02/03/08 — Hospitalist program started at WMH

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Hospitalist program started at WMH

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on February 3, 2008 2:09 AM

Goldsboro Pediatrics has added a hospitalist program to provide care for patients while in the hospital.

Dr. Dave Tayloe, founder of the pediatric group that also has satellite offices in Mount Olive, LaGrange and Princeton, said the move was prompted by how "time-consuming" it is for physicians to cover the office as well as hospital visits.

A hospitalist is a physician specializing in caring for patients while in the hospital, offering round-the-clock care and working closely with the primary care physicians as well as hospital staff to coordinate services.

Hired for the pilot program was Dr. Katherine MacDonald of Raleigh, who happens to be Dr. Tayloe's daughter.

"She was working in private practice in Raleigh four days a week while her husband is working on his Ph.D.," Tayloe said. As the mother of two small children, ages 3 and 8 months, the opportunity seemed ideal.

"She will work two days a week and then a 48-hour weekend a month," he said, explaining that while it entails an intense rotation schedule with families, it also lets her be home with her own the remaining five days a week.

Dr. MacDonald had already completed her residency in California and an extra year as chief resident, which included experience in hospitalist work, before working for a year and a half in private practice in Raleigh. Once her second child was born, she decided she wanted to spend a little more time with her own children while launching her career.

The hospitalist opportunity held a certain appeal.

"I think the grueling work of pediatrics -- working 12- to 15-hour days. I think they were looking for someone extra to put in the call pool as well. Hopefully I can be a little bit of relief for them," she said.

In her role at Wayne Memorial Hospital, she handles delivering babies, admitting children to the hospital and providing consultations in the emergency department. She said she particularly enjoys the hands-on aspect of the job, "seeing the babies, working with the new moms."

Growing up in a physician's household provided her with an appreciation of the care of children, said Dr. MacDonald, who called Tayloe "a great role model" and credits Goldsboro Pediatrics with working hard "to provide a medical home for families."

"I think you realize more than ever you have pretty big shoes to fill when you come back to the place where you grew up," she said. "It's really nice coming back to somewhere that does a really good job taking care of children. The practice has such a good reputation."

She said she enjoys the patient population and, being able to speak Spanish, communicating with that clientele as well.

Mostly, though, she said thankful to practice medicine while raising her own children.

"It's been great. I finally get to take my son to preschool some mornings, and we get to play in the park, take walks in the wagon," she said.

Husband Ian, who works in community mental health while completing his doctoral degree, is primary caregiver on the days his wife is assigned to the hospital. While their children are young, though, she said, "It definitely seems to work."

Her role with Goldsboro Pediatrics is still being defined, she said, but already seems to be helping with the flow of patients and minimizing the frequency of pediatricians traveling back and forth from the office to the hospital.

"I think we can run a more efficient practice," Tayloe said. "And Katherine can come to the office when it's quiet at the hospital to help out with the overflow."

Tayloe will also scale back his schedule later this year, dropping out of the practice in October to assume duties as president of American Academy of Pediatrics for one year. His pediatric practice is also in the process of recruiting at least one more physician to handle growing population needs, he said, hopefully in time for this summer.