Rajeev Kishore, MD, pediatric allergist and immunologist, decided to go into pediatrics after his father encouraged him. Dr. Kishore’s father, who was also a physician, saw a need for the specialty in their native India. A family member recommended Akron Children’s, providing the impetus for Dr. Kishore to come to Akron.
“Initially, my wife and I planned to go back to India when my pediatric residency ended, but we felt welcomed here,” he said “Akron Children’s was colloquial, like a big family where people liked and respected you. My wife was happy, too, and pursuing her master’s degree. We decided to stay a little longer.”
As the years ticked by, his practice, opportunities and friendships grew. Many patients valued his calm, capable demeanor and brought multiple generations of their family to see him.
“Dr. Kishore has had the practice most of us who go into allergy hope for,” said Brian Schroer, MD, director of allergy and immunology. “He built long-term relationships with patients, was able to change their lives with testing and treatments that work, and gave back to the world in the form of teaching and service to the medical system.”
After a 47-year career at Children’s, Dr. Kishore retires on June 30. He looks forward to spending time with his family, reading, golfing, being a snowbird in Florida, traveling and exploring Vedic astrology and other interests.
What brought you to Children’s?
I had recently completed my medical school requirements and wanted to further my education to become a pediatrician. I was also newly married. My wife’s family, who had contacts in Akron, spoke highly of Akron and Akron Children’s. I applied for a pediatric residency and Dr. John Kramer, retired pediatric cardiologist who chaired Children’s pediatric residency program, selected me.
I remember my first impressions. I left New Delhi, a city of 6 million people, in June 1975, and arrived in Akron, which had about 300,000 people. I thought to myself, “Akron is like a village!”
Have you always worked in the same department and role?
After completing my pediatric residency, I worked as an attending physician in the emergency department (ED). One night while eating dinner in the hospital cafeteria, I met Dr. Lewis Walker, for whom the Lewis H. Walker, MD, Cystic Fibrosis Center is named. He was a pediatric allergist, who was planning to go to Afghanistan to teach for a few months. I told him to visit my parents in India. He and Mrs. Walker did, and the 4 of them acted like long-lost friends!
For 4 years, I worked in Children’s ED, but my dad’s advice to be a continuous learner stayed with me. I decided to pursue a fellowship in allergy and immunology. After completing my training at Cleveland Clinic, I joined Dr. Walker’s private practice.
Over the years, I functioned as a pulmonologist and an allergist. For instance, I was involved in treating conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, asthma and respiratory illnesses, many of which are now treated in Children’s Robert T. Stone, MD, Respiratory Center. In July 2010, Akron Children’s approached us about joining Children’s. We agreed and became known as the Center for Allergy and Immunology. I became the center’s director until 3 years ago when we hired Dr. Schroer.
What have your biggest contributions been while here?
I held several leadership roles, serving on the medical staff executive committee for 8 years, including as vice president and president. I started a number of programs and services, such as Children’s first infant apnea program, bronchopulmonary dysplasia clinic, asthma services and pulmonary function labs in allergy and immunology and pulmonary medicine. I also served as the cystic fibrosis center director.
How has Akron Children’s changed since you started here?
In allergy and immunology, we grew the practice to a total of 7 physicians and 3 advanced practice providers. Allergy and immunology also evolved by expanding into different counties within Ohio, bringing our family-centered care to more patients, developing new services, such as patch testing, and offering other excellent treatments.
What’s your most memorable moment at Akron Children’s?
There is nothing as special to me as a hug from a child in whose life I have been able to make a contribution. Helping to alleviate a family’s anxiety and fear is especially satisfying.
Do you have any advice for people just starting at Children’s?
For people starting at Children’s, work to the best of your ability to carry on its mission.
What couldn’t you live without?
I couldn’t live without my family and friends.