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Dr. Ronald J. Taylor was a Baltimore psychiatrist who had been medical director and director of psychiatry at Taylor Medical Group P.A.
Dr. Ronald J. Taylor was a Baltimore psychiatrist who had been medical director and director of psychiatry at Taylor Medical Group P.A. (Baltimore Sun)

Dr. Ronald J. Taylor, a Baltimore psychiatrist who had been medical director and director of psychiatry at Taylor Medical Group P.A., died of renal failure May 5 at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson.

He was 70.

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"The best thing I can say is that he was the most compassionate and unassuming man I've ever met," said Dr. Bankole A. Johnson, chairman of the department of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

"He was very dedicated to teaching and the advancement of science, and was an advocate for lifelong and continuing learning," said Dr. Johnson. "He was also very instrumental in getting top scientists to come to the University of Maryland."

The son of Dr. Harold Taylor, a chemist, and Selma Taylor, a homemaker, Ronald Joseph Taylor was born in Atlantic City, N.J., and was raised in Wilmington, Del., and mainly in Hagerstown.

After graduating in 1962 from Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pa., he earned a bachelor's degree in psychology in 1966 from Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pa.

From 1967 to 1968, he took pre-med courses at New York University, and earned a master's degree in psychology at Yeshiva University in New York City in 1968.

He earned a medical degree in 1973 from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he was a junior assistant resident in psychiatry from 1973 to 1974. From 1974 to 1975, he was an assistant resident in psychiatry, and chief resident from 1975 to 1976.

In 1981, Dr. Taylor earned a master's degree in business from what is now Loyola University Maryland. He also studied conducting at the Peabody Conservatory of Music.

While attending medical school, Dr. Taylor helped establish the Baltimore area's first dedicated adolescent psychiatric service, based at the old Taylor Manor Hospital in Ellicott City, now Sheppard Pratt at Ellicott City, that had been owned and operated by his uncle, Dr. Irving J. Taylor.

In 1975, Dr. Taylor opened a private practice and became medical director for Taylor Medical Group in Towson, where he was later joined in practice by his brother, Dr. Richard Taylor, a neurologist.

The brothers brought into their clinical practice one of the first full-body CT scanners in the Baltimore area.

"They owned one of the first CT scanners in the metro area, even before several of the hospitals, providing a significant service to the community back then, including doing emergency scans on patients from non-CT hospitals as far away as Carroll County," said Dr. Harry C. Knipp, a retired senior principal physician with Advanced Radiology in Reisterstown.

In addition to Taylor Manor Hospital, Dr. Taylor held medical staff privileges at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, Lutheran Hospital and Maryland General Hospital.

Dr. Taylor, who maintained a private practice from 1976 to 1997, also served as medical director for Marshall Medical Services in Towson and American PsychManagement Inc. from 1984 to 1988.

In 1988, he was named chief of Sheppard Pratt-Medlantic Alliance, a joint venture between the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Health System and the Medlantic Healthcare Group.

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"I see this as an extremely exciting opportunity," Dr. Taylor told The Baltimore Sun at the time. "We believe we should be able to do spectacular things in terms of becoming the premiere provider of mental health services in the area."

He was psychiatrist to the counseling service at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County from 1994 to 1997 and held a similar position at the Johns Hopkins University from 1996 to 1997. From 1993 to 1997, he served as psychiatrist to the Circuit Court of Baltimore County.

In 1982, Dr. Taylor was recognized for his medical, financial and administrative abilities, and became one of the first physicians in the nation to be given membership in the American College of Physician Executives.

Even though the Pikesville resident retired in 2000, he remained busy.

Throughout his life, Dr. Taylor remained very close to the University of Maryland School of Medicine and in 1979 joined the board of the its Medical Alumni Association, helping to formulate an operating budget and planning for the restoration of the medical school's historic Davidge Hall.

In 1985, he became the association's 111th president, and in 1999, he and his brother endowed the Taylor Lectureship in Neurology and Psychiatry. In 2006, they joined with Dr. Irving Taylor and several other family members in providing the necessary funding to restore the freshmen lecture hall on the first floor of the Bressler Research Laboratory.

Two years ago, the brothers continued their philanthropy when they endowed the presidency of the Medical Alumni Association. In recognition, the board announced that it would carry the title "Drs. Ronald and Richard Taylor MAA President."

"Ronald was very involved with the Medical Alumni Association and he brought his passion for financial management and helped us set a budget," said Larry Pitrof, executive director of the association.

"And as a person, he was a kind and gentle man, and good as they come. He really was a prince of a guy," said Mr. Pitrof.

Dr. Taylor enjoyed playing his uncle's pipe organ and also played the piano and trumpet. He was also a longtime ham radio operator.

He was also a supporter of the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

Funeral services were held May 6 at Sol Levinson & Bros. in Pikesville.

In addition to his brother, who lives in Pikesville, Dr. Taylor is survived by a sister, Debbie Taylor of Fulton; a niece and a nephew; and a grandniece and a grandnephew.

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