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Vital Signs

Clinical Observation

In this section, we highlight the human side of clinical academic medicine, putting a few questions to a physician at DMS-DHMC.

Eva Rzucidlo, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Surgery (Vascular Surgery)

Rzucidlo's clinical work deals with diseases of the arteries and veins. She also studies signals in cells that control restenosis of vessels treated with stents and bypass grafts. She has been at DHMC since 2002.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in New Jersey but grew up in a suburb outside Washington, D.C., in Virginia. My father grew up in New Jersey and my mom grew up in Lodz, Poland.

If you weren't a physician, what would you like to be?
A fighter pilot or an archaeologist. At the time I was thinking about being a fighter pilot, there were very few women fighter pilots and I wanted to be a pioneer. I wanted to be an archaeologist because the history of the origin of man fascinated me.

Of what professional accomplishment are you most proud and why?
I am proud of being a woman in vascular surgery—still a very male-dominated field—and of being one of a very few women who have chosen a career in academic vascular surgery and obtained a National Institutes of Health grant to research vascular disease.

Who are your fictional and/or real-life heroes?
My heroes in real life are my parents. I would not be where I am today or be the person that I am without all their hard work and sacrifice. My fictional hero is Wonder Woman. She was based on Princess Diana of the Amazon warrior tribe, and her alter ego was a nurse, Lieutenant Diana Prince. William Marston decided to create a superheroine to serve in a female role—someone who was strong and independent, yet still feminine.

What's your favorite nonwork activity?
Shopping (not surprising, since I'm a woman) and spending time with my friends and family.

What about you would surprise most people?
I enjoy competitive rifle target-shooting.

Finish this sentence: If I had more time I would . . .
Take ballroom dancing lessons—especially the Latin dances.

If you could travel anywhere you've never been, where would it be?
Tahiti. I love warm climates and beautiful beaches.

What three people would you like to have over for dinner?
Jamie Hyneman (cohost of the TV show Mythbusters), Anthony Bourdain (writer, executive chef at Les Halles in New York City, and host of the TV show No Reservations), and Carlos Mencia (a comedian).

What historical event would you most like to have been present at in person?
I'd love to have been at the concert hall in Warsaw for Arthur Rubinstein's return to Poland after he'd been away for 20 years. To hear him play Chopin's Polonaise, op. 40, no. 1 ("Polonaise Militaire"), must have been breathtaking. The combination of strength and heartfelt poetry is a hallmark of Rubinstein's playing in this piece, which stirred the souls of patriots—especially of all Poles—during the German occupation.

What kind of music do you enjoy the most?
All kinds—my taste is very broad—but especially classical (in particular, Chopin), blues, salsa, rap, hip-hop, and classic rock. My favorite performances were Mama Mia in Las Vegas, B.B. King and Aretha Franklin in Boston, and Itzhak Perlman with the National Symphony. I recently saw Chris Botti at the Lebanon Opera House. He is an unbelievably talented trumpet player who puts a modern twist on classic pieces.

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