Dr Karan Rangarajan (MBBS Medicine 2014) – widely known as Dr Karan Rajan, is an NHS Surgeon, educator, and storyteller.

Outside of his clinical work and teaching commitments at The University of Sunderland, Dr Rajan has been leveraging the power of social media to teach, fascinate, and entertain others using his medical knowledge - as demonstrated by his current four million followers on video-sharing platform, TikTok.

We were thrilled to catch up with Dr Rajan and learn more about his days as a student at Imperial where his journey into medicine began.

If you like the guarantee of learning something new, don’t forget to check out Dr Rajan’s Instagram and TikTok presence if you haven’t already!

Why did you choose to pursue Medicine, and why did you choose to study at Imperial?

I always loved learning about the human body. My mum would inspire me with stories of her shifts at the hospital and all the interesting cases she saw!

I chose Imperial because I wanted to be close to family who live in London, and also because I just fell in love with the campus locations!

Can you tell us about your studies at Imperial?

My six years of studying medicine at Imperial flew by! I don’t remember much of the studying, but I do remember the FIFA tournaments I would host in my room with friends! I was also involved in Cricket Club.

What did you learn during your time at Imperial, in class or out?

I learnt that university is as much about studying as it is about growing as a person. For many people it’s their first time living away from home, learning how to cook, and so on – I would advise current students to use this time well!

What did you find inspiring at Imperial and why?

Some of the campus locations. St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington for example… it’s a piece of medical history!

What fond memories do you have of your time here?

I enjoyed days off wandering around London with my housemates!

What is your favourite place at Imperial and why?

The Sir Alexander Fleming building and the South Kensington campus in general – a beautiful location and the heartbeat of Imperial!

Tell us a bit about the work you’re doing now.   

I’m a General Surgery Registrar and I lecture at The University of Sunderland in addition to educating online on social media!

How did you gain four million followers on TikTok?

Feeding people knowledge!

How has what you learnt at Imperial helped you in your career so far?

The importance of providing accurate, reliable information is a core principle of medical education and research – part of the Imperial ethos!

What have been your career highlights and lowlights so far?

Highlights would be passing my MRCS exams (surgical exams) as a first-year doctor when everyone said it was not possible to take surgical exams so soon!

Lowlights would be missing important life events like people’s birthdays and weddings because I was on call!

What does a typical day look like for you now?

A mix of ward rounds, clinics and operating!

What are your plans for the future?

Rule number one: never tell anyone what you’re planning! I’m going to keep this one close to my chest for now but watch this space!

What would be your advice for current students?

Join as many clubs and societies as you can at Imperial and maximise your time there – it goes in a flash so make it worthwhile!

What makes you proud to be an Imperial alumnus?

Imperial is a world-renowned institution and continues to be a centre of excellence. I am proud to have graduated from here.

What one word or phrase would you use to describe Imperial alumni?


Do you have a favourite quote or saying?

Everything happens for a reason.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Plenty! - Catch me on Instagram (@drkaranrajan) or TikTok (@dr.karanr) to hear more.