Physician Profile: Carol A. Tavani, M.D., M.S., F.A.P.A.
As a neuropsychiatrist, Dr. Carol Tavani has spent more than 20 years treating patients at Christiana Health Care Systems in Wilmington, Del., using her expertise in pharmacology and psychiatry to address these issues in the context of critical illness and trauma. “This reduces the amount of time patients spend in the intensive care unit and produces better physical outcomes,” she says.
Dr. Tavani also assists attorneys through the Delaware Bar Association’s Professional Guidance Committee and serves as an expert witness in forensics cases. She sits on the Public Defender’s Mental Health Court Task Force, working to provide psychological health care services—rather than incarceration—for those who require them. She was the first woman to be elected president of both the Christiana Health Care Systems’ Medical-Dental Staff and the Delaware State Medical Society. She also chairs the Society’s Physicians’ Health Committee, an organization dedicated to serving the needs of physicians in their personal and professional lives. Dr. Tavani is a Delegate to the American Medical Association.
Dr. Tavani speaks out for higher ethical standards with regard to animals in medical training and research. “Were I a patient, it would give me no reassurance to know that a drug had been tested on animals. How do we assess the effect of an antidepressant on a nonhuman who lacks the ability to tell us what he or she is feeling, and who was not necessarily depressed in the first place?” she asks. Given what is now understood about metabolic differences between genders and races, she adds, it appears “a quantum leap to make inferences from one species to another.” Dr. Tavani’s interest in these complex issues has also led to her work with the Attorney General’s Task Force on Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence.