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Fourth Generation Neurologist Joins Lakewood Regional Hospital

Radoslav Raychev is a medical specialist in the new hybrid practice called Interventional Neurology an amalgam of Neurosurgery, General Neurology and Radiology and he is fourth generation Neurologist. In layman’s terms, he specializes in brain / vessel disorders and stroke.

This newly developed division of Lakewood Regional Hospital [LRH], Interventional neurology, is a medical sub-specialty which involves the use of medical imaging equipment to visualize the head, neck, and spine for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.  Interventional neurology provides several options for treatment, including alternatives to more invasive procedures and treatment approaches for patients who would not have options without the skills of this type of medical specialist.

Arriving in America years ago from Bulgaria, Raychev quickly acclimated to the UC medical system, pursuing residency and fellowship from UCLA and UCI.

“I am a fourth-generation doctor on one side of my family and a third generation doctor on the other …. I guess I am a seventh generation doctor!” said Raychev. On the maternal side of his family, his great grandfather was a primary care physician, finishing training in Austria, later returning to Bulgaria to practice, his Grandmother was also a physician and very prominent in her field of research. Raychev’ s mother is a Pediatrician and is still in practice On the paternal side of his family, Raychev is a third-generation doctor. His grandfather is 91, a Professor of Neurology and still has an active practice in Bulgaria as well as his father. “Growing up in a family of doctors and professors there was always this hanging aura of expectation. Being an only child, I often felt an obligation to become the same,” says Raychev, “I wasn’t sure I wanted to become a doctor in the first place. I was very curious about other professions.”

Raychev was influenced by his uncle who is a Professor and mathematician at UC Santa Cruz. “He is a very talented man who was always traveling and being recognized in academic society all over the world for his contributions to science.”

In Europe, students can go straight from high school into medical school, “Here in the United States it is not that way, which is good because it gives a student the chance to mature and really decide what it is they want to do in life.” Raychev says he tried doing other things, he worked for a finance company, sitting behind a desk and quickly realized that he did not like the routine, “I would remember receiving telephone calls as a child, where people thanked me for having parents that treated or saved their life of that of a relative. That made a huge impression on me.”

The first set of classes that Raychev took in medical school were about the brain and its functions, “I was intrigued by all that we don’t know about it, so I decided to carry on the tradition and become a neurologist.”

“It is a privilege to be a physician,” said Raychev, “It is not just a job, it is a lifestyle. It’s not easy, there is much study and dedication, but it was a worthwhile challenge.”