What inspired you to become a healthcare provider?
I was that kid who wanted to be a doctor from the beginning--since I was 7 years old. When I was in junior high school, in print shop I printed up business cards that said Kevin Zacharoff, Young Doctor. I never had to worry about what my career was going to be, just how to get there.
Why did you focus on pain management?
When you're treating someone for pain, there’s a certain connection between you and the patient that’s different than other medical conditions. It’s almost as if, at that given time, you have only one patient. It’s that focus that I like best. In all caps--FOCUS. I liked giving all of myself to one patient at a time.
Who were your mentors?
My mentors have always been my patients. There have been many times in my career that I got “schooled” about what I thought I had down to a science. I’ve had many professional people to look up to in my career, but the ones I remember most are the patients--they taught me the art of medicine.
If you weren’t a healthcare provider, what would you be?
A radio disc jockey. When the medical school applications went out, there was an application to the Connecticut School of Broadcasting standing by just in case. I was a DJ for 4 years in college and I love music.
What is your most marked characteristic?
What I want on my tombstone: that I care. It’s okay if nobody remembers me as the smartest, just the most caring.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Being a father to my daughter. Nothing else even comes close…except maybe being a good husband to my wonderful wife (she might read this…).
What is your favorite language?
If you had to choose one book, one film, and one piece of music to take into space for an undetermined amount of time, what would they be?
The book would be Stephen King’s The Stand. The film would be One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The song, Stairway to Heaven.
What would you like your legacy to be?
That I treated people with respect more than not, that I was generous to a fault, and that I cared about everything I did.
What is your motto?
“I’d rather be me.”