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Rajni Rao, MD

Title(s)Professor, Medicine
SchoolSchool of Medicine
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of California, San FranciscoFellowship 2006Division of Cardiology
    University of California, San Francisco Residency 2003Department of Medicine
    University of California, San FranciscoM.D.2000 School of Medicine
    Harvard UniversityA.B.1995Biology
    Massachusetts General HospitalInternship2001Department of Medicine
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    University of California, San Francisco2014Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators Excellence in Teaching Award
    University of California, San Francisco2007Cardiology Faculty Teaching Award
    Actelion Pharmaceuticals2006Actelion Young Investigator Research Award
    2006American Association of Cardiologists of Indian Origin (AACIO) Dr. Krishna Ramaswamy Young Investiga
    University of California, San Francisco2005Cardiology Fellow Teaching Award
    2000American Medical Women’s Association Achievement Citation
    1999Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Society

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    CLINICAL INTERESTS: Rajni Rao is a general non-invasive cardiologist with special interests in echocardiography, heart failure, valvular heart disease, cardio-oncology, plant based nutrition and women's health. She has led efforts in the division to enhance physician efficiency and improve patient education and the patient experience.

    ACADEMIC INTERESTS: Dr. Rao has been an active leader in medical education, and has served as the course co-director for the cardiovascular curriculum for first-year medical students and the site leader of the innovative UCSF SOM Action Research Program pilot which helped inform today's Bridges Curriculum. She is also the faculty liaison for cardiovascular clerkships in the UCSF School of Medicine Parnassus campus, and teaches the end of the year CODA course to help prepare graduating students to handle cardiac emergencies during their residency.

    ADMINISTRATIVE ROLES: Clinical Practice Chief and Ambulatory Clinical Chief of Cardiology 2012-2020.

    ADMINISTRATIVE INTERESTS: As Clinical Chief, Dr. Rao helped design and build three new clinics in San Francisco and the East Bay, helped create the cardiology facets of the electronic health record at UCSF including designing risk calculators, billing tools, and resulting of tests to patients. She has implemented Lean management into the ambulatory clinics, has worked to improve patient experience, physician and staff experience. Dr. Rao created a pharmacist-run physical and virtual team based program for hypertension management to achieve high quality care with evidence based goals in a manner that optimizes patient engagement. She also helped found the Cardiology Outpatient Recovery (COR) program to address the special needs of Transitions of Care for cardiac patients being discharged from the hospital. Dr. Rao has worked with strategic partners to improve operational collaboration, and with various payers and Population Health programs to create high quality, cost-effective cardiac care.

