Dr. Susan C. Taylor is a Harvard trained physician with more than 20 years of medical experience. An internist as well as a dermatologist, Dr. Taylor has a holistic approach to dermatology, realizing that the condition of our skin, hair and nails often communicates volumes about our overall health and well being. Dr. Taylor’s practice, Society Hill Dermatology, is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has been caring for patients of all skin types for over 15 years. Dr. Taylor is an international expert on the unique challenges of treating brown skin and is the author of Brown Skin: Dr. Taylor’s Prescription for Flawless Skin, Hair and Nails and other writings on this subject.
In addition to running her private practice, Dr. Taylor serves as Director of the Skin of Color Center at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York. The Center is a collaborative effort with Vincent A. DeLeo, M.D., Dr. Taylor’s dermatology professor and mentor. Dr. DeLeo proposed the idea of establishing the Center after noticing that many of his patients of color in Manhattan needed physicians who were knowledgeable about their particular health issues. Like Dr. Taylor, he found that patients of color, whether African American, Hispanic, Indian, or Pakistani, want to see a dermatologist who is knowledgeable about not only their particular medical needs, but their various customs and habits.
After much discussion and planning, Dr. Taylor and Dr. DeLeo launched the Skin of Color Center in 1998. The Center has a tripartite focus: research, diagnosis and treatment, and cosmetics. Additionally, the Skin of Color Center has conducted clinical trials on a myriad of diseases involving people of color.
To further such study, Dr. Susan Taylor was instrumental in creating the Skin of Color Society. She is the Society’s President and works with 14 prominent dermatologists from around the country who serve on its board. The Society’s mission is to:
- Promote, support and develop information about all aspects of skin of color, including African-American, Asian, and Latino.
- Provide a forum for the exchange of information pertaining to skin of color.
- Educate physicians, residents and attending physicians, as well as the media and government about the unique properties of skin of color
- Advance scientific study, promote research, and increase the body of knowledge of dermatologic literature concerning skin of color.
Dr. Susan Taylor received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and currently serves on its Board of Trustees. She also serves on the boards of the Baldwin School and the United Way of Pennsylvania.
The launching of BrownSkin.net is the fulfillment of a long-time dream for Dr. Susan Taylor. Her goal is to empower people of color, particularly women, to take control of their health by making wise, informed choices about prevention and treatment.
From an early age, Dr. Taylor wanted to help people. She began down this path as a young child guided by her mother, who raised her and her younger sister alone, instilling in them a strong work ethic and the importance of an education - necessities for achieving one's full potential. "I was the kid who wanted to grow up to be a doctor and take care of people and make them better. I was lucky that everyone along the way supported that goal." She especially credits the small private high school she attended in Philadelphia.
"I think the most profound influence that Friends Select School had on me relates to Quaker philosophy - that there is that part of God in each of us, and each individual is valued for who he or she is. By practicing that philosophy, the school took each child quite seriously and tried to identify the best way to make each individual person the best they can be. They also taught us how to look for the good in everyone, and to be kind and helpful to everyone. I think this reinforced my desire to go into medicine - to be of service to people."
After graduating from high school in 1975, Dr. Taylor entered the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate beginning pre-med courses. From the day she entered college, she knew she wanted to go to medical school, but even after entering Harvard Medical School, she always planned to be an internist. “I thought I would be best taking care of diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases, so that I could serve an underserved community."
Not until her fourth year rotation in medical school that featured dermatology, did Dr. Taylor realize her new goal. "It was a completely eye-opening experience - it was a specialty that really incorporated internal medicine in terms of the collagen vascular diseases and rheumatologic diseases, but beyond that there was a surgical component to it and an aesthetic component. I could also see patients of all ages."
"What became apparent to me very early on is that there was so much that was lacking in the dermatologic literature, hence dermatologic research and clinical expertise, in regards to people with skin of color. That is when I started to think about issues involving people with skin of color. Although I do see patients of all ethnic groups at my private practice, my passion is skin of color. We need better therapies for conditions such as keloids, vitiligo, hyperpigmentation, and specifically hair loss. We need to be able to understand technology better so that we can better deploy it to safely treat patients with skin of color.”
“It is my hope that BrownSkin.net will be an online community where people with brown skin, and those who are concerned about conditions that affect brown skin, will receive the knowledge needed to better care for the skin, hair and nails.
In addition, I am hopeful that users will be able to share information with the medical community that will inform our work and lead to even better medical advancements and treatments. I look forward to a wonderful journey together.”
Married for 21 years, Dr. Susan Taylor has two daughters and resides in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.
SUSAN CHARLENE TAYLOR, M.D.
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Citizenship: United States
1975-1979 B.A. University of Pennsylvania, Biology, Magna Cum Laude
1979-1983 M.D. Harvard Medical School
1983-1984 Intern in Medicine
Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
1984-1986 Resident in Medicine
Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
1986-1989 Resident in Dermatology
Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY
1986 American Board of Internal Medicine, Diplomat
1989 American Board of Dermatology, Diplomat