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Meet Robin Zon, MD, FACP

Dec 20, 2011

Director of Research at Memorial Hospital, South Bend, Indiana; medical oncologist, partner, and Vice President of Michiana Hematology Oncology, PC; principal investigator, Northern Indiana Cancer Research Consortium; and ASCO Board of Directors member

AC: What led you to oncology?
Dr. Zon: I was drawn to oncology as a result of my background in chemistry, research, and industry. With respect to community oncology, I found it offered the intriguing challenge of being the “perfect storm” by blending the daily care of patients, the conduct of clinical research, and the responsibilities as a business owner.

AC: What’s the last book you read?
Dr. Zon: I tend to read several books simultaneously. I recently finished Cleopatra’s Daughter, by Michelle Moran, and Good to Great, by Jim Collins, and am currently reading From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership, by Harry M. Jansen Kraemer, and The Emperor of All Maladies, by Siddhartha Mukherjee.

AC: What’s your favorite website?
Dr. Zon: In addition to Cancer.Net, I tend to use Google frequently. The website I’ve been using recently is notredameonline.com, as I complete my Executive Certificates in Business Administration.

AC: Who is the person you most admire?
Dr. Zon: Abraham Lincoln, who was mentioned by Dr. James Abbruzzese in the October column. My close second is a tie between two artists. From past eras, I am in awe of Michelangelo, who never permitted surrounding destructive forces and political strife to overpower his creativity or prevent immortalization of his values in his art. From contemporary times, I marvel at Alexander McCall Smith, whose expression of virtue transcends all cultures; he impresses me as being a “modern” Renaissance man.

AC: What career could you see yourself in if you weren’t an oncologist?
Dr. Zon: I could envision a career in law, aspiring to set precedents in the Supreme Court. Alternatively, I would enjoy a career related to ancient studies involving travel and teaching.

AC: What hobbies do you enjoy?
Dr. Zon: Traveling, walking/hiking, entertaining, and listening to fusion/smooth jazz. In fact, I was introduced to Spyro Gyra and Chuck Mangione as a teenager and heard them play in their original hometown venues!

AC: Do you have a personal motto?
Dr. Zon: My personal mottos change depending on the phase of my life. The general themes tend to revolve around equipoise, perseverance, self-reflection, vision, and creativity.

AC: What is your fondest memory?
Dr. Zon: There is no one memory I wish to highlight, though the fondest generally include my family, dear friends, or surroundings filled with magnificent beauty.

AC: What would you say to a young physician thinking about entering the field of oncology?
Dr. Zon: Do it! Oncology is the most fabulous and honorable specialty in medicine, which will continue to greatly impact global health. For me, being an oncologist means being involved in something larger than ourselves. The future holds promise, especially as technologic advances may potentially transform the practice of oncology.

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