Dr. Tommy Taylor will join the internal medicine practice of Dr. Surinder Sra July 15, bringing the number of internal medicine physicians on the medical staff of Eastern Ozarks Regional Health System to four and increasing the overall medical staff to six physicians and three nurse practitioners.Taylor, who grew up in Mammoth Spring, said there was never any doubt where he would practice."I always planned on coming back," he said. "My parents live here, my brother and his wife and kids live here."Taylor's father, Ron Taylor, is superintendent of Evening Shade School District.The internist earned his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Central Arkansas, then attended the University of Arkansas Medical School in Little Rock, earning his doctorate in medicine in 1999. He spent the past three year in his internal medicine residency at University Medical Center in Little Rock, completing his work in June."I always liked life sciences and biology," Taylor said. "As well as helping people." Plus, he said there were few physicians in the area as he was growing up. "It looked like there was a need for more doctors," he said.This made him a good match for Dr. Sra, who was looking for a partner he knew would remain in the area a long time."We're glad to have him on board," Sra said. "He's going to be a long-term asset. He's a local boy, so the chances are he'll be here a long time. This will enhance our capacity to provide continuous care six days a week and also expand the possibilities of more diagnostic workup locally."Taylor started working part time in the hospital's ER in February. He has also been performing some inpatient procedures such as colonoscopies, EGDs, cardiovascular stress tests and biopsies at the hospital."I'd like to emphasize preventive care and health maintenance," Taylor said. "I like to catch things early where there are less consequences involved."Taylor said he is looking forward to moving into the new clinic Dr. Sra and Dr. Jerry Ellis are building at the corner of Highway 62/412 and Hospital Drive. The clinic is expected to be complete by the first of the year.Nirmal Sra, Dr. Sra's wife and manager of the clinic, said the new location, with its greater visibility, will help concentrate medical facilities in one area. Two other medical offices and a pharmacy are across the highway.She said, "In the six years we've been here we've seen a steady growth in our medical community, which I think people in the area should be proud of."Taylor said, "We'd like to make this hospital available for more people in the area."Taylor and his wife, Katie, a Blytheville native, have a 7-month-old son, John Thomas. Katie is a dental hygienist. The Taylors have purchased a home on the South Golf Course in Cherokee Village.Also on the medical staff at Eastern Ozarks are Chief of Staff Dr. George Jackson, who has practiced in the Village 16 years; Dr. Chris Cochran, another Mammoth Spring native who joined Jackson's internal medicine practice after completing residency a year ago; Dr. Zbigniew Beyga, a general surgeon who joined the active staff in 2000; Dr. Denise Oldenberg, who set up her general practice in the Village in 2000. The hospital also has three nurse practitioners on active staff: Barbara Scott, ANP, Sharyn Rohder, ANP, and Jan Torbit, ANP, who is also in practice with Dr. Sra.Cindy Hall, adminisrator at Eastern Ozarks, said, "Taylor is from this area, which is a recruiter's dream. It's beneficial to have him associated with an established physician, Dr. Sra. These last two, Dr. Cochran and Dr. Taylor, have just been a dream."It's a dream come true for Taylor as well. "We're happy to be back," he said.