Sarika Rao, DO, is board certified in internal medicine and endocrinology, and a member of the American Thyroid Association, the Endocrine Society, and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. She is currently an attending physician at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical School.
Dr. Rao received her doctorate of osteopathy from Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. She then joined the University of Massachusetts for a three-year residency in internal medicine, followed by a two-year fellowship with the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Diabetes. Finally, she completed a specialized fellowship in oncologic endocrinology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center before joining MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
As an oncologic endocrinologist, Dr. Rao specializes in the evidence-based medical treatment of thyroid cancers, adrenal tumors (including adrenal cancers and pheochromocytoma), parathyroid diseases, and pituitary tumors as well as addressing endocrinopathies that arise from other cancers or from chemotherapy. Her research interests include understanding the behavior of and investigating treatment strategies of advanced thyroid cancers, including medullary and anaplastic thyroid cancers. Dr. Rao is an advocate for exploring immunotherapy and how it can be applied to treat endocrine tumors.
In the dynamic and exciting field of endocrine oncology, research is underway that will revolutionize how these cancers are treated, including the use of targeted and immunotherapy. Dr. Rao is bridging the gap between endocrinology and oncology in order to bring a novel, multidisciplinary approach to endocrine neoplasias in the D.C. and surrounding areas. She takes a thorough approach to patient care, collaborating with practitioners outside of her field, in order to tailor treatment to each individual patient. Her goal is to offer a multidisciplinary clinic to provide convenient yet complete care for patients by working with a team of surgeons, radiologists, oncologists, and pathologists, all in the same facility.
In her free time, Dr. Rao enjoys traveling, discovering new cultures and landscapes, and participating in a wide range of artistic interests such as photography, painting, dance, and classical music.
Philosophy of Care
“I am an advocate for my patients. A holistic, team-based approach to care is essential to not only meet the treatment goals and needs of an individual, but to also improve their quality of life. I believe honesty and willingness to think outside the box are necessary to build a strong, trusting relationship between the patient and provider. Through conversation, I take the time to listen to each patient, learn their history in addition to what therapies have worked and which ones have not, and understand what they wish to accomplish in order to develop a personalized treatment plan.”