R. Robert Taylor, MD


Dr. R. Robert Taylor, an internal medicine specialist, brings an unusual talent to the patients he’s been serving at Tanner Clinic for 30 years: He’s an expert in conducting and reading electromyograms (EMGs).

Dr. Taylor, a native of the Boise area, earned his B.S. in biology at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. His next move was to complete two years of training in physical therapy at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas. It was in these years he was trained in EMG testing and reading.

Dr. Taylor received a master’s degree in anatomy at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va., followed by his M.D. at Eastern Virginia Medical School, also in Norfolk. He returned west to complete his residency in internal medicine at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City.

Dr. Taylor’s active duty in the U.S. Army included the role of deputy chief of physical therapy for the U.S. Public Health Service at a number of locations, including Staten Island, N.Y. He also used his physical therapy training as a clinical instructor at New York University Post Graduate School of Medicine/Orthotics and Prosthetics.

As part of his U.S. Army service, he was recalled to duty as chief of medical services for the 144th Evac Hospital in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Since his arrival at Tanner Clinic in 1984, the board-certified physician has remained active in leadership roles. He is the medical director of acute rehabilitation services at Davis Hospital, as well as at Legacy Transitional Rehab in Layton. A former faculty instructor in electromyography at Duke University in Durham, N.C., he also continues as an adjunct professor in internal medicine at the University of Utah.

Dr. Taylor considers his service in the community of youth soccer as among his most significant contributions. He founded the Kaysville-based Wasatch Soccer Club about 10 years ago. The volunteer-run club has now grown to more than 1,000 players and 80 competition-league teams. In 2014 he was named the Administrator of the Year by the statewide Utah Youth Soccer Association.

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Beneficial Insights Learned from Nerve Treatment

Dr. Bob Taylor learned how to conduct and read electromyography tests (EMGs) during graduate school and training as a physical therapist. Thirty years later he continues to perform EMG testing, a nerve conduction test, at Tanner Clinic. In addition to his duties as an internist, Dr. Taylor conducts EMG testing for Tanner Clinic’s orthopedic surgeons.

Dr. Taylor recommends EMG testing in cases such as carpal tunnel syndrome, peripheral neuropathy like that associated with diabetes, spinal disc pain and entrapment of the elbow’s ulnar nerve.

The test electrically stimulates nerves to determine nerve and muscle function. In part, said Dr. Taylor, it “measures the speed” of the nerves, which normally travel at 50 meters a second. Pressure on the nerve, such as by carpal tunnel syndrome, affects the nerve’s conductivity. This test uses electrodes on the skin to provide the electric shock.

The EMG test also uses a needle electrode that is inserted into muscle tissue. Dr. Taylor describes the procedure as unpleasant and painful. “It really is a tough test,” he said.

“The reason I like this test is because it helps people figure out why they’re hurting,” he adds. “You have to endure some pain to figure out what’s going on.”