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Dr. Raj Rao, MD

Spine Specialist, Orthopedic Surgeon

Washington, DC

Overall rating
4.9
Recent reviews
With each visit I had to repeat my symptoms to Dr. Rao because he did not take detailed notes in mychart. He also ordered an MRI for the wrong part of my back, which I didn't find out about after coming in for my follow up appointment. This meant another several hours for a new MRI, and then another follow up appointment with him, which of course cost me more money out of pocket. I had to fight a bill I received due to his mistake, but in the end was unable to resolve. In the end he told me I needed to deal with the pain until I wanted surgery, and didn't really give me great suggestions for how to manage the pain in the meantime.
With each visit I had to repeat my symptoms to Dr. Rao because he did not take detailed notes in my chart. He also ordered an MRI for the wrong partof my back, which I didn't find out about after coming in for my follow up appointment. This meant another several hours for a new MRI, and then another follow up appointment with him, which of course cost me more money out of pocket. I had to fight a bill I received due to his mistake, but in the end was unable to resolve. In the end he told me I needed to deal with the pain until I wanted surgery, and didn't really give me great suggestions for how to manage the pain in the meantime.
Initials hidden · April 10, 2019
Dr. Rao was very considerate, took plenty of time to talk with me about the pain I'm experiencing, and I feltlike I had his full attention during the appointment and was not rushed - which is not a common experience in many dr.'s offices. He provided some good pain management suggestions, and made me feel like I could come back at any time to discuss further options, but advocated for conservative common sense treatment. Would definitely recommend.
Dr. Rao was very considerate, took plenty of time to talk with me about the pain I'm experiencing, and I felt like I had his full attention during the appointment andwas not rushed - which is not a common experience in many dr.'s offices. He provided some good pain management suggestions, and made me feel like I could come back at any time to discuss further options, but advocated for conservative common sense treatment. Would definitely recommend.
Erin I. · November 5, 2018

About Dr. Raj Rao

If you are experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain or any other emergency, please call 911. Dr. Raj Rao is Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery at George Washington University, and Chairman of the Department of Othopaedic Surgery. His special interests include spine surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery, surgical management of neck and back disorders, spinal tumors, spine trauma, neck and low back issues, nerve pinching, and cervical radiculopathy and cervical myelopathy. Dr. Rao is on the Board of Directors of the Lumbar Spine Research Society and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the premier association of Orthopaedic Surgeons internationally. He is also Chairman of the US FDA Orthopaedic Devices Panel. Dr. Rao completed his internship and residency at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He completed specialized fellowship training in spine surgery at the William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. Dr. Rao previously served as vice-chairman in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and professor of orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and is nationally recognized for his research in spinal and orthopedic disorders. He has had numerous papers published in prestigious scientific journals on spinal biomechanics, injuries to the spine from motor vehicle collisions, the biology and mechanics of spinal fusion, and gait analysis in persons with spinal disorders. He currently serves as associate editor of The Spine Journal and is on the editorial boards of other national and international scientific journals. Dr. Rao provides careful and thoughtful care for his patients, making sure that all nonoperative options are exhausted before considering surgical intervention.

In-network insurances

  • AdvantageMD
  • Adventist Health
  • Aetna

Specialties

  • Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Spine Specialist

Practice names

Hospital affiliations

  • The George Washington University Hospital

Board certifications

  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Education and training

  • Medical School - Seth G.S. Medical College, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
  • University of Southern California (Internship)
  • William Beaumont Hospital, Fellowship in Spine Surgery
  • University of Southern California, Residency in Orthopedic Surgery

Professional memberships

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Lumbar Spine Research Society
  • American Orthopaedic Association

Awards and publications

  • 2014 David Selby Award for contributing greatly to the art and science of spinal disorder management through service to the North American Spine Society.
  • “Volunteer Family of the Year Award” – Salvation Army; Wisconsin & Upper Michigan Region.
  • Achievement Award – exemplary volunteer service to AAOS

