Patricia L. Dawson, MD, PhD, FACS

I am a breast surgeon in the True Family Women’s Cancer Center (True Center) at the Swedish Cancer Institute. I also serve as the Medical Director of the Swedish Cancer Institute Breast Program, the Chief of the Swedish Cancer Institute Breast Surgeons, and the Medical Director of The True Family Women’s Cancer Center.

I opened a private practice in March 1998 at Providence Medical Center; affiliated with the Swedish Cancer Institute in 2000; and in January 2004 joined the staff of the Swedish Cancer Institute as an employed physician, continuing to practice at the Cherry Hill Campus Comprehensive Breast Center until moving to the True Center in June 2012. I initially decided to practice at the Comprehensive Breast Center because of a shared a belief in the importance of women-centered interdisciplinary health care. Those values have been carried forward into the True Center. The True Center is made up of health care professionals in many specialties who work together as a team to provide women with cancer with up to date, compassionate and coordinated care in a supportive setting. In 2004, I was named as the Physician of the Year for the Swedish Hospital system. In 2010 I was selected as “A Woman of Influence” by the Puget Sound Business Journal and one of “100 Pioneering Women in Washington State” by the UW Women’s Center.

Prior to moving to the Providence/Swedish system, I was with Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound for 10 years practicing general surgery and an additional 4 years with my practice limited to breast surgery. At Group Health, in addition to my clinical practice, I served as a Co-chair of the Breast Care Clinical Roadmap Team, Clinical Coordinator of the Central Region Breast Cancer Screening Program, and the Director of Medical Staff Diversity.

Before joining GHC I had a solo private practice of general surgery in Arlington, WA. for one year. My last three years of residency training were at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle and my first two years were at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, NJ. I attended the New Jersey Medical School in Newark and earned a BA in sociology at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania.

In March 1998, I completed my Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from the Fielding Graduate Institute of Santa Barbara, CA. My dissertation topic was the residency experience of Black female general surgeons and has been published in book form by Open Hand Press, entitled: Forged By the Knife – The Experience of Surgical Residency from the Perspective of a Woman of Color. In September 1996, I completed a three-year training program at the Gestalt Institute of Seattle. I also have a certificate in Diversity Management from National Training Labs.

I live in Seattle with my spouse. My daughter is a graduate of Garfield High School and Duke University and teaches middle school math in Philadelphia where she lives with her husband and two sons. My son is a graduate of Nova High School and a massage therapist and bartender. He and his wife live in Seattle. My other interests include social justice, social and health equity, clinical cultural competency, reading, writing, travel, and walking.


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