Dr Noel Rao – Mangalorean Star

Dr Noel Rao – Mangalorean Star

Mangalorean.com is very pleased to introduce the star of the month of January, who is a physician, specializing in Physician Medicine and Rehabilitation. He received the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation “2008 Distinguished Clinician Award”. He is none other than Dr. Noel Rao.

The Academy honors individual physiatrists who have achieved distinction on the basis of their scholarly level of teaching and their outstanding performance in patient care activities. Recipients are also selected on the basis of their significant contributions to the Academy and to the advancement of the specialty.

Dr. Noel Rao, age 63, was born in Mumbai, India to Seetharama and Gladys Rao. His father hailed from Kalyanpur and mother was born in Mangalore. Seetharama was a District and Sessios Judge and Gladys worked as a high school teacher at St. Xavier’s High School in Mumbai prior to her marriage. Dr. Rao’s father initially worked at Madras Province and was posted in South Canara District. Subsequently, he was transferred to Tamilnadu.

Dr. Rao has two sisters. Laura Fernandes is married to Mr. Victor Fernandes. They reside in Bangalore, India. His other sister, Rita Mascarenhasis is married to Mr. Stan Mascarenhasis and they reside in New York City.

Dr. Rao is a graduate of St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore, India. He is also Licentiate Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh); Member of Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh) and Licentiate Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glasgow).

He completed Residency at Temple University Health Sciences Center, Philadelphia, PA in Physical Rehabilitation Medicine, June, 1979.

Dr Rao’s Board Certifications …
• American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, May, 1980
• American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine, May, 1989
• Diplomat, American Board of Medical Management Certified by American College of Physician Executives, 1996

He is an Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, at Rush Medical College, Rush University, Chicago, IL since July, 1989.
He is the Director, Residency Training Program in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation since January, 2001 as well as the Vice President of Medical Affairs (Medical Director) since June, 2004 at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital and Clinics in Wheaton, IL.

Dr. Rao was the Alternate Editor for the Editorial Board Archives Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation from April, 1988 to June, 1992. He was the Section Editor for the Editorial Board of Archives of PM&R from June, 1992 to June, 1999.

Dr. Rao is currently a Member of the Editorial Board for Journal Head Trauma Rehabilitation (JHTR) since June, 1988.
He is also Guest Examiner at the Oral Board Examination, American Board of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Rochester, Minnesota. May, 1992; May, 1995; May, 1999; May, 2004; May, 2005.

He has had more than 20 publications in referred journals and has more than 50 competitive papers presented at national meetings and published in abstract form in referred journals.

Current grants with the National Institute of Health are “The Organization of Anticipatory Postural Adjustments” since 1998. “Compelled Body Weight Shift in Individuals with Stroke Related Hemi paresis” from 2005 to 2007. “The Role of Auxiliary Sensory Cues on Balance in Individuals with Peripheral Neuropathy” received from National Institute of Health on January 27, 2005.

Dr. Rao was featured among the Top 100 Physicians of Chicago in the “Chicago” magazine January, 2001. Distinguished Physician Award presented by Indian American Association of Illinois in 2005. Distinguished Clinician Award presented by American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in 2008.

Dr. Rao completed his 5th grade at St. Aloysius Grammar School in Mangalore where the language of education was Kannada. During his summer vacation, his father was transferred. He then had to learn an entirely new language, Tamil, to enter into his school in Tamilnadu. This was quite a challenge as he had to start thinking in a different language. However, Dr. Rao still does his mathematical tables in Kannada.

Dr. Rao left India in 1972 and went to Great Britain where he worked for British National Health Service and migrated to the United States in March, 1976. He felt America is a country of opportunities and any person who is willing to work hard, regardless of his or her ethnic origin, can succeed. America is a democratic society where a person can start a new beginning. Because of that, he decided to migrate to the United States of America.

While talking to him about his recent award he said – “I am greatly honored to receive the Distinguished Clinician Award from an organization representing more than 10,000 physicians. I believe receiving such an award is a tribute to my wife and my family who supported and encouraged me throughout my career. I believe this recognizes that any person, who has ambition and works hard towards his or her goals, can gain the respect of his peers and colleagues.”

He also said that the best part of being a physician is enjoying the work I do and helping others to regain the life they once had before they became disabled.

