Claire K. Sandstrom M.D.

 Claire  K. Sandstrom M.D.

Specialties and Expertise

Radiology & Imaging, Traumatology


Radiology and Imaging Services




Primary Location

Radiology/Imaging Services at Harborview

325 9th Ave., 1st Floor
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206.744.3105|Map It 


Claire Sandstrom is an emergency and trauma radiologist, a physician who specializes in performance and interpretation of imaging of the acutely ill patient in the emergency department, whether the patient is there for chest pain or because of a car accident. She has been a UW assistant professor since 2012, after completing four years of radiology training and a one-year emergency radiology fellowship, all at the University of Washington. She is dedicated to providing compassionate, efficient, and appropriate care to all of our acutely ill and underserved patients.

Dr. Sandstrom is a member of the Radiological Society of North America, the American Society of Emergency Radiology, the Association of University Radiologists, and the American Roentgen Ray Society.

Patient Care Philosophy

For better or worse, most patients in the emergency department get some sort of imaging before they are discharged or admitted to the hospital for treatment. This is because imaging is such a powerful tool for diagnosis of many life-threatening and painful conditions, one that was not available to physicians a hundred years or even decades ago. When you arrive in the emergency department, your emergency physician will likely speak with you, examine you, and create a list of the diagnoses he or she is concerned you may have. Then your emergency physician will consult with me, the emergency radiologist, about the best way in which imaging can help arrive at your diagnosis faster, with a reasonable degree of certainty, and with the lowest risk to you.

While you, the patient, will rarely see me, I am tirelessly working in the background, ensuring that the appropriate studies are being requested and performed by your physicians in the emergency department and that the results are reported accurately and efficiently to allow appropriate treatment to begin. These studies include primarily radiographs (or "X-rays"), CT scans (or "CAT Scans"), and ultrasound. I have a wonderful team of imaging technologists who help me obtain the best images possible so that I can make your diagnosis as quickly and as confidently as possible. You come to the emergency department for a reason, and I understand that this is a stressful time -- I am there to help figure out what is happening, or at the very least, reassure both you and your emergency physician that nothing is seriously wrong.

Personal Interests

While I engage in nearly all forms of imaging performed for patients within the emergency department, my passion is for imaging of bones and joints following trauma. I also take special delight in teaching future generations of physicians, including radiology residents, emergency radiology fellows, emergency medicine residents, and medical students. I love to engage our future physicians in new ways of learning and disseminating knowledge so that in the future they can provide outstanding care for more patients like you. In my spare time, I enjoy bicycling, Washington wine, gardening, photography, drawing, and painting.

Clinical Interests

Bone and joint trauma including shoulder injuries, elbow injuries, wrist injuries, hand injuries, hip injuries, knee injuries, ankle injuries, foot injuries; spine trauma; chest trauma; abdominal and pelvic trauma; non-traumatic emergencies of the chest, abdomen and pelvis; blunt cerebrovascular trauma; efficiency and throughput in the emergency department.

Research Interests

Musculoskeletal trauma; multisystem trauma; geriatric trauma; pediatric trauma; education.


Duke Univ. School of MedicineMedical education2006
Scripps Mercy Hospital ProgramInternship
UW - Dept. of RadiologyFellowshipTrauma & Emergency Radiology
UW - Dept. of Radiology ResidencyResidencyDiagnostic Radiology


Board Certifications

American Board of RadiologyDiagnostic Radiology2011
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