Zonderman practices compassion

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 7, 2003

Suffolk News Herald

Name: Jeffrey Zonderman, M.D.

Age: 33

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Hometown: Boston, Ma. until the age of eight, and Albany, N.Y.

Family: My wife is Kyra, and we await the birth of our first child.

Education: The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and I did my residency at Tufts University in Boston.

Career/Occupation: Ophthalmology, specializing in cataract surgery, laser refractive surgery, and comprehensive general ophthalmology. I work with Suffolk Eye Physicians & Surgeons and Dr.Andy O’Dwyer.

Volunteer activities: I am a member of the Suffolk Rotary Club.

Favorite thing about life in Suffolk: People here are very nice.

Why did you pursue your chosen career? I enjoy taking care of people, and I enjoy surgery and using my hands.

Favorite thing about your job? Working with Dr. O’Dwyer and the staff at Suffolk Eye Physicians & Surgeons.

Least favorite thing about your job? Dealing with the red tape and paperwork. I just want to help the patients and paperwork takes me away from them.

What accomplishments are you most proud of? Becoming a board certified surgeon.

Who or what motivates and inspires you? My wife, Kyra, and my patients. When you come home at the end of the day, you want your wife to be proud of you.

Favorite way to spend your free time: I enjoy all sports, good food, the beach, traveling and art.

What words of wisdom would you like to share with others? Always remember to stop and smell the roses. I enjoy my family and friends, and even though we’re spread out over the country we all stay in touch. Be a good person and try to help others and don’t let life chip away at you.

What ingredients are in the recipe for a good life? Treasure your family and friends, and have fun. I recall the disaster of the Twin Towers and I had relatives in the New York hospital emergency rooms and I called them immediately. I wasn’t there, but I could hear the sirens and other sounds over the phone. I could have been there. It definitely makes you appreciate life more.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why? I am just a little over-critical of myself when things don’t immediately go smoothly. You want everything to be perfect and I really take everything to heart. But I always strive to do the best I can.

Jeffrey Zonderman is dedicated to his career as an ophthalmologist; however, his one true passion is his wife, Kyra, and the one person he said inspires and motivates his entire life.

Zonderman spoke with unmistakable admiration and love for his wife as he described her chosen career as an illustrator of children’s books.

&uot;Kyra does extremely fine, artistic books for slightly older children,&uot; said Zonderman. Her new book, Daughters of Eve; Strong Women of the Bible can be found at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.

&uot;It’s about women in history who just have not put up with a lot of things,&uot; said the proud husband. &uot;She’s very modest, but her father was a fine artist, who was the chairman of the art department at the University of Delaware for 20 years and those genes were certainly passed on to her.&uot;

Aside from his wife, Zonderman is also proud of his career and education. He said that going through his residency at Tufts University was tough.

&uot;That’s one of the things I’m proud of because that’s a really good world-class training,&uot; said the doctor. &uot;I feel well-trained coming out of there.&uot;

Zonderman’s passion for his practice and in particular, his patients, is evident as he discusses the many procedures involved in cataract and laser surgery.

&uot;It’s really neat surgery in that it’s fun and it’s nice to help someone see better,&uot; said Zonderman. &uot;The advances in cataract surgery and all the laser surgery… there is a real push as time goes on for nicer and better technology and equipment. It’s a good feeling to be able to use your hands to heal people and restore their vision. It’s just great.&uot;

While Zonderman is focused on his career, he also enthralled with the local people he’s met. Coming to Suffolk, Zonderman had no friends or acquaintances, but he’s quickly learned that there just are no strangers in this city.

&uot;This job specifically brought me here, and in particular, Dr. O’Dwyer,&uot; Zonderman explained. &uot;I had no family here, but he and the staff here made me feel truly wanted. In speaking with people, like the real estate people, everyone told me what a stand-up guy Andy O’Dwyer is. He was the indicator of the type of people who live in Suffolk… down to earth, nice, hard working people. I picked up and sold my house and brought my wife with me to come to Suffolk.&uot;

Zonderman is a man with foresight. He recognizes Suffolk for the rapidly growing urban area it is becoming.

&uot;It’s one of the fastest growing cities in the state and if you can establish trust and a good reputation on the ground floor as the city grows, that’s good,&uot; he explained. &uot;Also, it’s near the beach, the mountains, and it’s close enough to fun things and the outdoors that it’s almost a perfect location.&uot;

Zonderman said he’s looking forward to one of the most exciting events in his life; becoming a father. Because he’s close to his own parents, Paul and Ann Zonderman, he said he plans to work hard to do all he can to be the best father. He spoke in glowing terms of a mother that is a &uot;real sweetheart,&uot; and a dad that was &uot;just great.&uot;

&uot;Now that I’m about to become a father… I’m just so proud of it that I just want to tell everyone about it,&uot; said Zonderman with a huge smile. &uot;I grew up with my dad playing Little League coach to me and that’s the kind of dad I want to be. I used to wait in the driveway with my baseball glove for my dad to come home to play ball with me. He’s a judge in a suburb of Albany, N.Y., and he’s been the greatest dad. I just hope I can be as good as he is. I lucked out… I drew really great parents.&uot;