Howdy! My name is Rishi. I’m the founder of RK.md, a small corner of the Internet dedicated to my musings on medicine and technology. I consider myself to be simple, inquisitive, fiscally conservative, socially liberal, and the stereotypical nerd.
I’m a combined clinical fellow in critical care medicine and adult cardiothoracic anesthesiology at Brigham & Women’s Hospital – Harvard Medical School. I enjoy mentoring aspiring healthcare providers to become insightful and compassionate members of this profession.
In my free time, I enjoy programming, sports, investing, automotive engineering, and video games.
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.
We’ve all had influential educators in our lives who showed patience when we were unsteady, guidance when we were lost, and supportive reassurance when we failed. Using these traits, I ultimately want to apply my knowledge base and skillset to teach approaches to care for the critically ill in the intensive care unit (ICU) and operating room. Furthermore, I want to emphasize the importance of patient safety and quality improvement using technology and humanism.
One can either be miserable learning material for an exam or learn the same material for teaching and patient care. I’ve found the latter to be a much more fruitful endeavor. 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 the general public.
I graduated early from Katy Taylor High School (2002 – 2005) and then graduated early from Houston Baptist University (2005 – 2008) with two bachelor of science majors in chemistry and biochemistry molecular biology. Here are some of my collegiate activities/accolades: Alpha Epsilon Delta (Chapter President and Webmaster), Alpha Phi Omega (Mr. APO), Alpha Chi Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa Honorary Leadership Society, Society of Physics Students, South Asian Student Association, Student Foundation
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. Here are some of my med school activities/accolades: Admissions Committee Student Co-Chair, Surgical Corps Co-Founder, Emergency Medicine Interest Group, Student Research Society, Gold Humanism Society Member
I then matched to my first choice of categorical anesthesiology residency and stayed at Baylor College of Medicine from 2013 – 2017. My residency activities/accolades included: Chief anesthesiology resident, Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists, Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, Top 10% ABA Basic Exam, Gertie Marx Award (outstanding performance in obstetric anesthesia), Robert D. Dripps Memorial Award (outstanding graduate resident in anesthesiology)
In April 2016, I accepted an out-of-match offer from Brigham & Women’s Hospital – Harvard Medical School to complete a dual fellowship in critical care and adult cardiothoracic anesthesiology beginning in July 2017. I’m currently completing these fellowships.
TOYS & GADGETS
As a child, I remember my dad bringing home all sorts of old computer parts from work. He encouraged me to tear them apart, 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.
I built Zeratul in December 2016 as the successor to the Overmind and Tassadar. I wanted to build a powerful yet compact workstation using the ITX form factor with software flexibility and support for high definition gaming. Zeratul runs the latest version of Windows allowing me to seamlessly balance productivity, gaming, entertainment, and everything in between.
Artanis is an 11″ 2015 MacBook Air I purchased in March 2015 and use for tasks requiring more computing power or flexibility than my tablet can provide. Although I’ll never purchase an Apple desktop, I have to give props to their notebook line. They’re elegant, reliable, and very consumer friendly! I plan to stick to their compact line of notebooks for the foreseeable future, since I always have my desktop for more power intense tasks.
Dabbling in the Android tablet arena over many years, I never found the experience I was looking for. It was time to expand my realm of mobile platforms to include iOS, so I purchased the iPad Pro in January 2017 with an Apple Pencil and ultimately the Logitech Create keyboard to round out this powerful, portable device. It’s definitely my go-to at work or while studying.
Android is the largest mobile platform on the planet, and I’ll always be a loyalist to the Nexus/Pixel lines of smartphones. These devices are built for developers and allow users to experience Android as Google sees it – pure, fast, secure and functional. I’m rocking the latest version of Android (stable or beta channel) on this “just black ” Google Pixel XL 2 (purchased October 2017) and thoroughly enjoying the seamless integration of software with hardware. Here are the other smartphones I’ve owned starting with the most recent: Google 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. I’m notorious for leaving my smartphone on “silent”, so the smartwatch is constantly notifying me about missed calls, texts, emails, social media messages, etc. It also gives me a quick overview of my day and helps keep track of fitness metrics too! 🙂
Music is such an important part of my life. I’m always listening to something while studying, on my commute to work, at the gym, and even around the apartment. For years I opted for cheap, in-ear buds which kept falling out, hurt after continued use, and in retrospect, had horrible sound quality. I’m not a hardcore audiophile, but after buying these Bose QC 35 headphones in September 2016, it’s hard to use anything else. They’re comfortable, the noise-cancelling technology is unrivaled, and they sound fantastic! The fact that they’re wireless (bluetooth) was also incredibly important to me as cords were constantly getting pulled during my workouts and commutes. The price point is high, but like they say, you get what you pay for!
This BMW Z4 is a toy I’ve owned longer than anything else on this list, and through the years, I’ve tinkered with its engine, suspension, electronics, battery, radiator, alternator, pumps, brakes, wheels, headlights, and interior to expand my knowledge about cars by living as a pseudo-mechanic. It’s also one of my primary outlets of stress relief after a long shift. Here are some posts with tweaks to the car. (link here)