Peter Rahko earned a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry from St. Olaf College in 1975 and his medical degree from the University of Minnesota in 1979. He completed an internship in medicine and a residency in medicine at Indiana University Medical Center and in 1982-85 a cardiology fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Health Center Hospitals. Rahko is a Professor of Medicine.
His clinical interests include all aspects of adult echocardiography, characterization of ventricular function changes in heart failure, ventricular dyssynchrony analysis and strain, 3-D echo and echocardiographic manifestations of valvular heart disease. He is also involved in the medical management of end-stage heart failure, including evaluating innovative pharmaceutical therapies for heart failure, and left ventricular remodeling. Recently he has developed an echocardiographic screening program for varsity athletes.
Rahko gives a wide range of educational lectures each year at multiple levels, including annual lectures about coronary heart disease to the physician assistant class; an overview of cardiovascular disease for undergraduates in Pathology 404 and medical physics; lectures to the second year medical students on valvular heart disease; lectures to the Medicine Department housestaff on valvular heart disease ECGs and echocardiography; multiple forms of instruction to cardiac fellows during lecture series, cases conferences, on the inpatient service, in the clinic and in the echocardiography laboratory; and continuing medical education lectures on multiple topics particularly relating to echocardiography, hypertension and heart failure.
Rahko is active in clinical research trials in heart failure and echocardiography, participating in several national trials. He is a past president of the Northland Affiliate of the American Heart Association and past Governor of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American College of Cardiology. More recently he served on the ACC/AHA writing committee revising heart failure guidelines. He is the liason of the for the American Society of Echocardiography to the AMA and is on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. At the University, he is a member of the Continuing Medical Education (CME) Committee, Chair of the Minimal Risk Institutional Review Board, and member of the Biological Sciences Curriculum Planning Committee. He is the Medical Director of the Echocardiography section of the School of Diagnostic Ultrasonography at UW Hospital and Clinics.