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Yousef Zarbalian, MD

Dr. Zarbalian or "Dr. Z" chose medicine as a profession because of his innate empathy for human suffering, as well as his passion for life-long learning. These two impulses found their home first in internal medicine residency training, followed by rheumatology subspecialty training.  After three years of experience in a rheumatology clinic seeing hundreds of patients struggling despite state-of-the-art western medicine, Dr. Zarbalian decided to expand his expertise in holistic medical care. In 2019, Dr. Zarbalian made his next step in his evolution as a healer: provide an environment where his unique skillset in immunology, western pharmacology and herbalism, and medical acupuncture could be offered to his community.  East-West Rheumatology opened its doors in 2019 and has already made a significant impact on many patients with common rheumatologic conditions that often elude standard western medical approaches.

Outside of medicine, Dr. Zarbalian has a passion for musical performance, nature, and literature. He sings and plays the setar, a 4-stringed Persian lute instrument. 

Dr. Zarbalian's education:

  • Undergraduate: Louisiana State University

  • Medical school: Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine

  • Residency, Internal Medicine: University of Maryland Medical Center

  • Fellowship, Rheumatology: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

  • Medical acupuncture training: The Helms Medical Institute, Acupuncture for Physicians

  • Fellowship, Herbal medicine: Association for the Advancement of Restorative medicine (AARM)

Dr. Zarbalian's reviews:



Dr. Zarbalian's service work:

Arlington Free Clinic 

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About East-West Rheumatology and Direct Physician Care

East-West Rheumatology is a clinic founded by Dr. Yousef Zarbalian with a mission of delivering a holistic model of medical care and redefining the physician-patient relationship. Dr. Z empowers his patients to take a multifaceted approach to autoimmune disease, inflammation, and chronic pain among many other conditions. 

Our Philosophy

  • A holistic view of you as a person and your health needs ​

    • Centered on reaching your health goals rather than a disease-centered approach

  • Shared decision-making on diagnostic testing and treatment

  • Emphasis on non-pharmaceutical approaches 

    • Dietary modification and herbal medicine to effect the microbiome and manage dysbiosis, a root cause in many autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

    • Acupuncture and Cupping to address the structural component of many musculoskeletal conditions as well as neuroimmune modulation tools.

    • Lifestyle changes: mind-body medicine techniques, such as biofeedback, Heartmath® and meditation 

    • Group exercise: Walk with a Doc

  • Reduce the intrusion of insurance companies and drug companies into medical decision-making and care ( see "Direct Physician Care")

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