Moorestown resident Dr. Kara Elizabeth Taylor has received a Doctor of Psychology degree in clinical psychology from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM).
“I could not have done it without my parents and my husband … It would be near impossible,” she said.
Taylor earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wesley College in 2009 and a master’s degree in counseling psychology – with school psychology certification – from Immaculata University in 2013.
“ … I worked as a school psychologist for six years and I loved it, but I really wanted more of a clinical aspect to my job,” she said. “What I mean by that is more assessment and more of a mental-health component … I wanted to just really continue to further pursue assessment in terms of overall functioning.”
Taylor shared the process of a five-year doctoral program at PCOM.
“ … The first three years of the program are didactic work, course work, and then towards the end of … I believe it’s toward the end of your second year … you take what’s called (a) comprehensive examination. Your fifth year is defense of your dissertation and (an) internship and then you graduate.”
But COVID managed to impact Taylor’s studies.
“Honestly for me, it was an interesting path,” she recalled. “ … What PCOM did is they offered certain classes online … But by the time I was in my program and the pandemic hit, I was really done with a lot of the coursework already …
“As soon as the pandemic hit, my daughter was about 7 months (old), so I actually got to stay home with her.”
Taylor thanked her parents, Denise and Frank Gilanelli, and her husband Cory Taylor and their 3-year-old daughter Ophelia for their support.
“They say that it takes a village, and I definitely could not have done it without mine,” she said. “I have a very, very supportive husband and we have been together for almost 12 years now … My parents are extremely supportive and very helpful with our daughter Ophelia.”
Taylor noted a valuable lesson she learned as a student.
“ … Just dedication to whatever it is that you’ve chosen,” she explained. “Being reliable and committed and showing your professors, your supervisors, your cohort members that you’re a reliable source and that you’re really dedicated to the path that you’ve chosen. Because I think it’s so easy to get discouraged along an academic path.”
Taylor has begun a two-year, post-doctoral fellowship in the area of neuropsychology at a private practice in Philadelphia.
“ … I’m hoping to stay with them for two years and then if the two years works out, I would love to stay on with them after that,” she said. “ … I’m two weeks in to (it) and I really am loving it.”
“It’s been an awesome experience, and I just really think they’re really going to have what I’m looking for, and I just hope I have what they are looking for.”