New Respiratory Care faculty member brings pediatric and neonatal expertise
The newest faculty member in the Division of Respiratory Care encourages her students to learn as much as possible about their patients’ overall condition.
“I want my students to understand that respiratory care encompasses more than just looking at a patient’s lungs,” said Assistant Professor/Research Rain Rueda, MD, MSHS MSRC, RRT, RRT-NPS. “The clinical assessment of a patient helps us understand a patient’s conditions, and it reflects the true cause of the disease process, allowing our future respiratory therapists to provide the best clinical practices and make a positive impact on patients’ outcomes.”
Rueda joined the faculty in the fall of 2022. Born in Eagle Pass, Texas, Rueda received most of her early and secondary education in Piedras Negras, Mexico. She then embarked on an educational path in health care that began with following in the footsteps of her father to become a physician. She earned her medical degree from the University of Monterrey in Mexico, did her residency in pediatrics and practiced in a community health clinic before returning to the U.S., where she obtained a Master of Health Administration. She then earned a Master of Science in Respiratory Care from UT Health San Antonio in 2019 and worked as a pediatric respiratory therapist at University Hospital.
Rueda says she was motivated to become a physician by a desire to help patients obtain the correct diagnosis through careful assessment. She loves working at the patients’ bedside, particularly as a certified neonatal and pediatric specialist.
“I am passionate about being an advocate for pediatric care. As a respiratory therapist, I love being able to assist in high-risk deliveries and improve their outcome,” she said. “For these patients in particular, everything we do as RTs has a tremendous impact for their future.”
Rueda plans to build a research project on bronchopulmonary dysplasia and is involved with the second-year students’ research projects. For now, her priority is teaching, which has been her lifelong passion. She especially wants her students to realize their potential, adopt a growth mindset and realize they are capable of accomplishing their goals.
“When you pursue your passion and use your knowledge wisely, there is no limit to how far you can go,” she tells them. “You can achieve anything you want.”
Rueda’s experience is an asset to the department, said Division of Respiratory Care Program Director and Associate Professor Richard Wettstein, MMEd, RRT, FAARC, FCCP.
“Dr. Rueda’s background in medicine in Mexico plus her experience in the NICU have made her a valuable new addition to our division,” he said.