Resident Profile

Dr. Rachel Niehuus

Rachel Niehuus, MD, PhD

PGY Level

Clinical PGY3, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine

Additional Title

Associate Faculty, Department of Women and Gender Studies, Emory University



In 2016, Rachel Niehuus completed a joint MD-PhD (Medical Anthropology) at University of California, San Francisco. During the first years of her medical training, Rachel coordinated and co-instructed several public policy and global health courses in the medical school; she also served as the interim Executive Director of a Partners in Health-affiliated NGO in rural Liberia called Last Mile Health (Tiyatien Health) from 2008-2009. Between 2009 and 2014, Rachel pursued a dissertation entitled "'We live in war': An Ambivalent Everyday in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo," which explores the ways in which the quotidian experiences of hunger, poverty, and armed and sexual violence shape the meaning and practice of care in a rural, war-affected region of eastern Congo. This work has been presented at multiple national and international conferences; it is currently being worked into a book project. Upon returning back to the clinical world in 2014, Rachel joined and contributed to a violence prevention project at San Francisco General Hospital entitled Weapons in Minors' Possession. She also completed a consultancy with the International Rescue Committee investigating sexual violence in a Congolese refugee camp in Tanzania.

Upon starting her surgical residency at Emory, Rachel began working with other residents on the development of a Global Surgery curriculum. She also began two new research projects. Currently, she is writing and presenting early research on the ambivalence and disgust of carework, which is rooted in affect theory and brings together affect, feminist, and queer theory with medical anthropology. She is also preparing for a new project, which she plans for a two-year teaching/research sabbatical to begin July 2019, which builds on her prior work in violence prevention and explores the experience of racialized gun violence in Atlanta.


  • MD, University of California, San Francisco, 2016

  • PhD, Medical Anthropology, University of California, San Francisco, and University of California, Berkeley, 2014

Honors and Awards

  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society Inductee

  • UCSF's 2016 Nominee: CGS Distinguished Dissertation Award

  • Graduate Division Fellowship, UCSF, 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014

  • Andrew V. White and Florence W. White Dissertation Fellowship, 2013-2014

  • Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, Swahili, UC Berkeley, 2011-2012

  • Andrew and Mary Thompson Rocca Dissertation Scholarship, UC Berkeley, 2010, 2012

  • Olympic Trials Qualifier, marathon, 2012

Current Organizational Memberships

  • Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Society

  • American Anthropological Association

Clinical Interests

  • General surgery

  • Trauma surgery

  • Critical care

Research Interests

  • Medical anthropology

  • Care and intimacy

  • Phenomenology

  • Affect theory

  • Racial health disparities

  • Gun violence and war

  • Feminist and queer theory

  • Global surgical education

  • Sub-Saharan Africa