Dr. Peter Laursen, a well-known family practitioner and emergency room doctor, is on a personal leave, the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital confirmed yesterday.

Hospital president and chief executive officer Tim Walsh said Dr. Prit Gill is covering Dr. Laursen’s private practice. Mr. Walsh said he could not comment further because it is a personnel matter.

A longtime resident of Vineyard Haven, Dr. Laursen has worked in the hospital emergency room for many years and has been employed by the hospital as a primary care doctor for the past three years, Mr. Walsh said. Dr. Laursen’s office is located in the hospital medical complex.

News of his departure circulated rapidly on Island social media sites last week.

Dr. Gill joined the hospital medical staff in May. He is board certified in family and geriatric medicine and had a private practice in Oklahoma for 20 years. He was born and raised and trained in Kenya. A short profile of him appears in the hospital’s annual report, which will be distributed with Friday’s Gazette.