EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

December 31, 2013

Editorial: Some cheers some jeers for recent newsmakers

CHEERS to Haverhill native Dr. Mary-Ellen Taplin, who was recently named a “Top Doctor” by Boston Magazine.

Taplin, a medical oncologist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, was one of 54 physicians and surgeons affiliated with Dana-Farber to make it into magazine’s annual Top Doctors guide.

Taplin, who now lives in Boston, grew up in Haverhill’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 told reporter Mike LaBella she was honored to be recognized by her peers for her efforts in providing outstanding care to her patients. She credits her teachers in Haverhill for her academic success.

Taplin attended Crowell Elementary, Nettle Middle School and is a member of Haverhill High School’s 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.

Taplin said she loved science in school and that the field of medicine seemed to be a natural fit to her interests.

“I was the first one in my family to go to college,” she said.

An associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Taplin received her MD in 1986 from the University of Massachusetts, Worcester. She completed a residency in internal medicine and chief residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and an oncology-hematology fellowship at Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

She was on staff in medical oncology-hematology as an assistant and then associate professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts from 1993 to 2003, when she joined Dana-Farber.

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