Dr. Zarbalian or “Dr. Z” chose medicine as a profession because of his innate empathy for human suffering, as well as his passion for life-long learning. These two impulses found their home first in internal medicine residency training, followed by rheumatology subspecialty training. After three years of experience in a rheumatology clinic seeing hundreds of patients struggling despite state-of-the-art western medicine, Dr. Zarbalian started to ask questions: why is modern rheumatology falling short for so many patients and how can we do better? He ultimately decided the skillset he was provided was inadequate and decided to expand his expertise in holistic medical care. In 2019, Dr. Zarbalian made his next step in his evolution as a healer: provide an environment where his unique skillset in immunology, western pharmacology and herbalism, and medical acupuncture could be offered to his community. East-West Rheumatology opened its doors in 2019 and has already made a significant impact on many patients with common rheumatologic conditions that often elude standard western medical approaches.
Outside of medicine, Dr. Zarbalian has broad interests in environmental sustainability, literature, and a passion for musical performance. He sings and plays the setar, a 4-stringed Persian lute instrument, and enjoys immersing himself in nature.