Fellow Focus: Dr. Zachary Field

Get to know Dr. Zachary Field, PGY-IV fellow in Digestive Diseases. Here, Dr. Field shares with us his path to medicine and Mississippi.

First, tell us about you. 

I grew up in 4 different states, but I would say I am from Orlando, Florida. I completed my undergrad at the University of Florida and then medical school at Florida State University. I completed my internal medicine residency at Orlando Regional Medical Center. I have one brother who is an ER physician in Tucson, Arizona. When people hear that, they always ask which of our parents is a physician, but my brother and I were actually the first in our family to go to medical school. 

How did you know you wanted to pursue gastroenterology and hepatology? 

When I was in college, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Out of curiosity and a desire to understand what was happening to my body, I started shifting my career focus away from marine biology which I was on track for and began focusing on the medical sciences. I wanted to learn everything about Crohn’s disease and maybe even provide some relief for others going through something similar. A year later, I submitted my application to medical school.

After being diagnosed with Crohn disease, I was inspired to pursue a more in-depth understanding of gastrointestinal diseases. I spent the summer after my first year of medical school at Vanderbilt University studying colitis-associated carcinoma. I have become an avid member of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (CCF) and have become immersed in the inflammatory bowel disease community. I trained with Team Challenge, CCF’s fundraising division, and ran a triathlon to raise money for Crohn’s research and community programs. In many ways, getting diagnosed with Crohn’s was a blessing in disguise. My own condition has propelled me into the field of gastroenterology and has served as the fuel for my curiosity into exploring unanswered questions. 

What do you like most about UMMC? 

At the risk of sounding cliché, the people. Out of all of the places I interviewed, the fellows and faculty are really what stood out to me, and it made the transition from Florida to Mississippi that much easier. 

What advice would you give to the interns? 

Stay curious. Ask questions. And remember why you chose medicine. Medicine doesn’t take breaks on weekends, holidays, or nights, and requires a lot of sacrifice. That being said though, in my biased opinion, it is one of the most rewarding, and character-building careers anyone can choose.

What could you give a 40 minute presentation on without preparation? 

That’s easy. Why the 2008 Florida Gator National Championship football team was the greatest college football teams of all time. 

What is something you wish you knew more about? 

I always wanted to learn more about astronomy. I even considered minoring in it in college.  

What are some small things that make your day better? 

Finding a new artist on Spotify and then playing their songs on repeat. 

Tell us something about you that most people don’t know. 

I have been skydiving, twice! 

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