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Karen trained in dance and choreography at the London Contemporary Dance School, graduating in 1993. With her fellow dancers she was awarded the Laurence Olivier Award (1994) for Outstanding Achievement in Dance. At the age of 24 she decided to study medicine at The University College London Medical School, graduating in 2003. She went on to specialise in surgery gaining membership of the Royal College of Surgeons. While with BUPA she began studying for her Masters in Surgical Education at Imperial College London.
During her medical training she went on electives to Trinidad and Tobago and Australia and Papua New Guinea. Karen was shocked by the limited resources of the hospital in Papua New Guinea and on returning to England organised, from her parents home in Stevenage, a collection of medical supplies which she managed to get shipped out to the hospital in the following year. Later she consistently taught and mentored the development of medical students and young doctors. Her Masters in surgical education focused on teaching methods, communication and development of curricula. Much of her work centred around the psychology of communication and information transfer. She utilised a variety of teaching methods, working with children, young adults and in the professional workplace.
In 2008 Karen collaborated on a cutting edge method of teaching surgical techniques, utilising a second-life, virtual reality platform, a simulated theatre environment and lectures. She also presented findings on further research regarding methods for implementation of the World Health Organisations Surgical Safety Checklist in the UK private medical sector at the March 2009 BMJ Health and Quality Conference in Berlin.
Her publications include:
The Human Factor- Safety in Surgery, Dr. Karen Woo, WINS Newsletter, December 2009http://surgicalcareers.rcseng.ac.uk/documents/Newsletter%205%20Dec%202009%20FINAL.pdfSurgical trainees in medical management, Dr. Karen Woo, Dr. Emma Stanton, British Association of Medical Managers (BAMM), 2009
Safety in Surgery in clinical practice, Dr. Karen Woo, Annals of Royal College of Surgeons of England Bulletin, 2009