Dr. Rajiv Mallipudi, MD MHS Attending Hospitalist Physician, Yale New Haven Health Bridgeport Hospital (CT) and Clinical Instructor, Yale School of Medicine
Rajiv Mallipudi '05 admits that he is very, make that extremely, goal-driven. It's a defining characteristic that he honed at PDS and that has shaped his higher education and career to date. Given his heightened scientific interests at PDS, he went on to earn his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University and pursued a career as a physician distinguished with research success, publications and various scientific awards. He currently serves as the youngest Unit Medical Director physician at Yale New Haven Health Bridgeport Hospital and is the COVID-19 Physician Lead for the Division of Hospital Medicine.
As one of the first COVID-19 unit medical directors at the hospital, he recently completed a voluntary stint of 42 consecutive days in the COVID-19 unit, inspired to “make a difference” during the height of the pandemic's spread this spring. During that time, he has worked as a physician lead on several treatment initiatives, including treatment algorithms and proning (turning patients to improve breathing) and he is directly responsible for implementing continuous oxygen monitoring protocols in the hospital.
His commitment to making a difference fueled his energy to keep working during the pandemic's most intense first-wave consequences. " I really wanted to keep going [without a day off] but the hospital told me to stay home and get some rest," Rajiv declares.
"PDS shaped who I am on a level of the greatest significance outside of my family," Rajiv explains. "The School really helped me develop my time management, multi-tasking and work/life balance skills," he continues. "While at PDS, I learned that my personality is exceptionally goal driven, and I carried that through college," Rajiv recalls. "My mantra was, '"Do what will make you the best at what you do,' he says, adding that the hobbies and interests he focused on at PDS are still those he loves to this day. "My hobbies keep me grounded and disciplined. In fact, I helped maintain my sense of balance during my 42 days straight at the hospital by continuing the same activities I started at PDS to balance my academic schedule: working out and playing hockey [this spring, in his room]. As soon as I heard the lockdown was imminent and gyms would be closed, I immediately ordered a set of adjustable dumbbells because I knew I needed to be able to continue working out to stay balanced and on track."
Rajiv also credits his classmate and ice hockey teammate Will Denise '05, explaining, "Will strongly influenced me because he was so intelligent, hardworking, and disciplined both in and out of the classroom. He was an exceptional student-athlete and inspiring leader who was always looking out for his teammates and pushing us to be better. We'd be down in the third period and he'd rally us together to win. He inspired all of us through his servant leadership. That mindset has had a huge impact on how I've shaped myself as a physician leader during this COVID-19 pandemic."
While the eventual course of the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to be charted, Rajiv feels prepared to face whatever challenges may come. He has a message to current students grappling to understand these new times in which we find ourselves: "The lessons you’re learning now are life skills you’ll be able to apply down the line in your lives, regardless of the path you take. I learned directly through PDS' rigorous academic and athletic programs how to manage and deal with stress to deliver outstanding results consistently. That's something that high schoolers are dealing with now and will need to continue in the future. Your ability to be resilient now and learn from it is going to carry you through everything you do in your life."