2021 – Raja Shekar, MD

2021 – Raja Shekar, MD

 Dr. Raja Shekar is a well-respected physician and teacher, with deep empathy and care, who has touched thousands of lives throughout his long career.

Born in a small village of Karnataka, India, Dr. Shekar received his medical degree in 1969 from the Government Medical College, Mysore in India. Lecturer in pathology at J.J.M. Medical College, Davangere, India and then joined the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi as a House Officer in 1970. In 1971, he moved to New York’s Bronx-Lebanon Hospital for his internship, then to the Beth-Israel Medical Center, for a residency, before completing his fellowship in 1976 from Cook County Hospital, Chicago. His path then led him to Cleveland to develop his Infectious Disease career. Dr. Shekar started ID Consultants as a solo practitioner nearly 40 years ago which has grown to become the largest independent group of community ID practitioners in Ohio.

During his career, many challenging diseases have emerged including legionnaire’s disease to HIV/AIDs to COVID and many others in between.He has been in the forefront of dealing with all these challenges as a clinician and hospital infection control officer. He has been involved in medical research and has published more than 57 papers and abstracts in peer reviewed journals, thus adding considerably to the body of knowledge.

Teaching has remained a passion throughout Dr. Shekar’s career. His dedication has been highlighted by a number of honors and awards such as the Golden Apple Award for Teacher of the Year – Grant Hospital, Chicago,1979-1980, Teacher of the Year – Saint Luke’s Medical Center, Cleveland 1986, Charles G. Popelka Memorial Award for “Teaching Excellence” – Saint Luke’s Medical Center, Cleveland 1994, and many others. These awards reflect his deep passion and love for medicine and teaching the next generation of doctors. Dr. Shekar takes great pride in the countless residents he has trained and mentored,seeing the success they have achieved throughout their careers.He was on the faculty of Cook County Hospital and assistant professor at University of Illinois Hospital. He has held various academic appointments including Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and Ohio University. He has held various leadership positions in the hospitals where he has practiced, including President of Medical Staff at Huron Hospital. He is a fellow of American College of Physicians and Infectious Disease Society America.

Among his greatest achievements, Dr. Shekar has built ID Consultants, Inc.,into a thriving group practice of more than 18 physicians. When he started the practice, Dr. Shekar’s goal was to build a cohesive and supportive atmosphere where each physician would have the freedom to practice medicine as they wished. To do this, he created an environment that is fair, moral, ethical, and believes in treating partners equitably to make everyone feel respected. Dr. Shekar is proud to be a part of the Infectious Disease community of Cleveland. They are a cohesive and collegial group who support each other through research and treatment of diseases.He will always cherish the City-Wide ID Conferences for the medical expertise and stimulating fellowship they provided. And the doctors of Cleveland will always cherish the spirit of comradery and friendship that he has inspired.

Among his long list of achievements, one of his greatest was involvement with the Association of Indian Physicians of Northern Ohio (AIPNO). Not only has Dr. Shekar served as a founding member and past president of the AIPNO community and has supported the organization, enjoyed the friendships, and provided vision and guidance to help the Association serve both the medical and social aspects of the Indian community.

A family man, Dr. Shekar has been married to his wife, Vimala,for 50 years, and they have two sons and three grandchildren. They are proud to see all that he has accomplished as a father, physician and as a member of the Indian & local communities. “Ethically and morally” are the themes by which he lives his life by.Travel, reading, history and golf are his main hobbies.He celebrated his 70th birthday by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. As he moves to retirement, he looks back on a long, purposeful,and meaningful life and plans to spend more time with his family and continue traveling the world with his wife to experience the history he has always enjoyed reading about.