Zocdoc awards

Rapid registration
See you again
Speedy response

Languages spoken

  • English

Provider's gender

Male

NPI number

1336193358

Dr. Raj Rao's office location

GWMFA Orthopaedics

George Washington Medical Faculty Associates

2300 M Street NW, 5th Fl

Washington, DC 20037

Patient reviews for Dr. Raj Rao

All reviews have been submitted by patients after seeing the provider. For more information, check out our Patient Knowledge Base.
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He takes the time to listen and explain his diagnosis
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WOnderful physucuan. Very attentive and patient, and skilled in his specialty
Less than 6 months ago
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Very courteous, professional, calm and excellent in every aspect!
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Dr. Rao is great. He has an amazing bedside manner. Is very compassionate and delivers information in a thoughtful and considerate way. Thank you, Dr Rao!
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Amazing doctor, highly recommend him!
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Dr. Rao was very helpful in helping to identify the source of my back pain. He helped reduce my anxiety about the entire situation by providing a plan of action.
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Dr Raj Rao is the best Orthopaedic i’ve seen in the States. God bless you dear Dr Rao.
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Awesome
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The staff, facility, and Dr. Rao all contributed to my having a very pleasant and comfortable visit. I scheduled an 8 AM appointment with Dr. Rao because I had been experiencing intermittent pain and stiffness in my lower left back fortwo years and 3 visits to the chiropractor only seemed to exacerbate the pain. Like others have mentioned, the staff members are efficient. I was taken to the exam room before even completing my forms, and Dr. Rao came in shortly after. Later, the process of receiving an X-ray was also swift. Throughout the visit, Dr. Rao's bedside manner was consistently gentle and pleasant. He was comforting and confident in his expertise without being arrogant. I was most impressed by his humility: even though my spine was revealed to be fine, he did not hastily dismiss me as many other doctors tend to. Instead, he discussed it with me in a non-condescending manner. He even took the time to show me how to perform an unconventional but highly-effective hamstring stretch with good form before I left. I also appreciated his honesty in telling me that surgery was too extreme a solution for my level of pain. Dr. Rao is one of those doctors who will restore your faith in our healthcare system. The only very minor issue I had was this: originally, I scheduled an appointment by phone and was told that the earliest available appointment for a new patient was over a month out. A month seemed too long a time for me to stress over what might be wrong with my back. However, when I checked ZocDoc, they had an opening the next week (which I immediately scheduled). I don't understand the discrepancy between the front desk's and ZocDoc's schedules.
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Dr. Rao is thorough and professional. I trust the suggestions and advice he gave me.
More than 1 year ago
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Dr. Raj Rao is very professional. He listens to every single concern and doubt that you may have and give you solution accordingly. He is very patient and will give you as much time you may need from him and yetdoesn't make the next patient wait. I would recommend Dr. Raj Rao to anyone looking for a good Orthopedic in MD-DC-VA area.
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Great doctor very personable. We spoke he listened and he did a through job. Gave me good recommendations. Highly recommend him.
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I appreciate his candor and thoroughness.
More than 1 year ago
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Dr. Rao was very pleasant and cared about my health. He is awesome!
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the whole staff was very knowledgeable and understanding of my condition
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Very knowledgeable. Excellent advice
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Very knowledgeable and professional.
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This is the first time, in a very long time, I've walked out of a Doctor's appointment with confidence. Dr. Rao was personable, clearly knowledgeable, spent a considerable amount of time listening to my concerns, did a comprehensive exam andcame up with a concise plan for my medical issue. Though I'm hoping my condition clears up in its own, I would never hesitate going back to Dr. Rao and recommending him to my friends and family.
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He was very patient and thorough. Highly recommend.
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The doctor was very personable and knowledgeable. Gave me all pertinent information and alternative options available.
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Top of his field (dept head), straightforward and surprising advice for my problem, offered follow-up assistance as needed.
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Dr. Rap was very thorough. He listened to me and suggested possible cures. He let me tell him that I would not consider surgery. And he did not try to push me towards surgery. I think this is threat a Stood Dr. Should be.
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Excellent Doctor with great bedside manner. A very thorough exam and straight forward diagnosis and approach.
More than 1 year ago
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Very good advice. Very knowledgeable.
More than 1 year ago
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I am very happy about my conversation with Dr. Raj! The Doctor is very knowledgeable and a very attentive listener. Contrary to many other professionals, he did not opt for the easiest option, but rather looked for the root of the problem.
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Dr. Rao is simply the best, and his staff was also wonderful.
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Wow, everything about the visit was fabulous. The office and staff are wonderful! The entire visit took less than 25 min, X-rays (which take place onsite) included. The doctor was very thorough and spent a lot of time talking to meabout my condition and options for treatment. I am very pleased and highly recommend this practice for your spinal care.
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Dr. Rao was extremely thorough and explained everything clearly. He is fantastic!
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Dr. Raj is very professional and knowledgeable.
More than 1 year ago
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Dr. Rao had a friendly yet serious bed side manner. He showed me my MRI on the computer screen and walked me through what I was seeing which I very much appreciate. He gave me good advice for how to keepexercising despite my back condition. He made me feel very human for having slowly aging back symptoms...as in he told me about 50% of all adults have the same condition I do due to aging. I would highly recommend.
More than 1 year ago
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Dr Rao is very professional and kind. He listens to the patient, and provide guidance.
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Dr. Rao is very friendly and approachable. He seemed very knowledgeable about spines and was clear and thorough in his explanation of my condition. I would recommend him for patients suffering from chronic back pain.
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The man is thorough, knowledgeable, empathetic, and careful. He is everything you would want in a Physician - in any specialty.
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Dr. Rao was very thorough and explained everything clearly.
More than 1 year ago
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I was very happy with my experience with Dr. Rao and his staff. He knows his stuff and did a great job of patiently explaining things to me and answering my questions. You could not do much better in the orthopedics field than Dr. Rao.
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Dr. Rao was fantastic and spent significant time explaining the mechanics of the problem to me. He was clear on what my next steps were and was very helpful. All staff were very pleasant as well. One suggestion - too manypaper forms. My information was already in the medical records system but I had to write it all out again on paper before my visit. This took extra time and the staff waited for me to fill out these forms before bringing me back even though the physician was ready.
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Dr. Rao is very professional and very knowledgeable. He made sure I understood the problem and what to do as well as what NOT to do. I highly recommend him.
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He is a consummate professional who is thorough, a great listener, understanding, and very candid. I highly recommend him!
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Very professional, I have to go through physical therapy for a month and then I have to see him again.
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Less than 6 months ago
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Less than 1 year ago
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More than 1 year ago
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