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 currently an adult cardiothoracic anesthesiology fellow, ICU attending, and board certified anesthesiologist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital – Harvard Medical School. 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.

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 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 and a 4.0 overall GPA. 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 medicine and adult cardiothoracic anesthesiology beginning in July 2017. I became a board certified anesthesiologist on March 8, 2018 and completed my ICU fellowship on July 8th, 2018.


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.

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.

I built Orion in July 2018 as the successor to ZeratulOvermind and Tassadar. I wanted to build a powerful yet compact workstation using the ITX form factor with support for high definition gaming, parallel processing, video rendering, and server storage. Orion runs the latest version of MacOS and lets me seamlessly balance productivity, gaming, entertainment, and everything in between.


Rigel is a 2018 MacBook Pro 13″ I purchased in July 2018 (upgraded from a 2017 MacBook Pro) used for power and an application suite that my tablet cannot 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 MacBooks for the foreseeable future, since I’ll always have my desktop for more 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 upgraded to the 10.5″ iPad Pro in April 2018 with an Apple Smart Keyboard. It’s definitely my go-to at work or while studying.


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 and anticipate with this new form factor, several iterations of iOS will be needed before the user interface is comparable the current standard iPhone experience. Here are the other smartphones I’ve owned starting with the most recent: Google 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 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! 🙂


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, 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 have been very satisfied with the noise cancelling, superior audio quality, gesture controls, and companion app feature set!


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)

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37 Comments
  1. Sarah Pugnetti says

    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:)

    1. Rishi says

      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. 🙂

  2. Michael says

    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.

    1. Rishi says

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Michael! Best wishes!

  3. Bill Randall says

    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.

    1. Rishi says

      Thanks so much, Bill! Stanford has an amazing program! 🙂

  4. Leo says

    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.

    1. Rishi says

      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!

  5. KCMO says

    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!

    1. Rishi says

      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

  6. A says

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

    1. Rishi says

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

  7. Andrea says

    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!

    1. Rishi says

      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. 😉

      1. Andrea says

        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!

  8. Michael Magnetta says

    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???????

    1. Rishi says

      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!

  9. Jean Parks says

    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.

    1. Rishi says

      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. 🙂

  10. Kushal Naik says

    Hey Rishi..
    Cool website ! Interesting articles.. Impressive resume ! I’m a med student from Mumbai.. Keep writing !!

  11. Kathryn says

    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.

    1. Rishi says

      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!

  12. sonia says

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

  13. David says

    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.

    1. Rishi says

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

  14. Vinay Prashar says

    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.

    1. Rishi says

      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. 🙂

  15. ISHWIN DEMBLA says

    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.

    1. Rishi says

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

  16. Sheena T Abraham says

    You have a super cool, creative Web site!

    1. Rishi says

      Thanks for the kind words, Sheena! 🙂

  17. recyclingbinh says

    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.

  18. Rishi says

    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. 🙂

  19. Fyfy says

    Rishi you are the Indian version of Dr. Ben Carson

  20. preteek says

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

  21. Aracely says

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

  22. Oscar says

    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.