Now Scheduling Primary Care Appointments Online. Book Now.

Family-medicine physician Petra Toutanji joins staff at Oaklawn’s Beadle Lake facility

BATTLE CREEK — While growing up, Petra Toutanji took a deep interest in the plants and flowers around her home town of Usti Nad Labem, in the northern part of the Czech Republic near its border with Germany.

“When I was 10 years old, I was fascinated with botany,” she said. “That was my passion.”

Her interest in scientific subjects never waned. Today, as a family-medicine physician with more than 15 years of experience helping patients of all ages, Toutanji has joined the staff of Oaklawn’s facility at 14231 Beadle Lake Road. Appointments there may be made by calling (269) 962-0441.

While her interest in medicine eventually would grow, the young Petra Pecivova had no other family members directly involved in the medical field.

However, Petra’s mother happened to be a professional chemist and was happy to encourage her daughter’s burgeoning interest in biology and other scientific topics — classroom subjects in which she excelled.

“In high school, I also was drawn toward psychology,” she said. “I learned about Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, and wanted to explore the human mind.”

Her pathway toward becoming a physician then seemed a natural step, based on such interests.

“When you combine those, I believe medicine became a pretty decent option,” she said.

Toutanji — who speaks English, German and Czech — completed her training as a physician in 1996 at the First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.

Toutanji came to the United States in the 1990s as a member of a medical exchange program, during which she met her future husband. That initial visit took her to Puerto Rico, and her marriage brought her to the continental United States in 1996.

In 2006, Toutanji completed a family-medicine residency program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, after which she opened a private practice that she operated for seven years.

After her 18-year sojourn in Alabama, Toutanji moved to Michigan in 2016. Since then, she has worked as a family-medicine physician in the Kalamazoo area.

Toutanji lives in Portage with two of her sons, Wess, 23, and Lance, 17. Another son, Kyle, 21, lives in Los Angeles, California.

In her spare time, Toutanji enjoys reading historical novels, philosophy and poetry. She also enjoys hiking and going to her sons’ soccer games.

“I like nature and go for a five-mile walk almost every day,” she said. “I like the snow in Michigan. The weather is very similar to what I had at home in Czechoslovakia. And Lake Michigan is stunning.”

Toutanji’s appreciation for the region extends to Oaklawn and the communities it serves.

“I like the way this organization operates,” she said. “It seems different from the large corporations. It has a more personal approach. Every single person I’ve met has been very personable and has had a positive energy. In big hospitals, you seem as though you’re a number. Oaklawn is more human.”