University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Peter Rahko, MD



MADISON, WI 53792-0001

(608) 262-9088


  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota – MD
  • Indiana University Medical Center, Indianapolis, Indiana – Residency in Internal Medicine
  • University of Pittsburgh Health Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Fellowship in Clinical Cardiology
  • University of Pittsburgh – Echocardiographic Research Fellowship

Professional Activities

Dr. Peter Rahko is a faculty member in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine within the Department of Medicine. Since 2003 he has served as the Chair of the Minimal Risk Institutional Review Board for the University of Wisconsin.  He continues to serve as the Medical Director for the echocardiography section of training for the School of Diagnostic Ultrasonography at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. He serves on the national writing committee to develop and define the complete transthoracic echocardiographic exam for the American Society of Echocardiography.  He is the liaison for the American Society of Echocardiography to the American Medical Association, a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Echocardiography. 

Dr. Rahko gives a wide range of educational lectures each year.  These include undergraduate lectures in Pathology 404, surveying the broad range of cardiovascular disease, annual lectures to the physician assistant program, annual lectures to the first year medical student class on valvular heart disease and multiple forums of instruction within the cardiovascular medicine fellowship program including a didactic lecture series on echocardiography, case conferences, imaging conferences and hands-on one-on-one teaching in the echocardiography laboratory.  He also gives continuing medical education lectures for the university and has been the course director of an annual update for primary care physicians for the last several years.

Clinical Specialties

His clinical interests include all aspects of cardiovascular ultrasound imaging in adults including echocardiographic characterization of ventricular function, particularly in patients with heart failure and cardiomyopathies.  Major interests are also utilization of three-dimensional imaging for characterization of ventricular function and applications of strain analysis.  He is an active member of the structural heart program and leads the group of echocardiographers who provide imaging for evaluations of candidates for structural heart disease and imaging support during interventional procedures.  He is a member of the advanced heart disease team, managing and following patients with end-stage heart failure and devices.

Research Interests

Dr. Rahko is active in clinical research, particularly regarding innovative new medical therapies for end-stage heart failure and also is involved in designing research projects utilizing all aspects of echocardiography.  He is past president of the Northland Affiliate of the American Heart Association and past Governor of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American College of Cardiology.  He has served on several guideline writing committees including the ACC/AHA heart failure guideline committee and the American Society of Echocardiography point of care ultrasound guideline committee.