Pub 5 2021 Issue1

Resident Spotlight Zac Flinders, MD To start off, tell us a little bit about yourself and your background — where you grew up, went to school, your family, interests, hobbies, etc. I was born in Provo, UT, and moved around a few small Utah towns growing up but call Beaver, UT home. I graduated from Beaver High School, went to Southern Utah University (SUU) for undergraduate study and the University of Utah afterward for medical school. I got married while an undergrad at SUU. My wife is a Beaver, UT native — born and raised. She grew up on a farm and, as I have, has missed the country lifestyle, and we can’t wait to get back after residency. We graduated in the same high school class and started dating after we both started at SUU. She earned her bachelor’s in accounting and currently works for an accounting firm in Lehi. We have two children — Dax (five) and Zoey (one). We have a great deal of outdoor hobbies and take the children nearly everywhere with us … sometimes, we get some funny looks with our six-month-old on Timpanogos summit, or backcountry skiing with our 8-month-old, or biking with them in packs on our back, etc. If someone takes a look at your Facebook page, it looks like you could have a good side hustle as a wildlife and landscape photographer! Can you tell us a bit about how you got into that hobby? I spent (and continue to spend) a lot of time in the mountains and wild places of Utah, and when I was growing up, I frequently encountered amazing scenes. I always carried a point-and-shoot camera (before cell phones!), trying to capture the essence of those amazing places, sunsets, peak summits, etc. I was always frustrated by how poorly that type of camera captured the scene but enjoyed at least having something to remember the experience by! This drove me to pursue better camera gear and learn the art. I got my first real DSLR camera in undergrad and have never looked back! For a while, my wife and I were doing weddings, engagements, and event photography — but my true passion is landscape photography. We have gone to a few art shows, and it has been a real treat to share finished art pieces with people. It ’s an amazingly fun hobby that adds some balance to my life. Tell us about your journey that took you to medical school and eventually family medicine. What are some factors that influenced your decision to become a doctor and pursue family medicine? I had interests in several different fields until deciding on medicine. My family cultivated a great interest and love for wildlife sciences and the outdoors; for a time, I was drawn to the idea of becoming a professor in wildlife and wildland conservation like my grandfather or a wildlife biologist like my father. I spent a good amount of time riding and training horses, mountain biking, mountaineering, backcountry skiing, hunting, etc. I enjoy building and constructing things as well — with my family; we built two homes during my high school years (only subcontracting out a few tasks), several sheds, garages; formed and poured yards of concrete driveways, kennels, barns, etc. So, for a while, I considered pursuing a career in engineering or building like many members of my extended family had. I got to know some of the family physicians in Beaver, mainly outside the realm of medicine — in church, recreating outdoors, etc. I was intrigued by their example and service to the community and decided to try and gain a better understanding of the field of medicine by going to the hospital during high school “work release,” which was designed to allow students the opportunity to explore career options within the community. I spent time working with nurses, radiology techs, and physicians. I really enjoyed the experience and found that I got along with the physicians and found that our personalities meshed very well. Another fundamental experience that cemented my decision to pursue medicine was the Rural Health Scholars Program at SUU, where I found multiple opportunities to volunteer, shadow, and serve the community. In medical school, once clinical rotations began, I found myself enjoying just about everything. Somewhere along this journey, I came to realize that what I understood, what it meant to be a “doctor” based upon my exposure in Beaver, which was quite different from what I was beginning to better understand while shadowing and studying — | 16