September 16, 2014
Story and photo by Lisa Peters
Alberta Health Services’ North Zone has a new medical specialist to help take care of its residents.
This past August, Dr. Mayank Singal joined Dr. Albert deVilliers, Dr. Gerhard Benade and Dr. Kathryn Koliaska as a Medical Officer of Health (MOH) for the North Zone.
“I’m excited,” says Dr. Singal. “The people have been fantastic. They are very easy to work with, approachable, friendly and welcoming. I am going to enjoy it.”
Singal works closely with Dr. Benade, providing coverage for the Fort McMurray and the Wood Buffalo area, and also supports Dr. Koliaska with some of her work in north-central Alberta.
Dr. deVillers, North Zone lead, MOH, believes Dr. Singal is a great addition to the team.
“His skill and passion as a public health doctor are already very apparent and we’re looking forward to working with him.”
Dr. Singal received his medical degree from McMaster University and completed his residency at the University of Alberta in Edmonton in June 2014.
“I wanted to work in public health to make a difference on a larger societal scale,” says Dr. Singal. “A family physician, for example, generally takes care of patients one-on-one, and a public health physician takes care of patients at a community level. I really enjoy the bigger perspective.”
Some of the work an MOH does includes tracking and monitoring the spread of communicable diseases, and helping to prevent and manage infections, illnesses and more. They work with various departments, ranging from, but not limited to: occupational health, public health, environmental public health, emergency disaster management, and communications and media relations.
“One of the things that appeal to me most about being a public health preventive medicine specialist is that there is no average or typical day,” adds Dr. Singal.
Having worked as a locum family physician in the North Zone, he appreciates the unique qualities northern Alberta has to offer.
“Working with rural communities is a very different world compared to urban centres,” says Dr. Singal. “I’m looking forward to learning more about the rural geography and different health risks in northern Alberta.”
When Dr. Singal is not working, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his fiancé, Anshula. The two met in Calgary and will be getting married in India this December.
“This is an exciting year,” he smiles.