was out of the community in which I practiced.

What’s the most surprising lesson that being a dad has taught you? That your children will adopt your work ethic, rather than run from it! All four of our children are in health care, and we have three girls and one boy. Two of them are general pediatricians, one a pharmacist, and one a mental health nurse practitioner. So, in spite of the fact that I was not at home much during their formative years, my children admired what I was about and chose professions very much like mine. My wife/their mother has never worked outside the home since she delivered our first child. None of our girls chose to become full-time mothers, for better or worse!

Why are fathers important? Child outcomes are better if the children grow up in stable two-parent families. Children must learn to interact with males and females in school, in their careers, etc. My children still look to me for support and advice and do not hesitate to share their worries and family problems with their parents. I think my son comes to me first with his personal issues. I think boys need a responsible adult male role model on whom they can call for advice and support. As long as he was living, my dad was my best friend and confidant; I looked to him for guidance and advice on a regular basis.

Career, marriage, kids … how does a guy stay sane? I was in solo practice for two years and did not have a four-person group until I had been in practice for seven years. I tried to leave the community in which I practiced whenever I could get time off, so that I would not be tempted to work when I was supposed to be off. My dad was a community pediatrician who insisted that I get away from my work whenever I could and offered me respite at his river cottage, about 85 miles northeast of the community in which I practiced. He eventually gave me land beside his house so I could build my own river cottage, assuring that I could get out of town whenever I was not required to work.

I was also very fortunate to select a career that has never become boring or tiresome for me emotionally. I look forward to going to work every day I am on the schedule. My main hobby is child advocacy at the local, state, federal, and international levels. It’s hard to burn out when you really love what you do!

Profile by Wyatt Myers