Dr. Rao has been married to Mariette for 33 years. Mariette was formerly Mariette Pais and she hails from Mangalore. They have 2 children; Llewelyn John Rao who is an Ophthalmologist and Megan Ann Rao, who has her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy and will receive her Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree from St. Louis University in May, 2009.

Dr. Rao memories of Mangalore include going to St. Aloysius Grammar School and living with his grandparents behind St. Aloysius College.

During his spare time, he enjoys reading. He also likes going to the movies with his wife and children, whenever time permits.

Dr. Rao’s message to mangalorean.com readers:

As I look back, I remember my beginnings starting with school in all Kannada Medium School in Coondapur and learning all my prayers in Konkani. My Mangalorean parents and grandparents taught me discipline, hard work and that practice can get someone close to perfection.

I believe anything and everything is possible through hard work and prayers for guidance from God.

My message to young readers is try your best at all times and never give up your dreams!

Mangalorean.com wishes Dr. Rao all the very best in his endeavors!


Comment on this article

dinakar rai and raju pais., India:
Keep it up doctor, well done, god bless.

tom carvalho, USA:
Congratulations on being the star of jan.

im sure you will become the star of the year too, we are all proud of you,

Sheela and tom carvalho

Sandra Lobo, USA:
Hi, Noel
I hope you read this. My parents Eddie and Cecy Lobo were close friends of your parents and we spent a lot of time together in Madurai, I remember you and your sisters very well. I am also a doctor in the US but could not find any contact information for you, hence a message on this site. Congratulations!!

sushil m.c., India:
Thanks to Mangalorean.com I have come to know about the whereabouts of a childhood friend. Prior to St Aloysius primary school, we were together in Madonna’s higher elementary school in Kasargod.
Noel, u can contact me on schilimbi@gmail.com

Col Sushil Chilimbi (retd)

Shenoy, India:
Thanks for the nice article on this good doctor. May his trive increase.

Irwin/Marita Coelho, Canada:
Congratulations on your award and achievements.

Best wishes,

Irwin, Marita and family

Malcolm Nazareth, USA:
Congrats from Mariani & myself in St. Cloud, MN. The award you received in 2008 marks a high point in your distinguished career in medicine. Way to go. May there be further and higher peaks that you will conquer.
It’s particularly gratifying that you give part of the credit to your community and family both in India and the USA.
Loving wishes from another one of your cousins,

Vernon Vaz, India:
I am proud of you. As your cousin; I salute your achievements. May you serve humanity in the years to come
Mog asondi
Fr. Vernon Vaz
St. Anthony’s Vakola, Mumbai, 400055, India

Jaywant Joachim PatiL, Canada:
I know Dt. Noel Rao personally. I am very proud of his achievements. I totally agree with his message to young readers – “try your best at all times and never give up your dreams”. As human beings, we can only try to do our best and God will do the rest.

Edward R. Pinto, USA:
Well written documentation of the wonderful achievements of Dr. Noel Rao. What is pertinent is that he is still the same kind and generous human being he was in medical school over thirty years ago.

We want to congratulate Noel, Mariette and the family. God bless and good luck in the years ahead.

From your classmates Edward and Marguerite Monteiro Pinto.

Nelson Lewis, Bahrain:
Dear Dr. Noel Rao,

Sir, please accept my hearty congratulations on your receiving the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation;”2008 Distinguished Clinician Award”, which obviously must be a prestigious award. This makes me proud that a U.S. citizen of Indian origin has scaled such heights.

In good old days, many educated Indians (and those with not much education to speak of) went to far off lands in quest of greener pastures and became proud citizens of their adopted lands and achieved recognition with their hard work and perservance. They left their country, because of lack of opportunities, red tapism, socialism, etc. India’s loss was other countries’ gains.

If we had honest and transparent Central and State Governments, that hitherto has produced sleazy and rotten politicians on its production lines, India today would have been a highly advanced country that would have been an envy of the world.

Had India a committed Government that encouraged its technocrats and scientists, I am sure we would have found, by now, alternative sources of energy, rather than sole dependance on petrol.

Austin Prabhu, USA:
Congratulations to Dr. Noel Rao on being named as the ‘Mangalorean Star’ for the month of January, 2009. A very simple person who always speaks with me in Konkani shows his simplicity and love of his roots back in Mangalore. I wish him all the best in his future endeavors!