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 

Daun Jeong, KMD(Korean Medical Doctor), L.Ac.


Dr. Jeong is living proof of back pain. He was diagnosed with spondylolysis and bulging disc as a teen and realized how pain could quickly ruin the quality of life. He couldn’t stand alone without a lumbar support band for more than five years in his teenage years. This was one of the reasons why he had decided to become a Korean medical doctor that specializes in pain management.

He received western and traditional medical education in South Korea for six years. Then he completed an internship and residency at the National Medical Center in Seoul for 4 years. In addition to the experiences of in-patients in the general hospital, he owned a private clinic in Korea from 2013 to 2018, specializing in pain management administering 100,000+ acupuncture treatments to over 10,000+ patients. Through experiences in both western and eastern medicine, he has a mission of bridging two fields of medicine together to the benefit of his patients. Since 2015, he has been teaching Systematic Acupuncture for pain courses to thousands of medical doctors.  

zarbalian_sam shots1 white coats.jpg
MED ACU Screen Shot 2020-10-20 at 9.19.5

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")

  • Facebook