HumAnes of UCLA: Micaela Zywicki, MD

Introducing Dr. Micaela Zywicki, CA-2 Resident Physician

Micaela Zywicki and her dogs

Note: This interview was conducted in February 2023, when Dr. Zywicki was a CA-2. Dr. Zywicki is in the UCLA DAPM Class of 2024.

February 15, 2023

Where are you originally from? What inspired your move to Southern California?
I'm originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and went to both college and medical school at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. After experiencing some intense winters (including one involving a "polar vortex"), I decided to do a rotation during medical school at UCLA. The weather was a huge draw to this area since I love outdoor activities, and the program (especially the people) was the icing on top. 🙂

Do you have any pets?
Not yet! My parents have always had a dog (black lab, then chow chow mix, and now a border collie) and my sister has a corgi, so I really love being around dogs. I'm hoping to get a larger dog that can join all the adventures my boyfriend and I like to go on. My boyfriend's family has always had Great Danes, but we're thinking of getting a dog a little smaller than that since the apartments and yards in L.A. are a bit too small for that size dog.

Micaela Zywicki, MD, biking

What are your favorite hobbies outside of work?
I enjoy pretty much any and every outdoor activity! Some of my favorites are hiking, biking, playing and watching sports (baseball, basketball, football), surfing, golfing and finding the best breakfast burritos in Southern California. My favorite hike so far in California was Mount Baldy, and I'm hoping to hike Mount Whitney this summer. I'm part of the Resident Wellness Committee, and we started a February Fitness Challenge to promote wellness and exercise among the residents after finishing the in-training exam! If it's a hit, then we might involve attendings and the rest of the department in a friendly wellness competition in the future. 

Where are you going for your next vacation?
In a few weeks, my boyfriend and I are going to Hawaii, which I've been really excited about. My family and I were planning to go to Hawaii as a celebration after finishing medical school, but then the pandemic happened, so it will be great to finally see all that Hawaii has to offer. We're planning lots of outdoor activities on Maui, Kauai, and Oahu, including hiking on Kauai, biking up a dormant volcano on Maui, and surfing on Oahu. Always open to suggestions on activities and food, since it seems almost everyone in California has been to Hawaii at some point! 

Micaela Zywicki, MD and her boyfriend

What have you enjoyed about CA-2 year so far? What rotation has been your favorite?
CA-2 has absolutely flown by! A huge reason for that has been all of the sub-specialty rotations, and my favorite thus far has been cardiac. When I was in college, my dad needed cardiac surgery, and the cardiac anesthesiologist had a large impact on my family and me. Being able to rotate through cardiac anesthesia really brought back a lot of those memories, and it felt very rewarding to be part of a team making such a huge impact on patients and their families. In addition, the rotation made me much more confident in caring for other complex patients who are not undergoing cardiac surgery. It was a great learning experience all around. 

Do you play any instruments?
I play guitar and ukulele. In high school, I started off playing electric guitar, but lately I play more acoustic guitar. Somewhere along the way, I got a ukulele and learned to play that as well. In medical school, we actually had a band called "The Arrhythmias," and we played a few shows over the four years. Our drum set even had an EKG on it to really embrace the name of the band. 🙂