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Zachary L. Bercu

Zachary L. Bercu, M.D. R.P.V.I.


Zachary L. Bercu, M.D. R.P.V.I.


Undergrad Institution; Degree and Major:

Harvard University - B.A., Psychology

Honors Certificate in Mind, Brain & Behavior

Medical School:

Emory University School of Medicine

In practice since:


Your Specialty:

Vascular and Interventional Radiology

Where and for how many years did you train AFTER medical school:

1 year at St. Vincent's Hospital-Manhattan (New York, New York)

  • Intern Year: 1 year in the Transitional Year Program

5 years at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York, New York)

  • Residency: 4 years in Diagnostic Radiology
  • Fellowship: 1 year in Vascular and Interventional Radiology

How did you choose your specialty?

Exposure to interventional radiology (IR) is often limited for medical students. As someone compelled by the unique intersection of technology and health, I found myself pursuing radiology as a career. During conventional residency rotations in radiology, however, I missed direct patient contact and long-term clinical outcome follow-up. I watched my attendings on IR problem-solve on the fly, coming up with solutions critical ill patients who could not survive surgery. Not infrequently, they performed procedures that may have been the first time something in that manner, form, or fashion has been done in the world. I found the dynamism of the field inspiring.

At the national meeting, Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) leader John Kaufman described it as the brink between clinical, imaging, and procedural expertise. I saw that IR's were not bound by organ system or pathology and that they work with physicians in just about every field in medicine. They were limited only by the innovative spirit of individual doctors. I saw that what they did 5 years ago was different from what is done today and likely will be different from what will be done in 5 years. That dynamism combined with our passion for improving quality of life for our patients continues to inspire me as an IR and has encouraged me to look to Emory-Georgia Tech Biomedical Engineering as the perfect partner for the next generation of IR innovation. 

What do you like MOST, and like LEAST, about your specialty?

  • Most- Highly dynamic, challenging, technology-based field
  • Least- Family, friends, and even many physicians often don't know what I do for a living!

In your opinion, what attributes are important in anyone choosing this specialty?

Ability to:

  • Adapt to change rapidly and problem solve on the fly.
  • Strive to excel in both patient care and procedures.
  • Be willing to stray from one's "comfort zone."

Hobbies/special interests:

  • Family
  • Travel & cultural experiences
  • Technology
  • News & current events