Concentrated in interventional cardiology and peripheral/veneus vascular disease, Maja Zaric, MD, FACC, FSCAI, made the decision to go into cardiology as early as middle school. Coming from a family of physicians, her interest in the field was sparked after reading books on anatomy in the seventh and eighth grades. Since December 2010, Dr. Zaric has served as an intervention cardiologist at Northwell Health’s Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. In addition to this role, she is an assistant professor of the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell in Hempstead, New York, and has completed fellowships in cardiology and intervention cardiology.
As a highly skilled interventional cardiologist, Dr. Zaric is actively involved in developing a comprehensive venous program to encompass a full array of diagnostic and treatment modalities for all stages of superficial and deep venous insufficiency, deep venous thrombosis and vascular anomalies, as well as treatment and management of peripheral arterial disease. Furthermore, Dr. Zaric is passionate about developing a multidisciplinary “hybrid” vascular service that maintains close clinical ties with other experts in interventional cardiology, interventional radiology and vascular surgery. Her particular interests are the diagnosis and treatment of vascular anomalies, specifically studying the role of ultrasound in differential diagnosis and monitoring of vascular anomalies prior and between the treatments. As a result of her extended research, she has contributed myriad articles to professional journals.
Born in Serbia, Dr. Zaric pursued a formal education at the University of Belgrade School of Medicine, where she obtained an MD in biochemistry and mathematics, with honors, in 1995. The school’s studies are conducted on its own premises as well as teaching facilities in Belgrade, Serbia, such as the University Hospital Center or the Institute of Mental Health. She then came to the University Clinical Center in Belgrade on a stipend, where she completed an internal medicine internship from 1995 to 1997 and internal medicine residency from 1997 to 1998. After immigrating to the United States, Dr. Zaric completed an additional internal medicine residency between 2000 and 2003 and postgraduate fellowships in cardiovascular diseases and interventional cardiology between 2003 and 2007 at her current institution, Lenox Hill Hospital. A fellow of the American College of Cardiology since 2010 and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions since 2011, she is board certified in nuclear cardiology since 2008 and has been certified as a Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation for the past four years. Likewise, she was certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in 2004, the ABIM Board for Cardiovascular Disease in 2008 and the ABIM Board for Interventional Cardiology in 2009.
In honor of her myriad accomplishments, Dr. Zaric received an Award and Stipend for Research from the Ministry of Science and Technology in Belgrade in 1996 and the Peer to Peer Excellence in Medicine Recognition Award from the Bronx County Medical Society in 2010. A nominee for Lenox Hill Hospital’s Leon Hess Memorial Award for Fellowship Excellence in 2007, she was recognized as a Young Professional Honoree for Excellence in Cardiovascular Medicine by the American Heart Association (AHA) in 2011. The AHA later acknowledged her achievements in the field by awarding her the “Go Red for Women” Campaign Award in 2015.
At the onset of her career, Dr. Gary Roubin, an expert in interventional cardiology, served as Dr. Zaric’s mentor. Even today, she owes much of her sensibility toward her own patients to him, from who she learned skills in technical excellence and accountability. A truly unique and special physician, Dr. Roubin was a tremendous character who she has always looked up to. Moving forward, Dr. Zaric would like to be remembered as a confident and trustworthy individual. As it stands, she instills a sense of trust in her patients by following up with them in meetings. She finds much joy in helping to educate her patients, even if it is just by simply drawing them a diagram. It does not take much extra work, and she is warmed to see how much more informed people are after she follows up with them.
The most important lesson that Dr. Zaric has learned is that the patients know best. She strives to pay attention and listen to them well, and spend some time focusing on what they are telling her or what they are trying to explain her to surely know what is wrong with them. To her, it is just a matter of giving them a platform to express themselves, and listening to the patient remains a common denominator from the moment she started as a physician. Dr. Zaric’s best advice to those who are looking to go into her field would be to make sure that you truly love both medicine and people and, most importantly, that you understand it is truly a calling, not a job. It goes with you; the challenges are enormous, but they can be overcome so don’t get demoralized so quickly.