He’s a neurologist; she’s an internist.
Drs. James MacDonald and Jarmella Russell are a married couple and new parents, and they are now practicing at Johnston Health.
“It’s a nice package deal,” said MacDonald, who has offices in the Medical Arts Pavilion in Smithfield and at Johnston Professional Plaza in Clayton. Russell, who recently completed her residency, has joined Drs. Nicole Collins and Mai Trang Nguyen at Johnston Medical Associates – Internal Medicine, which is in the Johnston Medical Mall in Smithfield.
They met each other at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. He was completing a fellowship in neuro-rehabilitation, and she was in medical school. Since getting married two years ago, they have enjoyed being able to talk shop with each other.
MacDonald has a special interest in headaches and traumatic brain injury. Before coming to Johnston Health, he was the medical director of rehabilitation at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.
He received his medical degree and completed his fellowship at Wake Forest. He finished residencies at Boston and Virginia Commonwealth universities.
MacDonald decided to pursue a medical career in neurology after his grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. In his practice, he will treat degenerative diseases as well as stroke and movement disorders.
“I’m looking forward to establishing a rapport with patients and treating their illnesses and injuries,” he said.
Russell completed her internal-medicine residency in June. “My goal is to keep patients healthy so that they don’t need to go to the hospital,” she said. “I like focusing on preventive care, particularly smoking cessation.”
Russell lost her father to asthma when she was 9 years old. From that experience, she set her sights at a young age on becoming a pulmonologist. In medical school, she found that she enjoyed internal medicine and the variety and challenges that come with diagnosing illnesses.
MacDonald grew up in Wilmington, and Russell in Detroit. The couple and their son, Aiden, who was born June 10, live in Clayton.
To make an appointment with the neurologist, call 919-934-3022. To make an appointment with the internist, call 919-938-7187.