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Education

Evan Rajadhyaksha: A childhood dream come true

March 25, 2020
Evan Rajadhyaksha

At age four, Evan Rajadhyaksha knew he wanted to become a pediatrician. He will accomplish his dream this year when he graduates from medical school and begins his pediatric residency.

At age four, Evan Rajadhyaksha knew he wanted to become a pediatrician. He will accomplish his dream this year when he graduates from medical school and begins his pediatric residency.

Rajadhyaksha, who is finishing his final term at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, received a Florence L. Smith Scholarship from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to help pay tuition.

“I am thankful to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation for helping make it possible for me to attend this institution,” he said.

The Smith Scholarship is named for Florence Smith, a Norfolk physician’s daughter who passed away in 1952. Upon her death, she entrusted the community foundation with a $460,000 legacy gift to help Virginia students attend medical school. Over the decades, her endowment fund has grown and produced $2.5 million in scholarships to help educate more than 750 physicians. The fund still grows today.

Rajadhyaksha, who grew up in Alexandria, hopes to practice medicine in Virginia. He broke family tradition to pursue medical school. Both his parents and older brother all studied engineering in school.

Still, his family has always supported his goals, Rajadhyaksha said.

“My parents are really happy that I am nearing the end of the very long road to MD and nothing has changed.”

Clinical studies at UVA - where he also attended undergraduate school – proved to be the most meaningful part of his medical school experience.

“Working in a team and playing a role alongside doctors, nurses, nutritionists, educators, pharmacists, social workers, and so many more amazing people has given me more amazing experiences than I could have imagined before starting medical school,” he said. “And the fact that our goal as a team is to take care of patients is just the cherry on top.”

Throughout medical school, Rajadhyaksha has sung in an a capella group, “The Arrhythmics,” even serving as director. He also coaches a Special Olympics swimming team in Charlottesville.

At UVA, he’s served as a medical scribe as well as studied abroad, including 10 weeks in Central America. During his time in Costa Rica, Rajadhyaksha communicated with Spanish-speaking patients and gained more medical knowledge.

“The emphasis on clarity in communication during these rotations is something that is useful in any language, even between two native speakers,” he said. “I hope to keep this in mind while I am training in residency.”

Rajadhyaksha was recently matched to UVA Pediatrics for residency, which was his first choice.

Evan Rajadhyaksha (r) with roommate Brianna Bagalkotkar (l) and their dog Miko. Bagalkotar received a Victor and Ruth N. Goodman Memorial Scholarship from the community foundation. This scholarship is for students in any medical field. She is matched to UVA neurology for residency.
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