Fellow Focus in Four
Zachary Sendar, MD, fellow, rheumatology
Why did you choose medicine and Yale?
Growing up, I was adamant that I would not follow in my father’s footsteps as a physician. In high school, I discovered an interest in the sciences and initially thought I would pursue marine biology. Once in college, I found myself drawn to the intricacies of human biology. While this could have led me down a path toward research or education, medicine provided unique opportunities to develop long lasting, meaningful relationships with patients. Additionally, a career in medicine would keep other doors open if I decided to incorporate research or teaching into my practice. I went on to attend medical school in Buffalo and four years later was hooded by a proud father at my graduation ceremony.
What was your path to Yale?
My training has taken me back and forth across the country. I received my B.S. in Human Biology in California. My medical training then took me nearly 3000 miles away to the snowy landscape of Buffalo, N.Y. Most recently, I completed my Internal Medicine residency training in San Diego, Calif. where I stayed on an additional year as chief resident to develop my skills in leadership, communication, and clinical education. I actually discovered my passion for rheumatology later than most, during my third year of residency, but quickly immersed myself in the field. When looking at fellowship opportunities, I prioritized programs with diverse patient populations, a variety of training settings, and compassionate clinicians. Yale certainly lived up to these standards and more, and I knew its reputation in the academic world would carry weight when looking for job opportunities down the road. I feel honored to join the Yale family this year as I continue my medical training.
What is a fun fact about you?
Before my interest in medicine blossomed, I was convinced I would pursue a career in marine biology. In high school and college, I became an avid scuba diver. I racked up over 100 dives in a few years’ time, mostly in Hawaii and occasionally off the much colder California coast. I loved the feeling of exploring and never knowing what I would run into during my dives. It was always exciting to spot a shark or a group of turtles lounging on the reef. One time, I even came across a gold wedding band buried in the sand, forty feet under the surface. Ultimately, I discovered my passion for medicine but decided to keep snorkeling and diving as a favorite pastime.
What is your 5-year goal? 10-year? Overall career?
In five years, I see myself settling into my role as a provider in an academic center where I’ll continue to hone my clinical skills and develop lasting patient relationships. By the 10-year mark, I hope to make clinical education a more significant part of my weekly workflow. I absolutely love teaching and hope to be an integral part of the education of medical students, residents, and fellows alike.