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Vikram Rao


Neurologist and epilepsy specialist
King of dad jokes, wannabe chef and classic rock lover

Dr. Vikram Rao is a neurologist who specializes in treating patients with epilepsy. He takes a holistic approach to helping patients deal with the challenges of their seizures and works at multiple levels to improve their quality of life. He has a particular interest in utilizing medications, surgery and implanted neurostimulation devices to care for patients with complex epilepsy.

Rao's research involves using direct brain electrical recordings and implanted devices – such as the NeuroPace RNS System for responsive neurostimulation – to better understand how abnormal patterns of brain electrical activity give rise to seizures. He also uses these tools to explore the cognitive dysfunction and mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression, that are common in epilepsy patients.

Rao earned his medical degree from UCSF, completed his residency at Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's hospitals, and returned to UCSF for a fellowship in neurology. He served as chief resident in neurology in 2011 and received the Senior Resident Teacher of the Year award in 2012.

Rao is a member of the American Epilepsy Society, American Academy of Neurology and San Francisco Medical Society.

  • Education

    UCSF School of Medicine, 2008

  • Residencies

    Brigham and Women's Hospital, 2012

  • Fellowships

    UCSF Medical Center, 2013

  • Academic Title

    Associate Professor


"All the things that make us uniquely human are part of what the brain does."

Where I see patients (1)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    102 Ratings
    About our process
    Aug 24, 2023
    Dr Rao was very professional friendly and thorough. He made me feel very comfortable.
    Aug 18, 2023
    Extremely happy with provider.
    Jun 28, 2023
    Dr Rao is among the best doctors I have ever had.
    May 31, 2023
    May 13, 2023
    A doctor who not only treats their patients as equals but shows that he Truly Cares. Is One Of The Best!!
    May 12, 2023
    I love the way they show me that they really care for me and they are very clear on how they can help you. That is very rare.
    May 04, 2023
    Dr. Rao is amazing. We've only had one visit with him and already feel like we have more insight into whats going on. We've had countless visits with the local neuro here and have gotten no where. We didnt feel heard or like our local dr took the concerns seriously. Dr. Rao is the exact opposite of that. We feel much more at ease being in his care. Hes compassionate and caring and we highly recommend. We finally feel like there is a laid out plan of action and we might get some actual answers.
    Mar 07, 2023
    Excellent physician He is not responsible for the ridiculous referral process. UCSF bureaucracy is at fault.
    Feb 17, 2023
    Really lucky to have him as my doctor!
    Feb 17, 2023
    Dr Rao is an incredible epileptologist and after eight years meeting with him I consider him to be a friend and a role model.
    Feb 03, 2023
    The care provider was accommodating communicative knowledgeable and empathetic. He was thorough by asking detail questions actively listening and provide holistic solutions. I was grateful to his support and care.
    Jan 18, 2023
    I'm REALLY lucky to have Dr. Rao as my Neurologist!!
    Dec 03, 2022
    Dr Rao's the best!!
    Sep 15, 2022
    We have seen numerous providers since my son was diagnosed with Epilepsy 20'years ago never have we seen a doctor that provided so much information and treatment ideas as Dr. Rao. He was by far the most knowledgeable and this has been the best experience we have had.
    Sep 07, 2022
    Dr. Rao is amazing. He really took the time to listen to me and make me feel heard. He was thorough in explaining our plan of action and I feel very optimistic after our appointment.
    Aug 26, 2022
    He asked questions about my present issues explained the condition well and obtained a comprehensive 360 patient history
    Aug 24, 2022
    Dr. Rao was fantastic! He was very thorough detail-oriented and made me feel empowered and at ease. In the last few years I've had some trouble understanding my neurological condition on a granular level and he was able to explain everything seamlessly without any unnecessary medical jargon. I'm very excited to continue our appointments and feel very empowered by his care.
    Aug 10, 2022
    This was our first meeting and I was very happy with my doctor's genuine concern for me and his knowledge about seizures. He made me feel like everything was going to be ok.
    Aug 10, 2022
    Dr Rao is both knowledgeable and respectful and empathetic to his patients needs.. He is an awesome Doctor!
    Jul 31, 2022
    I love the kindness with which they receive us.
    Mar 25, 2022
    He was WONDERFUL! Very patient very kind very knowledgeable reviewed all of my prior records before I got there gave me a chance to speak and he made me feel heard. He did not rush me and was very attentive. This by far has been the best experience that I have had with a doctor. I am excited to be able to keep him as my neurologist in place of a neurologist I have had in Sacramento for 7 years.
    Epilepsy is more than just seizures, and I believe listening to patients is as important as medications and other treatments, if not more so.

    My work

    "Rebooting" the brain of a patient with epilepsy

    Kimberly began having debilitating seizures and anxiety while overseas. Care from Dr. Rao and colleagues finally brought her condition under control.