If you had a baby last year, there’s a good chance that you know one or more of the physicians in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).
In 2013, the department’s fellows, faculty and residents directly participated in about one-third (2,400) of the deliveries in the state of Hawai`i, many of them considered “high risk” births.
In addition to teaching medical students, OB-GYN has trained 303 physicians since its Residency Training Program was established in 1949. The majority of those physicians established their practices in Hawai`i.
Because OB-GYN procedures happen at all hours of the day and night, the pace of the profession can be exhausting. But newly appointed department Chair Ivica Zalud, MD, PhD, doesn’t see it that way.
“Nothing in the field of medicine is more privileged and exciting than being a part of new life,” Dr. Zalud explains.
As Chair, Dr. Zalud is following in the footsteps of Lynnae Sauvage, MD, his predecessor, and a physician he describes as one of his mentors. Dr. Sauvage relocated to the U.S. mainland. Since then, Dr. Zalud has been focused on team building, he says.
Born in Croatia, Dr. Zalud has headed the American Board of OB/GYN accredited Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship Program since 2008. He received his MD degree at the University of Zagreb in Croatia, completed his OB/GYN residency at the Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, New York and completed a fellowship in maternal fetal medicine at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
It is important to Dr. Zalud that OB-GYN is integrated into the community and nationally recognized for excellence in education, research and clinical service. “I hope to advance the department as it serves the medical school and community.”
In addition to Dr. Sauvage, Dr. Zalud counts several of his teachers and friends as inspirations in his life, including Asim Kurjak in Croatia, who inspired him to pursue academic OB/GYN; Harold Schulman from Winthrop University Hospital, who introduced him to the American way of doing medicine; and Frank Chervenak from Cornell University, who continuously challenges Dr. Zalud to do great things for patients and faculty.
As a mentor to others, Dr. Zalud said his advice to young people who aspire to be doctors is to “follow your dreams, study hard, support human life and see it thrive.”
OB-GYN is based at the Kapi`olani Medical Center, but also offers services at the Queen’s, Straub, Hilo Memorial and Wilcox Memorial medical centers, and at federally-qualified health centers in Wai`anae, Kalihi-Pālama, Waimanalo Health and Waikīkī Health. . The department has 35 physicians, including four who are part-time and three professors emeritus. Another 107 physicians in Hawai`i are volunteer faculty. Specialty training is offered in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Family Planning and Maternal Fetal Medicine.