Fellow Focus: Dr. Rachana Marathi

Dr. Rachana Marathi, PGY-IV fellow in Rheumatology, shares with us her path to medicine, UMMC, and rheumatology.

First, tell us about you.

I was born in India. My primary education was mainly at home with my mom, as I was raised abroad until I was in middle school. My grandfather and uncle inspired me to become an attorney like they were back in the day. Instead, my physician mom influenced me to choose medicine (which happens in most households in India 🙂). I worked hard and ended up in one of the best institutions, Osmania Medical College. In medical school, I had the best days of my life, and I also found the love of my life, Pradeep. He is my biggest strength. He also works at UMMC as a transplant nephrologist. I have to say I was conflicted about pursuing a different career path and I finally chose to explore opportunities outside of India. This has taken me to Texas Tech UHSC, Odessa, where I did my residency, and it has shaped me as a confident physician. I worked as a hospitalist in a few places in the south and at UMMC. Jackson holds a special place in my heart, and this has been a second home away from home, surrounded by a good group of friends. Both my beautiful children were born here, who are the stars of my life! 

How did you know you wanted to pursue Rheumatology? 

Rheumatology offers a unique combination of being a challenging specialty but also provides a balanced quality of life. Midway through my residency, I fell in love with Rheumatology. However, I had to pause pursuing a fellowship due to family priorities. After the pandemic, I realized I needed to pursue my dream, which came true this year. 

What do you like most about UMMC? 

Everyone here is warm and very welcoming. I felt the southern hospitality when I arrived in Mississippi. UMMC offers an excellent mix of tertiary care and a safety net for the entire state of Mississippi, where we get an opportunity to care for patients with a broad spectrum of medical issues. Interacting with all the specialties has been an amazing experience, I constantly learn from them. This makes me even more confident as a practicing physician.

What advice would you give to the interns? 

Spend time at the bedside, listen to your patients and learn about them as a person. Recognize that we care for a person and not just treat a disease or condition. Once you realize this, you will be their best advocate and care provider. Above all, do not stop achieving what you wish for! 

What could you give a 40-minute presentation on without preparation? 

I am a big enthusiast of Indian fashion and jewelry.  I can talk to you about traditional handlooms from various parts of India and more about traditional and contemporary Indian jewelry.  

What is something you wish you knew more about?

There are several things I wish I knew more about. For instance, finances, Bitcoin, real estate, the stock market, how to fix day-to-day things, etc.

What are some small things that make your day better?

Morning snuggles with my toddlers and coffee.  

Tell us something about you that most people don’t know.

My love for travel and travel diaries.

Family photos: my husband Pradeep Vaitla, my daughter Tisya, my son Nivish, and me

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