In college, Taurean Baynard majored in communication sciences and disorders, a program that included special education. His degree, from Northwestern University, led the Minneapolis native into Minneapolis and Chicago elementary school classrooms as a special education assistant. He worked in that capacity for four years before heading to medical school at the University of Minnesota.
“Working in special ed helped move me along the path toward medicine,” Baynard says. “Health issues were a big problem for a lot of these kids. A big part of school at that age is just being able to interact socially with your peers, so when they’re not healthy and miss school, they really miss out. I was always interested in helping them medically and caring for their health.”
When he entered med school at age 26, Baynard had no doubt that medicine was the right field for him. He looks forward to a career in orthopaedic surgery, a specialty whose practitioners draw heavily on science, belying the stereotype that they “just bang stuff into place,” he says.
Now in his final months of medical school, Baynard looks forward to a residency. He also looks forward to watching his 1-year-old, Bryson, grow up.