About UW Medical Center

​​​​​University of Washington Medical Center is one of the nation's leading academic medical centers, which provides highly specialized medical care in areas such as cardiology, high-risk pregnancy and neonatal intensive care, oncology, orthopaedics and organ transplantation. Patients travel from across Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho for these specialized services.

UW Medical Center signUW Medicine hospitals and programs rank highly in U.S. News & World Report's 2013-14 edition of Best Hospitals. University of Washington Medical Center is ranked No. 1 as the best hospital in the state and in the Seattle metro area. UW Medical Center is rated among the nation's top 10 hospitals in three specialties: rehabilitation (No. 4), cancer (No. 7), and diabetes and endocrinology (No. 8). ​The medical center also was named the nation’s first Magnet Hospital for excellence in nursing care by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, which has continued to honor UWMC with this award every four years since 1994.

UW Medical Center is part of the UW Medicine health system, which also includes Harborview Medical Center, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, Valley Medical Center, UW Neighborhood Clinics, UW Physicians, UW School of Medicine, and Airlift Northwest. 

UW Medical Center partners with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Children’s through the Seattle Cancer UWMC Report to the CommunityCare Alliance to provide the most advanced cancer diagnosis and treatment available.

Report to the Community

Areas of specialization

  • Cancer care, stem cell transplantation 
  • Cardiology at the Regional Heart Center 
  • Orthopaedics and sports medicine
  • Solid organ transplantation -liver, kidney, heart, lung, pancreas and intestine
  • Otolaryngology/Head and neck surgery
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Neonatal intensive care, including the region’s first Level IIIB neonatal intensive care unit

2012 statistics


 Licensed beds 450
 Employees 4,383
 Physicians 1,829
 Admissions 17,915
 Emergency Department visits   23,487
 Clinic visits 300,487
 Surgery cases 15,137


Medical firsts

UWMC physicians are also UW School of Medicine faculty members, teaching the next generation of health-care professionals and advancing medical discovery to set the standard of care worldwide. Our physicians have:

  • Invented the Scribner Shunt, which made long-term kidney dialysis possible 
  • Established the world’s first multidisciplinary pain center 
  • Designed the Bruce Protocol, a multistage treadmill test that remains the gold standard for evaluating heart problems 
  • Developed use of Doppler ultrasound for diagnosing vascular disease 
  • Performed the region’s first heart transplant surgery, liver transplant and total knee replacement 
  • Established the Institute for Simulation and Interprofessional Studies, or ISIS, to provide leadership in the use of simulated technologies to improve patient safety and outcomes, as well as health-care education 
  • Spearheaded the U.S. portion of a World Health Organization pilot project that concluded complications from surgery dropped significantly when medical teams use surgical checklists


UW Medical Center opened as University Hospital in 1959. It was one of the nation’s smallest teaching hospitals when it opened, but immediately became a leader in health-care innovation.

UW Medical Center has broken ground on a construction project that will provide additional space for premature babies, inpatients and diagnostic imaging.

Learn more about UW Medical Center’s history and future >