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Several pictures of doctors who are featured on the Local Legends web site

MEET LOCAL LEGEND: Peggy Goodman, M.D.

Picture of Peggy Goodman
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Peggy Goodman, M.D.

“I like fixing problems…anybody who walks in the door who needs medical care is someone I can help.”


Walter B. Jones



Heart attacks, strokes, burns, cuts, bites, drug overdoses, gun and knife wounds, beatings—especially beatings and other abuse—are guaranteed to get Peggy Goodman's attention.

Goodman, who is Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, and Vice Chair of Emergency Medicine at the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, in Greenville, has seen it all since earning her M.D. from the University of South Alabama, in 1986. But she is most interested in—and has become a recognized expert in the area of domestic violence, especially its recognition, intervention and education.

“Violence in general, in many ways, is under–addressed by medicine,” Goodman observes. “As a physician, I think every physician needs to be interested in the health and well–being of their patients. We ask about smoking, we ask about seat–belts, so asking about violence should be just as natural. For some reason, some physicians don't incorporate that into their practice. But it is a major cause of illness and injury for the public.”

In nominating Goodman to be a Local Legend, Representative Walter B. Jones [R–NC–3] said, “Dr. Goodman's commitment and leadership in family violence education and policy make her most deserving of this award.” The countless victims of domestic violence, especially children, whom she has helped bear silent testimony to her pioneering work in understanding and treating the complex causes of family violence.

“Part of the frustration many physicians seem to express is that we are trained to fix things, to heal and to cure. With domestic violence, that cannot be done in one or two visits. So part of the challenge we have is to refer victims to people who are better at this, who do this more, such as social service agencies and law enforcement departments where necessary. These are ways of helping our patients to lead safer lives,” Goodman says.

Goodman, for example, is the only physician on the North Carolina Domestic Violence Commission. “Seeing the issue as one of patient health and public health, I lend a different perspective to the commissioners from law enforcement, the public schools and the judges, so that we can all try to minimize our misunderstandings and coordinate our efforts toward a common goal, instead of fighting turf battles,” says Goodman.

Nationally, for the American Medical Women's Association —, she co–developed a Domestic Violence Education course for physicians, residents in all specialties, medical students and other health care professionals which covers the basic knowledge of domestic violence required for a clinician to recognize, treat, and prevent violence from an intimate.

A widely respected educator and prolific researcher with numerous articles, papers, book chapters and other publications to her credit, Goodman was a charter member of the North Carolina Medical Society's Domestic Violence Committee; a member of the Governor's Task Force on Domestic Violence and a member of the Pitt County Domestic Violence Network, which addresses the identification, evaluation, treatment and follow up of domestic violence victims in the eastern part of the state.



Appointed Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, East Carolina University of Medicine


Becomes Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, East Carolina University School of Medicine




University of South Alabama


Emergency Medicine


North Carolina