Esteemed physician and educator honored during KYCOM ceremony

Rakesh Sachdeva, M.D., FAAP, was named this year’s John A. Strosnider, D.O., Memorial Lecturer at the annual Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine, (KYCOM) Founders dinner on Sept. 15. The award acknowledged Sachdeva’s service to KYCOM and the decades he has devoted to caring for the children of Eastern Kentucky.

Established in honor of John A. Strosnider, D.O., founding dean of KYCOM, the award is presented annually. Previous recipients include Jody Brown, G. Chad Perry III, Burlin Coleman, Bennie Ray Bailey, Paul E. Patton, William H. Owens, Terry Dotson, Harold H. “Hal” Smith, Walter E. May, William Betz, Edward G. Stiles, Steve R. Harris and Julia H. Smith.

Sachdeva was the founding chair of the KYCOM’s Division of Pediatrics and is a board-certified pediatrician. He and his wife, Seema Sachdeva, M.D., currently reside in Pikeville where they began practicing at Physicians for Children and Adolescents, now named Homeplace Clinic for Children and Families. 

During the ceremony, surrounded by friends and colleagues, Sachdeva reflected on the evolution of medicine and the inception of what was then the Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine, now KYCOM. At Strosnider’s invitation, he and his wife were the first M.D.s to accept adjunct professorships and clinical preceptorships at the medical school, paving the way for many other M.D.s to follow.

“When I first met Dr. Strosnider, he was a dynamic unassuming doctor with a smile on his face and a gleam in his eyes,” said Sachdeva. “Dr. Seema and I had expressed our unwavering support to the medical school as preceptors and teachers from the very outset. When Stro walked in and said, ‘We want you to teach our medical students,’ without hesitation, I said ‘Dr. Strosnider, I would love to do that.’”

In his lecture, Sachdeva recognized a former student and KYCOM Dean Joe Kingery, D.O., MBA, FACOFP, FAAFP, as well as others in the audience. He spoke about how they are continuing the legacy of Strosnider, fulfilling KYCOM’s mission and guiding principle to train osteopathic physicians to serve in the mountains of Appalachia and other rural areas. Kingery expressed his gratitude for the Sachdevas and the positive impact they have had on the university. 

“You and Dr. Seema have always stood by the medical school and back then, you stood by Stro,” said Kingery. “I want to say thank you for everything you’ve contributed to KYCOM over the years, for being chair of pediatrics and being part of the board of trustees to help make UPIKE better.” 

The Sachdevas are proud to have taught every medical student since KYCOM’s inception, mentoring over 170 who went on to become pediatricians.