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    Collapse Websites

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Brooks GC, Lee BK, Rao R, Lin F, Morin DP, Zweibel SL, Buxton AE, Pletcher MJ, Vittinghoff E, Olgin JE. Predicting Persistent Left Ventricular Dysfunction Following Myocardial Infarction: The PREDICTS Study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016 Mar 15; 67(10):1186-1196. PMID: 26965540.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Kesarwani M, Ports TA, Rao RK, Mahadevan VS. First-in-Human Transcatheter Pulmonic Valve Implantation Through a Tricuspid Valve Bioprosthesis to Treat Native Pulmonary Valve Regurgitation Caused by Carcinoid Syndrome. JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2015 Aug 24; 8(10):e161-3. PMID: 26315750.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Johnson CJ, Roberts JD, James JH, Hoffmayer KS, Badhwar N, Ku IA, Zhao S, Naeger DM, Rao RK, O'Connell JW, De Marco T, Botvinick EH, Scheinman MM. Comparison of radionuclide angiographic synchrony analysis to echocardiography and magnetic resonance imaging for the diagnosis of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. Heart Rhythm. 2015 Jun; 12(6):1268-75. PMID: 25744613.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Thadani SR, Dyverfeldt P, Gin A, Chitsaz S, Rao RK, Hope MD. Comprehensive evaluation of culture-negative endocarditis with use of cardiac and 4-dimensional-flow magnetic resonance imaging. Tex Heart Inst J. 2014 Jun; 41(3):351-2. PMID: 24955064.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Barazangi N, Wintermark M, Lease K, Rao R, Smith W, Josephson SA. Comparison of computed tomography angiography and transesophageal echocardiography for evaluating aortic arch disease. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2011 Sep-Oct; 20(5):436-42. PMID: 20813553.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Rao RK, Tunuguntula A.Cardiology. Crawford MH, DiMarco JP, Paulus WJ, ed. Special problems in myocardial ischemia: the diagnosis of coronary artery disease in pre-noncardiac organ transplant patients. 2009.
    7. Barzangi N, Wintermark M, Lease K, Rao RK, Smith W, Josephson S.A.Comparision of computed tomography angiography to transesophageal echocardiography for evaluation of aortic arch atheroma calcification. American Stroke Association Scientific Sessions. 2009.
    8. Stephen A. Joseph, Yanfei Yang, Ramford K. Ng, Sanjiv M. Narayan, Paul Varosy, Uday Kumar, Rajni Rao, Mintu Turakhia, Edmund C. Keung, Nitish Badhwar, Byron K. Lee, Zian H. Tseng, Randall J. Lee, Jeffrey E. Olgin, Melvin M. Scheinman. Atypical ECG Characteristics of Atrial Flutter as an Exclusion to Ablation—A Missed Opportunity. Heart Lung and Circulation. 2009 Jan 1; 18:s140.
      View in: Publisher Site
    9. Rao, R.Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Cardiology. Pulmonary embolic disease. 2008.
    10. Elyse Foster, Rajni Rao, David De Lurgio, Adam Hoyhtya, Kyle Brunner, Michael Husby, Jill Schafer. Dyssynchrony, Left Ventricular Size, and Gender Predict Echocardiographic Response to Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy in the DECREASE-HF Study. Journal of Cardiac Failure. 2007 Aug 1; 13(6):s137-s138.
      View in: Publisher Site
    11. Rao RK, Kumar UN, Schafer J, Viloria E, De Lurgio D, Foster E. Reduced ventricular volumes and improved systolic function with cardiac resynchronization therapy: a randomized trial comparing simultaneous biventricular pacing, sequential biventricular pacing, and left ventricular pacing. Circulation. 2007 Apr 24; 115(16):2136-44. PMID: 17420340.
      View in: PubMed
    12. R.K. Rao, J. Ye, W.M. Real, M. Springer, W. Grossman, T. de Marco, Y. Yeghiazarians. 356: Reduced number and function of circulating endothelial progenitor cells in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 2007 Feb 1; 26(2):s187-s188.
      View in: Publisher Site
    13. Rao RK, Ye J, Real WM, Springer M, Grossman W, De Marco T, Yeghiazarians Y.Reduced number and function of crculating endothelial progenitor cells in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. 2007.
    14. Rao RK, Chatterjee K. Heberden's Angina-Pathophysiology and Treatment. Indian Heart J. 2006 Nov-Dec; 58(6):384-92. PMID: 19057046.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Kumar UN, Rao RK, Scheinman MM. The 12-lead electrocardiogram in supraventricular tachycardia. Cardiol Clin. 2006 Aug; 24(3):427-37, ix. PMID: 16939834.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Rao RK, Viloria E, Schafer J, De Lurgio D, Foster E.Reduced ventricular volumes and improved systolic performance with cardiac resynchronization therapy: simultaneous biventricular vs. sequential biventricular vs. left univentricular pacing. American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions, Atlanta 2006. Abstract #969-123. 2006.
    17. Beinart G, Rao RK, Hollander H.Hospital Physician. Ectopic ACTH syndrome resulting in nocardiosis and acute respiratory failure. 2003; 39(10):49-51.
    18. Go AS, Rao RK, Dauterman KW, Massie BM. A systematic review of the effects of physician specialty on the treatment of coronary disease and heart failure in the United States. Am J Med. 2000 Feb 15; 108(3):216-26. PMID: 10723976.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Lieberman E, Lang JM, Cohen AP, Frigoletto FD, Acker D, Rao R. The association of fetal sex with the rate of cesarean section. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1997 Mar; 176(3):667-71. PMID: 9077626.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Badhwar N, Green D, O’connell JW, Lee BK, Tseng ZH, Marcus GM, Lee RJ, Rao R, et al.Equilibrium radionuclide angiogram derived measures of dyssynchrony predict clinical outcomes in patients receiving cardiac resynchronization therapy. Heart Rhythm Society Scientific Sessions, San Francisco, 2008. Abstract #6683.
    21. Rao RK, Kumar UN, Schafer J, De Lurgio D, Foster E.American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, Chicago, 2006. Abstract #2931. Poster competition finalist. Echocardiographic changes after cardiac resynchronization therapy are not associated with changes in clinical measures.
    22. Singh HS, Gaggar A, Rao R, Boyle AJ.A stressful situation & an aching heart. Society of General Internal Medicine Conference. Poster Presentation, Toronto, April 2007.