MSU grad planning to return to his roots

By JEANIE RIESS Staff Writer The Greenwood Commonwealth

For Rushil Randive, Greenwood is an ideal place to practice medicine.

And that’s just what the recent Mississippi State University student hopes to do after completing medical school at William Carey University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he’ll start next fall.

Randive is a Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholar. That program identifies rural college students who aspire to return to their roots to practice medicine. Participating students receive academic enrichment, faculty and physician mentoring and medical school financial support so that they might practice medicine in often underserved communities.

“Greenwood would be my first choice to work,” said Randive, who volunteered for three summers in high school at Greenwood Leflore Hospital and job-shadowed at the hospital while in college.

“People may think it’s a small city at first, but everyone knows each other. The small community makes it a great, beautiful place to come home and practice medicine.”

Randive said that during his summers working at Greenwood Leflore Hospital, he got to know the patients and would often see them, as well as their doctors, around town. “You might not have that connection in a bigger city,” he said.

Also, Randive recently took home third place in Mississippi State University’s 2013 Biology Undergraduate Research Program Symposium for research he did, with the help of his professor, Dr. James A. Stewart, on Type II diabetes. He presented his findings at the 2013 Experimental Biology conference in Boston.

“It was a really humbling experience. There were so many people,” he said. “Being able to present in front of that many people is just a great experience. To be exposed to those things adds something extra to the undergraduate experience.”

Diabetes is one of the biggest health problems facing the state, and with the help of his professor, Randive studied how best to reverse it and create drugs that might help diabetics live longer, healthier lives.

The work was especially gratifying to him, he said, both because of its relevance to the Mississippi Delta and because he was unknowingly following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Dr. Prakash N. John, a research scientist who was the first person in the world to suggest testing on pregnant diabetes patients to prevent genetic abnormalities in the babies they carry.

Randive, who graduated from Pillow Academy in 2010, hasn’t had a typical Mississippi upbringing. He and his family moved to Greenwood from India when he was 11 years old.

His mother, Preetika Randive, had taken a job teaching geometry at Greenwood High School on 2003. His father, who was a civil engineer in India, had to give up his profession when they moved, entering the business field instead.

“He gave up his career for us,” said Randive.

Both locations, India and Greenwood, have helped to inspire Randive to go into medicine.

“I have an interest in helping people, having seen people in India, and here also, suffering,” he said.

He said the entire journey has been a huge blessing.

In addition to his parents, Randive credits the doctors and the entire staff he worked with at Greenwood Leflore Hospital, as well as his teachers at Pillow Academy, for helping nurture his love of education and medicine.

“I can’t thank my teachers at Pillow enough,” he said. “I can’t give them enough credit. God placed them in my life at the perfect time.”

• Contact Jeanie Riess at 581-7235 or jriess@gwcommonwealth.com.