David Hayes is not a typical doctor. His first in-depth encounter with medicine came as his wife fought and ultimately lost a battle with breast cancer. “For two years we went to every appointment, I read everything I could get my hands on, asked innumerable questions, and still at the end never felt like we had real, accurate information. I was profoundly disillusioned and thought I could do it better.”
Two years later, at the age of 41, Dr. Hayes entered the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He attributes his low intervention, high information philosophy to the age, life experience, and academic background with which he started medical school. “Medical school is very regimented and tends to produce doctors who follow the guidelines without questioning the assumptions.” I was fortunate to have started with a strongly ingrained propensity to question everything and I believe it has served me, and continues to serve my clients, well.”
Following medical school he completed the first two years of an OB/Gyn residency at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY before transferring to the University of South Carolina residency program in Columbia, SC for the final two years in order to be closer to home as he prepared to go into practice. During residency he also undertook training in critical care obstetrics at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
He has attended thousands of births, including well over 300 home births in Western North Carolina, since 2005. He is a professor and clinical preceptor with the National College of Midwifery. In addition to his home birth practice he has worked with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) as an obstetrician/gynecologist and as a Medical Team Leader in high risk obstetrics and vesico-vaginal fistula repair programs in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Sri Lanka.
When not supporting birth, he is passionate about growing food, hiking, and playing music.