Pooja Rao, MD, MSCE

Pooja Rao, MD,  MSCE
Employed by Penn State Health
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Academic Appointments

Director, Penn State Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program

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About Me

Dr. Pooja Rao is the founding director of the Penn State Health Children’s Hospital Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program, who truly feels her patients are her best teachers. She is the primary investigator for two funded studies to improve the supportive care provided to adolescents and young adults with cancer – one is a pilot study of a group-based physical activity intervention, and the second is a study exploring the educational and professional aspirations of adolescents and young adults with cancer. She is passionate about helping her patients succeed in achieving their life goals.

Dr. Rao earned her medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, Rochester, N.Y. She pursued a combined internal medicine-pediatrics residency at Brown University Alpert Medical School, Providence, R.I., where she realized her calling to take care of adolescents and young adults with cancer. She continued her fellowship training in pediatric hematology/oncology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Rao also has a Master of Science degree in clinical epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Haverford College, Haverford, Pa.

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Professional Education


Medical School, University of Rochester Medical Center (New York) - 2008


Fellowship, Hematology/Oncology Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - 2015


Residency, Internal Medicine/ Pediatrics Brown University School of Medicine (Rhode Island) - 2012


Internship, Internal Medicine Brown University School of Medicine (Rhode Island) - 2009

Research Interests

  • Supportive care services of adolescents and young adults with cancer

Academic Interests

  • Adolescent and young adult oncology


  • 2018, Four Diamonds Project Support Grant
  • 2018, Junior Faculty Development Program Project Support Grant