About Me

Howdy! I’m Rishi! 🙂

I’m the founder of RK.md, a small corner of the Internet dedicated to my musings on medicine, education, technology, and life. I consider myself to be simple, inquisitive, fiscally conservative, socially liberal, and the stereotypical nerd.

I’m an adult cardiothoracic anesthesiologist and intensivist board certified in anesthesiology and critical care medicine. Additionally, I’m a testamur in both advanced perioperative transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) and critical care ultrasound awaiting final board certification in both areas.

I enjoy mentoring aspiring healthcare providers to become insightful, hard-working, humble, and compassionate members of this profession. In my free time, I enjoy studying, teaching, programming, sports, investing, automotive engineering, and video games.


PURPOSE

The word “doctor” comes from “docere”, the Latin for “to teach.” From my days in grade school, I have always loved teaching. Something about the process of learning complex topics, distilling them down to the basics, and being able to educate others has become a source of joy in my life. I find myself learning things for the purpose of teaching – whether that’s distributing notes, procedural skills, drawing diagrams, or just providing advice about things which worked for me and mistakes I’ve made – I cannot see myself outside of an academic world. I hope this passion to educate others continues to fuel my own study habits, appreciation for other disciplines in healthcare, and overall improvement as a physician every single day.

Social media outlets like this blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow me to use technology to spread my love of teaching. As a physician, I want to provide advice and reassure those on similar journeys while also curating and creating informative content for both the general public and trainees in healthcare.


EDUCATION

I graduated in three years from Katy Taylor High School (2002 – 2005) and also graduated summa cum laude in three years from Houston Baptist University (2005 – 2008) with two bachelor of science majors in chemistry and biochemistry molecular biology. After a gap year of teaching MCAT preparatory courses, I was accepted to my dream medical school, Baylor College of Medicine, and earned my doctor of medicine (MD) degree in spring 2013. I then completed my categorical anesthesiology residency at Baylor College of Medicine serving as chief resident in my final year (2013-2017). Afterwards, I went on to complete two clinical fellowships in critical care medicine and adult cardiothoracic anesthesiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Harvard Medical School from 2017 – 2019.


TECH LIFE

As a child, my dad encouraged me to tear apart old computers he acquired, learn about the components, and understand how software interacted with hardware to accomplish amazing things. I started building computers at a very young age, but simply couldn’t afford the latest and greatest parts on the market. Nevertheless, the logical thought process of computing was incredibly appealing. Around the same time, I grew fond of automotive workings. I learned about the different parts in an internal combustion engine, how they interact, and how to troubleshoot problems.

The real springboard for my insatiable love of technology was when I learned about the Internet’s framework, protocols, DNS, servers, and building websites through PHP, HTML, and JavaScript in my early-mid teens. I branched out and did freelance projects, code contributions, dabbled in Java/Android programming, and learned how to apply my growing body of tech knowledge/skills to my career in healthcare. In the process, I also developed a free iOS echocardiography app called EchoTools.


GADGETS

In July 2019, I went with a pair of workstations – Bahamut (custom rig I built) and Odin (iMac Pro) – to meet my gaming and productivity needs, respectively. Prior to this, I built OrionZeratulOvermind and Tassadar. There’s something very rewarding about building your own computer and seeing technology evolve each passing year! 🙂

MacBooks have served my mobile computing needs since 2008. I’m currently rocking a 2018 MacBook Pro 13″ (dubbed “Leviathan”) for tasks that my iPad Pro cannot easily accomplish.

Titan is my storage repository running on a WD My Cloud EX4100 4-bay network attached storage (NAS). I’ve equipped this NAS with Western Digital Red Drives in RAID-10 configuration for redundancy and performance. I can remotely access my files, backup my computers, host websites, and stream multimedia to my Apple TV via Plex.

Dabbling in the Android tablet arena over many years, I never found the experience I was looking for. I purchased the iPad Pro in January 2017 with an Apple Pencil and ultimately upgraded to the 10.5″ iPad Pro in April 2018 with an Apple Smart Keyboard.

