Rakhee Bowker - DELEGATE, MD
My name is Dr. Rakhee Bowker and I am an Assistant Professor of Neonatology at Rush University Medical Center. As a pediatrician and intensive care unit physician in the Neonatal ICU, I care for critically ill newborns including premature infants, infants with complex congenital anomalies, and infants who require medical stabilization and support in the first days and weeks of life. I also work with women with high risk pregnancies through the Maternal Fetal Center to provide guidance, support and multidisciplinary medical care. I am also the mother of three beautiful children! I am proud to call myself a strong advocate for women.
About my company
Rush University Children's Hospital provides compassionate, family-centered care and is dedicated to healing and support for patients and their families. The NICU at Rush provides advanced, family-centered care for the most vulnerable babies. The level III NICU is located in close proximity to labor and delivery to ensure that babies in crisis get immediate NICU care. The NICU also has internationally renowned experts on breast milk and breastfeeding.
I chose this career path because
I chose this career path because service has always been exceptionally important to me. Several members of my family experienced significant illness during my childhood and I welcomed the opportunity to give back. My nephew is a NICU grad and I am enormously grateful for the compassionate, excellent medical care he received during his hospitalization. I have also experienced significant loss, including the loss of my niece to complications of necrotizing enterocolitis, a devastating disease that affects the intestines of premature infants. As a Neonatologist I have the honor and privilege of helping families cope with the birth of vulnerable infants who are often extremely sick. It is incredibly rewarding.
I prepared for this career by
I prepared for this career by obtaining my medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, in New York, NY. I completed a residency in Pediatrics at the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital/NYPresbyterian of Columbia University Medical Center. Following residency, I completed 3 years of fellowship training in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at Northwestern University, where I cared for critically ill infants in the busy Neonatal ICUs at Prentice Women's Hospital and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.
The biggest challenge I've overcome
The biggest challenge is staying strong as a woman in pediatrics. Balancing having a meaningful, fulfilling career as a physician with the challenges and responsibilities of motherhood is not always easy.
My greatest strength(s)
My greatest strengths include resilience in the face of hardship and a willingness to work together with complex multidisciplinary teams to provide the highest quality care to patients and their families.
My greatest accomplishment to date
My greatest accomplishments to date include becoming an Assistant Professor of Neonatology at Rush University Medical Center while simultaneously raising three beautiful children. Along the way there have been many big milestones.
What/Who has inspired me the most
My inspiration comes from my patients and their families, as well as the hardworking physicians, advanced level nurse practitioners, NICU nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, dieticians, social workers, and all of the other members of the medical team who help provide high quality care to these vulnerable infants. NICU parents are incredible, and I am continually inspired by their strength.
I most want to be known/remembered for
I want to be remembered for making difference in the lives of children, one child at a time.
I participate in the following organizations/memberships
- Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society
- Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society
- American Academy of Pediatrics
I have received the following Honors/Awards/Scholarships
- In 2000 I graduated as class valedictorian from Newington High School.
- I went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude with Departmental Honors in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University where I was also elected into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.
- In 2009 I obtained my medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons where I was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and awarded the American Medical Women's Association Glasgow-Rubin Achievement Award.
- I went on to complete a Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship at Northwestern University/Lurie Children's Hospital. In my 1st and 3rd year of fellowship, I was awarded the Fellow Basic & Translational Research Prize at Research Scholar Day for my research work in neonatal intestinal injury. I was also invited to present my research at National Meetings and was awarded a Travel Award to present my work at the 2016 Pediatric Academic Societies national meeting.
I enjoy the following hobbies/interests
I enjoy reading, theater, music, the outdoors, and spending quality time with my family.