New Faculty Focus: Anjali Rao

Q&A with Anjali Rao, MD, visiting associate professor, Division of Developmental Pediatrics and Rehabilitation Medicine

Hometown: Northbrook, Illinois

Educational/professional background:

  • BS, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  • MD, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Residency, Pediatrics, Children’s Memorial Hospital/Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
  • Fellowship, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Previous position (title, institution): Attending physician and clinical instructor in the Department of Pediatrics at Northwestern Medicine

What is your field of research or area of clinical care, and how did you get into it? My research efforts mirror the drivers behind my career pivot from general pediatrics to developmental pediatrics: to promote access to developmental and behavioral care, strengthen systems of care, and promote models for care efficiency.

How would you describe your work to a 5-year-old? I am a doctor for the kids who need a little more help showing the world how amazing they are!

What attracted you to UW–Madison? The Waisman Center — I am honored to join this compassionate team to provide comprehensive care to children with neurodevelopmental differences.

What is your favorite thing to do in Madison? Spend time near the lake, but only when it is not frozen!

What’s one thing you hope trainees will learn from you and your work? I have followed a unique career path; I hope to inspire learners to embrace change, pivots, and uncertainty as they strive to find their ikigai.

Do you feel your work relates to the Wisconsin Idea? If so, please describe how. I believe all children deserve to be happy, healthy, and supported as they grow, develop, and build skills. As a pediatrician, educator, and mother, I am often weaving pearls of learning into many of my interactions throughout my day.

What’s something interesting about your area of expertise you can share that will make us sound smarter during video chats and parties? All humans share about 99.9% of the same genetic code. So, despite our many visible and invisible differences, we are all very much the same.

What are some of your hobbies and other interests? I love to have new adventures traveling all over the world, chatting with friends, and relaxing with family. I love walking my dog and have jumped on the pickleball bandwagon. My husband and two teenage daughters make my heart full and keep life interesting.