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Rakhshan Kamran

BSc (Hons), MD (c)


DPhil Student and NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow

  • Vice-Chair, NDORMS Student Committee
  • Botnar Management Committee

Patient-Reported Outcomes, Plastic Surgery, Implementation Science, Psychometrics, Evidence-Based Medicine

I am completing my DPhil (PhD) at the University of Oxford as an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow (first medical student/Canadian to be awarded this) and Clarendon Scholar (top 1% of Oxford students).  In total, I secured £505, 000 ($875, 000) in funding prior to starting doctoral studies. I am completing doctoral studies as part of a sabbatical from my MD studies in Canada, for which I am in my final year. I completed my undergraduate degree in Life Sciences at McMaster University in 2019 and graduated Summa Cum Laude and as a recipient of the Provost Medal. 

The primary goal of healthcare is to improve the lives of patients. But how can we be sure that we are achieving this goal in a meaningful way?

I am interested in developing, validating, and implementing instruments which can measure if we are actually improving the lives of patients from their perspective. These instruments are called Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs). Beyond determining the effectiveness of healthcare interventions, PROMs also enhance communication between clinicians and patients, allow for the recognition of issues which would usually go unaddressed, improve quality of life, health outcomes, and satisfaction with care. PROM use is also considered an intervention itself, as it has been shown to improve patient survival through allowing for early recognition of patient deterioration and subsequent early intervention.

It is not enough to just develop a PROM. We also need evidence-based strategies to implement PROMs effectively in routine care to ensure they are used properly and at their maximum potential. 

My DPhil research aims to create the first national measurement program for gender-affirming services in the world to measure patient-reported outcomes. I will be implementing a new PROM for gender-affirming services, called the GENDER-Q, on a national level in the UK. This will ensure that the gender-affirming care provided is patient-centred and the voices of patients are used to drive care decisions rather than having the voices of patients go unheard. This will also allow us to compare between different types of treatments to see which ones provide patients the best outcomes.

My DPhil includes a fellowship at the PROVE Centre, Harvard University Department of Surgery, and training at the Psychometrics Centre, University of Cambridge; University College London; the University of Leeds; the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Amsterdam University Medical Centers; and the University of California San Francisco. I am supervised by Mr. Jeremy Rodrigues, Mr. Conrad Harrison,  Dr. Melissa Stepney (Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, Oxford University) and externally by Dr. Anne Klassen (McMaster University, Canada).

I have been involved with health services research since 2015 as a member of the internationally renowned Q-Portfolio team (www.qportfolio.org). My first publication was the first ever Rapid Review in the BMJ at the age of 18. I am the recipient of over 22 awards, including the Impact in Community Outreach, Prevention, and Advocacy Award, the highest provincial honour bestowed by the Canadian Cancer Society (for co-founding and leading a group which successfully lobbied Ontario parliament to pass Bill 45: Making Healthier Choices Act), the Scotiabank Breast Cancer Research Award,  the June Callwood Harmony Award, the Herbert H. Carnegie Future Aces Award and the Paul Rabinowitz Award in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. I was also named one of the top 20 LGBTQ+ leaders in Canada by the LOUD Foundation and the top LGBTQ+ student leader in Canada by GoFreddie.

Recent publications

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