Apple then released an edge-to-edge “Face ID” version of the iPad Pro – I purchased the 11″ version with an Apple Pencil 2 and Smart Keyboard in November 2018. This is my primary computer at work and a very helpful teaching tool.

After many years of being a die hard Android Nexus/Pixel user, I decided it was time to go with an iPhone to better unify my workflow across all devices since I don’t program Android apps anymore.  I purchased the iPhone X in December 2017.. After writing my first app and enjoying the seamless interplay with all of my mobile devices, I traded my iPhone X for an iPhone XS Max in October 2018.

Here are the other smartphones I’ve owned starting with the most recent: iPhone XGoogle Pixel 2Google Pixel (backup), Huawei Nexus 6P, Motorola Nexus 6, HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Motorola Droid Bionic, Apple iPhone 4, Motorola Droid X, Motorola Droid, BlackBerry Tour 9630, Samsung Omnia i910, LG Voyager VX-10000, Palm Treo 700w

I never thought I’d get into the smartwatch market, but after prices had dropped due to expanding consumer options, I purchased a Moto 360 with stainless steel band in April 2015. This was upgraded to a Samsung Gear S3 in November 2017 and upgraded again to an Apple Watch Series 3 with a silver Milanese loop band in February 2018. The Apple Watch offers an incredible suite of applications which interface very well with my day-to-day activities. Never before did I think a smartwatch would be so useful! I then upgraded to the Apple Watch Series 4 with black Milanese loop band in September 2018 and loved the larger screen size with room for complications in the corners.

I’m not a hardcore audiophile, but after buying these Bose QC 35 headphones in September 2016, I decided high-end, quality headphones were well worth the money!

I transitioned to Sony WH-1000XM2 wireless, noise-cancelling headphones in April 2018 and was very satisfied with the noise cancelling, superior audio quality, gesture controls, and companion app feature set! I then upgraded to the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones in November 2018. A year later, I transitioned to the Bose 700 noise cancelling headphones and a custom AirPods Pro.

After having a BMW Z4 for just over 15 years and learning so much about automotive engineering by tinkering with its engine, suspension, electronics, battery, radiator, alternator, pumps, brakes, wheels, headlights, and interior, I transitioned to a Tesla Model 3 Performance the same day I started my job as an attending physician. After driving an all-electric vehicle with so much technology, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the internal combustion engine.

49 Comments

  1. Nour Al Zahraa FAWAZ Reply

    hello Doctor! How are you? You are such an inspirational person!
    Thank you for all the beneficial information!
    I have something to ask.. I am a MASTER 2 student in Cardiovascular Pharmacology… I am from Lebanon but looking forward to travel for an internship in my second semester. I am also willing on continuing my PhD but I am not able to find a lab that responds to me.. Can you help please??
    and thank you so so so much

    • Hey Nour! Unfortunately, I don’t have connections to any labs at this point! Best of luck!

  2. Hi Rishi,
    Your website really piqued my interest and when I read that you’re currently in TMC I had to reach out! I’m inspired by you and would love to pick your brain about medicine. Do you give talks? Or how can I connect with you while I’m here? (MS4 applying NS, c/o 2020)

    • Hey Stephanie! I’m at Hermann’s HVI all the time during the week (cath lab on 2 or ORs on 7), or you can contact me via the contact page. Enjoy the MS4 life! 🙂

  3. Zobia zahid Reply

    I really admire your work sir.!. Your education and all innovation outstanding… I am currently doing bachelor of science in Anesthesia. From Pakistan. I want some guidance from you for my further higher education… Please enlighten me on this topic.
    Thank you!

    • Thanks so much for the kind words! There’s no secret – just work hard, stay humble, and always put the patient first!

  4. Hi. Just discovered your blog and with your interests in new technology think you might like a novel gadget that integrates OR music volume with patient vitals – low heart rate, Spo2 or blood pressure automatically lowers the music volume. Spent 2 years making it and want to share with people who like music and tech!

