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Rachel Kuo

MB BChir MA (Cantab) MRCS PGDip (Dist.)

NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow in Plastic Surgery

  • NIHR-funded DPhil Candidate, Musculoskeletal Sciences (2023-present)
  • RCSEng Research Fellow (2023-present)
  • NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow, Plastic Surgery (2020-2023)
  • Academic Foundation Programme, Thames Valley (2014-2016)

I studied medicine at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and qualified in 2014. During my time at university, I spent time as a visiting research scholar at the Yale New Haven Hospital, Connecticut, and the Miami Children's Hospital, Florida. I moved to Oxford to complete the Academic Foundation Programme from 2014-2016, working with Professor Dominic Furniss and Professor Dani Prieto Alhambra to explore the epidemiology of Dupuytren's disease using large datasets. 

I undertook my Core Surgical Training in the East of England, before returning to the Thames Valley/Wessex deanery to start my specialist surgical training in Plastic Surgery in 2018.

I was appointed as an NIHR-funded Academic Clinical Fellowship in Plastic Surgery in the Thames Valley/Wessex deanery in 2019, and was generously supported in my work by the British Society for Surgery of the Hand (BSSH) pump priming fund, and the Oxfordshire Health Services Research Committee (OHSRC) research grants during this time. I subsequently began my NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship in Oxford in 2023. I also hold an honorary Research Fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons of England. 

My DPhil explores the use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools in plastic and reconstructive surgery. AI tools are reported to perform with high accuracy in a variety of diagnostic tasks, but their use in the UK NHS is still in its infancy. My work focuses on developing and validating an AI tool to diagnose scaphoid fractures, a common type of wrist fracture, using x-rays. I am working with PPI partners and qualitative researchers to explore stakeholder perspectives on clinical AI, to improve our understanding of the societal context for implementation. 

I am jointly supervised by Professor Dominic Furniss in NDORMS, Professor Irina Voiculescu in the University of Oxford Computer Science department, Professor Gary Collins in the CSM, and Dr Liz Tutton in Oxford Trauma.