Hi there! I'm

Rishi

I'm a Harvard-trained, full-time cardiac anesthesiologist and cardiovascular intensive care physician working in the Texas Medical Center. I seek to improve medical education, diagnostics, and patient safety while promoting team-based, patient-centered care. In addition, I enjoy training the next generation of physicians to become insightful, hard-working, humble, and compassionate leaders in medicine. RK.md is a website dedicated to my musings on medicine, education, technology, and life. Thanks for stopping by! 😊

Board Certifications:

  • Anesthesiology (American Board of Anesthesiology)
  • Critical Care Medicine (American Board of Anesthesiology)
  • Advanced Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography (National Board of Echocardiography)
  • Critical Care Echocardiography, Testamur (National Board of Echocardiography)

Designations:

  • Certified in Medical Quality (CMQ), American Board of Medical Quality
  • Fellow, American College of Cardiology (FACC)

Interests:

  • Cardiac intensive care
  • Cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesiology
  • Point-of-care ultrasonography (POCUS)
  • 3D transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)
  • Mechanical circulatory support
  • ICU and perioperative pharmacology
  • Advanced monitors
  • Free, open-access medical education (#FOAMed) over social media
  • Web development, PC gaming, hardware assembly, and basically all things tech!

Rishi Kumar, MD

PURPOSE

The word 'doctor' comes from 'docere' - Latin for "to teach."

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 is a source of joy in my life. I learn things to teach my patients, trainees, and colleagues. Whether that’s distributing notes, instilling procedural skills, drawing diagrams, or just providing advice about things that worked for me and mistakes I’ve made, academic medicine has been my refuge. I hope this passion for educating others fuels my study habits, appreciation for other disciplines in healthcare, and overall improvement as a physician every day.

Social media outlets like this blog allow me to use technology to spread my love of free, open-access medical education (FOAMed). 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 and trainees in healthcare.

MEET MY

TECH

As a child, my dad encouraged me to tear apart old computers, learn about the components, and understand how software interacted with hardware to accomplish amazing things. As a result, I started building computers at a very young age as 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 of 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. After that, 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.

The Workstation

Apple Mac Studio M1 Ultra

Read about the workstation

The Notebook

Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max

The Phone

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

The Server

Synology DS1821+ NAS

Read about the server

The Battlestation

Custom PC - Ghost

Read about the battlestation

The Tablet

Apple iPad Mini

The Watch

Apple Watch Series 6

The Ride

Tesla Model S Plaid

Read about the ride

CAREER TIMELINE

2019-present: Attending Life

I bid Boston farewell and moved back to Houston on July 19, 2019 and began my career at UTHealth – McGovern Medical School as a full-time assistant professor of anesthesiology on October 1, 2019. The original plan was to do a year of cardiothoracic anesthesiology and then divide my time between the OR and attending in the ICU; however, COVID-19 had other plans.

By summer 2020, roughly half my clinical time went to rounding in COVID-19 ICUs around Houston due to significant staffing shortages. I dabbled a bit in our transplant ICU too, but finally landed home as an attending in cardiovascular ICU in September 2021.

2017-2019: Fellowship Training

On July 1, 2017, I moved to Boston, Massachusetts to begin my dual fellowship in critical care medicine and adult cardiothoracic anesthesiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Harvard Medical School.

2013-2017: RESIDENCY TRAINING

I was humbled to stay in the Texas Medical Center for my categorical anesthesiology residency training at Baylor College of Medicine. Over four years, I rotated through Ben Taub Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, Texas Heart Institute, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

  • April 15, 2016: Accepted an outside-of-match offer to do my critical care medicine and adult cardiothoracic anesthesiology fellowships at Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Harvard Medical School
  • July 2016 – June 2017: Selected as a chief anesthesiology resident by faculty and residents
  • June 23, 2017: Graduated from categorical anesthesiology residency at Baylor College of Medicine. Awarded the Gertie Marx Award (outstanding performance in obstetric anesthesia) and Robert D. Dripps Memorial Award (outstanding graduate resident in anesthesiology)

2008-2013: Gap Year & Med School

From July 2008 to January 2009, I taught physical sciences for the Princeton Review’s MCAT Review course. December 10, 2008, I received “the phone call” from my dream medical school, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), informing me of my acceptance, and started my training in July 2009. As a medical student, I participated in the following activities: Admissions Committee Student Co-Chair, Surgical Corps Co-Founder, Emergency Medicine Interest Group, Student Research Society, Gold Humanism Society Member

2002-2008: HIGH SCHOOL & COLLEGE

Although I have fond memories of my elementary school years, middle school and especially high school were rough as an overweight, nerdy Indian kid who didn’t care about style or wanting to be “cool.” Amidst the daily teasing, I sought refuge in academics and was motivated to focus squarely on planning my career and expediting things whenever possible.

By enrolling in advanced placement classes whenever possible and replacing my summer breaks with extra coursework, I was able to finish high school in three years and begin my undergraduate studies as a second-semester sophomore. This allowed me to also complete college in three years with a double major in chemistry and biochemistry molecular biology. During my undergrad time, I was involved with the following organizations: Alpha Epsilon Delta (chapter president and webmaster), Alpha Phi Omega (national co-ed service fraternity), Alpha Chi Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa Honorary Leadership Society, Society of Physics Students, South Asian Student Association (secretary), Student Foundation

  • August 2002: I attended Cinco Ranch High School for my freshman year and was re-zoned to James E. Taylor High School for my sophomore and junior/senior years.
  • May 2005: Graduated from high school in three years!
  • July 2005: Pursued a double major in chemistry and biochemistry molecular biology (BCMB). Awarded Freshman of the Year by the College of Science and Mathematics (COSM)
  • January and April 2007: Took the medical college admissions test (MCAT) twice before I was satisfied with my score.
  • May 2008: Graduated summa cum laude (GPA 4.0) with a double bachelor of science in three years. Awarded President’s Award for Exemplary All-Round Male Student, Outstanding Chemistry Lab Teacher’s Assistant, Mr. Alpha Phi Omega, Max and Celia Grigsby Award for Outstanding Student in the College of Science and Mathematics, and Mr. HBU, Who’s Who Among College Students, National Dean’s List