Keys to the future: three new doctors begin practicing in Petrolia

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For Dr. Justin Mall, starting his medical practice in Petrolia’s new Engelhart Health Park completes a circle.

Mall, a native of St. Thomas, has worked alongside the doctors of the Central Lambton Family Health team for his residency and stood in the snow this spring as the team turned the sod on the new building. Now a doctor, Mall has just been given his very own key to the clinic as he begins his work there.

Mall is one of three young doctors ready to start practicing in Petrolia.

Mall says after working with the family health team, it was an easy decision to stay after his “phenomenal experience during my residency (from the family health team doctors) in terms of the teaching…the love of medicine and love for what they did.”

Mall says he also became close to the patients and that was a factor in his decision to hang out his shingle here. “It felt great, welcoming in this community.”

Mall and Dr. Nathan Taylor will be starting a new practice and have begun accepting patients. “A lot of places are really receptive,” says Mall noting Forest residents are in need of family doctors and are willing to come to Petrolia.

Taylor, who was born and raised in Nova Scotia, completed his Family Medicine Residency in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. He has already bought a home in town – a short drive from his in-laws in Bright’s Grove.

Both Taylor and Mall says they were attracted to Petrolia because of the opportunity to practice all kinds of different skills, from family medicine to working with seniors in nursing homes to taking shifts at the emergency department to caring for their own patients in Charlotte Eleanor Engelhart Hospital. “I think you go into family medicine because you enjoy everything, you just don’t focus in one area and you want to keep options open,” says Taylor adding being able to take care of your own patients at CEE Hospital is a “huge bonus.”

Mall agrees. “If my patients are in hospital in town it is great because I know them and it makes the care a lot easier than if someone else would take care of them,” he says. Taylor and Mall are also excited to be able to work in a teaching hospital. CEE is affiliated with the Schuler School of Medicine at Western University.

The duo are joined in Petrolia by Dr. Salam Al-Attar who will be taking over the established practice of Dr. MacDonald. Right now, they’re working on turning all of MacDonald’s paper files into electronic versions. He’s pleased to be taking over an established practice. “The pro is you are inheriting a practice so you don’t have to start a new one…it helps you focus more on patient care,” he says. Al-Attar  will also be providing relief work for all the physicians in town – one of his first assignments will be taking over for a week or so while Dr. MacDonald has a vacation.

Al-Attar says it is a great opportunity to get to know his new patients. Al-Attar will also be working out of the new Englehart Health Park.

Patients wishing to sign on with Dr. Mall and Dr. Taylor can contact 519-882-2500 for further information.

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