Rachel Hargest qualified at Charing Cross & Westminster Medical School and undertook junior surgical posts around London. Her first registrar post was in Johannesburg and was the defining post of her training. A Cancer Research Campaign Clinical Research Fellowship followed leading to award of an MD, a gene therapy research interest, and higher surgical training in North Thames Region and Toronto.
In 2000 she returned to Wales as consultant surgeon in Abergavenny and moved to University Hospital of Wales in 2007. She runs a busy colorectal surgery practice with specialist interests in intestinal failure, familial cancers and anal cancer. She also sits on the All Wales Surgical Training Committee and is academic representative on the Welsh Board of the Royal College of Surgeons.
Miss Hargest also sits on the National Executive committee of the British Association of Surgical Oncology, the Management Board of the NICE – National Collaborating Centre for Cancer and the council of the RSM Section of Surgery.