A healthy lifestyle is all about balance, according to E. Alexandra Zubowicz, MD, a general and advanced laparoscopic and bariatric surgeon at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Eat healthy and stay active, she says, and you can indulge yourself every so often. In Dr. Zubowicz’s case, weekend triathlons and gardening merit an occasional afternoon with a classic novel.
But when patients still struggle with weight loss or uncontrolled medical issues, Dr. Zubowicz is focused on finding an optimal solution.
“Obesity is one of the most serious medical problems facing our country today,” she says. “Fortunately, huge innovations in laparoscopic and robotic surgery have brought enormous benefits to patients’ postoperative care. That’s why I strive to stay abreast of the most innovative surgical tools out there, and work closely with patients to find a strategy that meets their needs and wishes.”
Helping people runs in Dr. Zubowicz’s family, as both her father and grandfather were physicians.
“Even as a little girl, I’d play doctor while other girls my age played with dolls,” she says. “Being in such a ‘medical’ family instilled a tremendous amount of respect for physicians and what they achieved. Especially my grandfather—a Russian physician who was living in Warsaw when World War II erupted, and then risked everything to come to America and start all over.”
Dr. Zubowicz learned long ago that compared to the U.S., many countries don’t have access to medical technology. She has participated in several mission trips to Ecuador and the Philippines, where she assisted in surgical procedures.
Dr. Zubowicz received her undergraduate degree from Boston College, and her medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio’s School of Medicine. She completed her residency at the Hospital Center in the department of Surgery, where she served as chief administrative resident.
“This may sound like a cliche but I love helping people get better,” she says. “I want help any patient with a surgical issue—from hernias to major abdominal surgery to lumps and bumps.”
And when it comes to bariatric surgery, Dr. Zubowicz finds it particularly rewarding to watch the resulting positive changes in her patients’ physical and mental health.
“I love the idea of someone with a problem coming to us, so that we can fix it and improve their quality of life,” she says.