Taylor Couch is currently in her first year of Pediatric Residency at the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Taylor grew up in Miami, Oklahoma and graduated from Miami High School. She then attended Oklahoma State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in biological studies. After graduation, she completed her medical education at the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine in Tulsa.
Growing up, Taylor did not know she wanted to be a doctor. She just knew that she wanted to help people in some way. Observing her mother return to Physician’s Assistant school when Taylor was 5 years old, she began to become interested in the sciences. Following her mother’s completion of school, Taylor began to admire the impact her mother was able to make in people’s lives, especially the children, as a physician assistant in a small town. Originally, she was planning on going into dermatology; however, once in medical school, she discovered her passion for pediatrics.
During her first year of medical school, Taylor was intrigued by the theory of adverse childhood experiences and how teaching resilience and changing behaviors could impact the patients at a young age to prevent disease as an adult. She was able to be a part of a large project studying ACE scoring in adults and the adverse outcomes. This passion for recognizing adverse childhood events and teaching families resilience has grown as she has begun to build a panel of her own continuity patients.
During her second year of medical school, Taylor’s close friend gave birth to micro-premie twins, Brayden and Brody, who became Taylor’s most influential teachers during medical school. She was fascinated by the complexity and simplicity of watching development occur outside the womb. Observing the holistic approach to family-centered care at the OU Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City taught her the importance of treating the whole family, not just the child as she became aware of the PTSD symptoms parents face and the constant ups and downs throughout the twins’ lives. As the boys have grown up and graduated from the NICU, she observed the importance of a good general pediatrician and the importance of differentiating between normal childhood ailments and complications of being born 17 weeks early. She could not have asked for better inspiration and teachers.
Taylor is still unsure of what she will choose to do following residency as far as fellowship versus general pediatrics, but she tries to keep an open mind to all the possibilities. She has gained so many mentors throughout the OU Pediatrics network as well as in her hometown, especially Keith Mather. She is very thankful for the extensive support she has received from her loving, patient husband, Nolan, and their families throughout this adventure.