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December 26, 2013

Haverhill native named a 'Top Doctor'

Dr. Mary-Ellen Taplin credits Haverhill High teachers with inspiring her

HAVERHILL — Dr. Mary-Ellen Taplin takes a personal approach to working with her cancer patients. She says there are a lot of treatment choices for patients these days and those choices can be overwhelming and confusing at times.

She says part of her job is to help her patients and their families navigate the possibilities.

“We try to sit down with patients and help them choose what paths are best for them,” she says in a doctor profile video. “We try to go where they are and bring them along the road to being cared for and recovering and having the best day they can have every day.”

Taplin, a Haverhill native, was recently recognized as a “Top Doctor” in the Boston area by Boston Magazine. Taplin is a medical oncologist at Dana Farber.

She was one of 54 physicians and surgeons affiliated with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to make it into magazine’s annual Top Doctors guide.

Drawing from a Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. Physician database, the list consists of 650 Boston-area physicians from more than 50 medical specialties and is available on Boston Magazine’s website and in the December issue of the magazine.

Taplin said she was honored to be recognized by her peers for her efforts in providing outstanding care to her patients.

Taplin, who lives in Boston, grew up in the city’s Riverside neighborhood, where her parents still live. Her sister, Dianne Connolly, is principal of Pentucket Lake Elementary School and lives in Haverhill with her family.

Taplin attended Crowell Elementary, Nettle Middle School and Haverhill High School, Class of 1978.

“I credit my academic success to teachers like Margaret McCormick, who taught Latin at Haverhill High,” she said. “She was very strict and taught her students how to think.”

“A lot of her (McCormick’s) students went on to become professionals, including lawyers and doctors, and we still talk about her,” Taplin said.

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