    • How cool! Unfortunately I rarely get to select the music choice in the OR! 😉

  5. I can’t find your recommend book list??? Where can I find that?

  6. Sarah Pugnetti Reply

    Omg what a small world I’m currently at Katy HS and will be a junior this fall. I was wondering what made you want to pursue cardiothoracic as a subspecialty and what you personally think of the rest. Because I want to go into the Army/Navy and become an Anssthesiologist that way, but I’ve had my mind on cardiothoracic, pain management, perioperative, etc; I just don’t know so much about the overall review of each one. So if you know any info/experience/tips on any of them, I gladly appreciate it:)

    • What a small world indeed! I went to Cinco Ranch and Katy Taylor for high school! I’ve written a blurb about why I went into critical care anesthesiology, and many of these reasons carry over to cardiothoracic anesthesiology… especially taking care of very ill patients using new technology. 🙂

  7. Your blog is pretty amazing sir. I am a first year CRNA student. I was reviewing your write up on the OHDC. I became even more intrigued with your Z4 story. I have a 128i with a six-speed manual, and I too, tinker as a pseudo-mechanic; as it is quite cathartic. At this point in my training though I have no time for tinkering. Again it was great to read through your blog, and I look forward to sharing and returning soon.

  8. Bill Randall Reply

    I’m finding your blogs fascinating. I have a friend, former ED nurse, who is doing is critical care/anesthesia residency (fellowship (?)) at Stanford. Great guy.

  9. Congratulations. Great blog! Can you share ABA´s MCQ? I´m trying find ABA exams 2017 and before this year, but I didn´t. I´m from Brazil. I would like receive in my e-mail, if is possible. Thank you.

    • Thanks Leo! I don’t condone sharing/distributing copyrighted materials, so I won’t be able to provide you with what you requested. Nevertheless, I appreciate the kind words!

  10. Excellent blog! I’ve been followig for about a year now and am in my anesthesia prelim year. Your positivity is certainly an asset, however I would love to see a post about frustrations/obstacles you have encountered while transitioning from PGY-1 to CA-1 and how you’ve overcome those. Keep up the great work!

    • I really appreciate the readership (especially from a fellow anesthesia resident!) I’ll be sure to write a post about that topic in the coming days – as you can imagine, the obstacles are substantial at the beginning… but we all get through it! =D

  11. Awesome blog! So glad I came across it. Trying for anesthesiology with fairly low scores, lets see how it goes.

    • Thanks for the comment! Please let me know if you need any info or advice, and best of luck! =D

  12. LOVE this page and your blog! It’s amazing with all of these gaming consoles that you have time to study 🙂 Can’t wait to see a eventual review(s) of electronic medical records software systems that you encounter… unless you’ve already done that. I’m really surprised you don’t have an iPad listed here!

    • Thank you Andrea!! I haven’t actually had time to review any EMRs, but I’ve used several both inside and outside the Texas Medical Center. In reality, I wish there could be a single, universal EMR (hosted by Google, haha) to centralize all of a patient’s information in a secure manner. This would make life significantly easier for both patients and their physicians.

      As for the iPad, let’s just say that this page hasn’t been updated in a while. 😉

      • Yes, EMRs still have a LONG way to go before they can truly exchange patient information to improve the quality and safety of patient care among providers/hospitals/etc. Most of the information is still just contained in individual EMR silos that only that provider or hospital sees. I think Google actually tried to build an EMR and piloted it somewhere, but I think it was a miserable failure as I recall.

        Healthcare IT adoption is a ridiculously slow process – and a big part of the problem is just resistance to change. I guess even big EMR incentives aren’t enough to persuade all docs to adopt. We’re getting there very slowly though… obviously the younger docs will only practice WITH an digital charts, so in order to attract younger docs to a group, an EMR is absolutely essential. Still shocks me how many groups aren’t getting that!

  13. Michael Magnetta Reply

    Cool website man..I’m a tech savvy medical student myself… We should have an interweb medical pow-wow!! I dig the blog and content! Have u ever considered radiology???????

    • Thank you so much, Michael! Haha, radiology is awesome, but I think all the tech would be TOO distracting. 😉 Best of luck with your career man!

