University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital’s Dr. Rajagopala Rao Tripuraneni retired at the end of January after 42 years working in Emergency Medicine at UM HMH and in the greater community. Here are the details provided:
Longtime UM HMH Emergency Department Leader, Dr. Rao, Retires
Dr. Rao reflects on 42 years of Emergency Medicine to the Harford County community
University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital’s Dr. Rajagopala Rao
Tripuraneni, M.D., F.A.C.E.P, better known to his patients and colleagues as
Dr. Rao, retired at the end of January, he reflected on how Emergency
Medicine has changed since he arrived at the hospital in 1978.
time Emergency Medicine was a new specialty. The advancement of the practice
and the outlook on these specialists by the medical community has evolved over
those 42 years. The Emergency Medicine specialists gained respect from their
peers. The way patients were treated also changed for the better.
felt called to focus his career on this new specialty, becoming a full-time
attending physician in the Emergency Department at University of Maryland
Harford Memorial Hospital (UM HMH). While he says Emergency Medicine is a
challenging branch of medicine, he pursued it because of all the good it does
for the community. In addition, he is board certified by the American Board of
“Dr. Rao has been an invaluable team member for the past 42 years. His knowledge and experience in the Emergency Department are second to none,” said Lyle E. Sheldon, FACHE, president/CEO of University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health. “Patients received excellent care from Dr. Rao, and he mentored many doctors over the years. We thank him for all he did to improve health care in Harford County and wish him a long and enjoyable retirement.”
It’s estimated that Dr. Rao treated nearly 180,000 patients in the Emergency Department during his 42-year tenure at UM HMH. In addition, he also treated four generations of some families during that time.
a single day did I think I don’t want to be here. It’s a blessing. I love what
I do,” Dr. Rao said.
as medical director of the Emergency Department at UM HMH starting in late 1996
and remained in that leadership role until 2012.
of Emergency Medicine led him to become Harford County EMS Medical director in
1988 and continued until 2015. He took on this role after observing the
critical work and care EMS members provided to patients coming to the Emergency
was inspired by the EMS personnel, particularly those coming in with patients
in the middle of the night and challenging weather conditions,” Dr. Rao
explained. He wanted to give back to his community and embraced the opportunity
to oversee Harford County’s emergency medical services.
his career he also served as medical director for the CHIP (Chesapeake Health
Initiative Program) at Perry Point V.A. Hospital. He worked with nurse
educators from Harford County and Perry Point V.A. Hospital to provide advanced
cardiac life support programs several times a year.
advice to someone entering Emergency Medicine today is to be “interested
in the people you are treating. It’s challenging. Sometimes, we need to treat
and stabilize the person first before diagnosing the condition,” he
A Bel Air resident, Dr. Rao is married and the father of two grown children. His daughter is an oral surgeon and lives in Harford County with her husband, an orthopedic surgeon/joint reconstruction. His son is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in joint reconstruction in Albuquerque, N.M.
he has retired, he wants to volunteer more. Dr. Rao plans to volunteer with EMS
in Harford County. In addition, he served on the board of trustees for 12
years at Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Lanham and continues volunteer work at
While he was working daily in Emergency Medicine and EMS, his professional commitments over the years kept his other volunteering in the community minimal. However, one accomplishment from the past about which he is proud is serving on SARC’s board in the 1980s.