  14. Jean Parks Reply

    Greetings,
    Thanks so much for your review of the water softening system. I found you by chance on the internet, and have enjoyed your site and having a brief introduction to you. As a medical family, ( Husband is an Ortho MD ) you give us hope for the future of medicine in this country. It has changed so drastically since my husband finished his residency thirty years ago. God Bless you, and I am proud that you represent this profession of Medicine so beautifully.

    • Thank you so incredibly much for this comment! I had a long shift on the GI consult service today, but your words gave me a renewed sense of motivation. 🙂

  15. You were my tour guide during my interview day (Dec. 11th), haha. I think I e-mailed you over the summer upon finding your blog via sdn. Small world.

    • Small world indeed. 🙂 Let me know if you ever have any questions regarding BCM, and best of luck to you this application cycle. Thanks for the comment!

  16. Hi! it’s me Sonia. You are a very intelligent person. How are you? Well I will talk to you soon! Happy Halloween!

  17. Rishi-

    I am a medical student at UT Houston who recently discovered your website. I also tend to be a student who rarely puts forth a genuine effort to study, despite a tradition of perfectionism. It is inspiring that you are not only having similar experiences at med school, but are persevering – it gives me hope. I only wish I had known about your website while I was applying. Maybe if I had submitted my TMDSAS the day it opened, I too could have gotten into Baylor. 🙂

    It was refreshing to read your blog for its non-medical insights as well. With the debate in this country so dominated by the liberal media elites, it is rare to find news sources that are not tainted by the socialist propaganda – and young people willing to admit not only that they are conservatives, but also Republicans. It isn’t fair that the same 40% of poor people who exist off of the federal dole, like tape worms in the gut of America, are now demanding we pay for their Viagra too.

    Keep up the good work.

    PS: Your quote is cool, it reminds me of the great Dolores Umbridge.

    • Thanks for all the kind feedback, David! Maybe we’ll run into each other one of these days in the TMC. 🙂

  18. Hi Rishi you are truly a tech savvy medical student. Hard to believe that you are a Medical Student not a Computer Geek. Got your comment on my site thanx for your kind attention.

    • Thanks Vinay! Haha, it was a tough decision between IT and medicine, but after years of weighing where my strengths really are, I felt my calling was more in the latter profession. 🙂

  19. ISHWIN DEMBLA Reply

    Hey Rishi,

    Your quote caught my attention and intrigued me. Its wonderfully said and is so realistic. Its truly a learning experience for me. Your quote is one comprehensive package describing potent elements of success and peace and kudos to you for the contribution you have made. Also your website is fascinating.

    • Thanks! That was my senior quote back in high school. My… how the years go by. 🙂

  20. recyclingbinh Reply

    i didn’t know that you are a conservative. i was an independent at first but this 2008 election have made me more conservative. the liberal media and democratic party were all in the tank for obama. I can’t quite associate myself with the republican party right now b/c they are all over the place. hopefully they can pull it together and win in 2010.

    keep up the good work.

  21. Haha, I appreciate the thoughtful comment, but it’ll take years upon years of training and experience to come even close to achieving the accomplishments of medical legends like Dr. Carson and Dr. DeBakey. Gives me something to strive for. 🙂

  22. Nice website man, I mind find some clues to your whereabouts now, the elusive man eating beast that is never and always around

  23. Wow, your quote is truly inspirational. Here’s another great one: “I’m in it to win it.”

  24. Rishi, just wanted to let you know that I commend you in your achievements and always find you website welcoming, beaming with new angles of knowledge and even humor. You seem to me, the person I might have been, had I not become so full of myself and become arrogant and lazy, which is the supposed “curse” of “talented” students. Mind you, I have learned from my mistakes and have humbled down quite a bit. It is better to receive a comment that I am smart, than for me to tell someone that I am these days. I know that you have humility and are very easy going. I guess, what I am trying to say is, don’t fall like I did.

    As for you website, well, I think it would be cool if you could put some anatomy images, MRI images, surgery images, etc., since you are a Med student. It would seem more appropriate, Mr. HBU! Anyway, best of luck, man.

    And remember, the main idea is to keep the main idea the main idea.

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