About UW Medical Center

UWMC U.S. News & World Report 

​​​​​​​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

UW Medicine hospitals and programs rank highly in U.S. News & World Report's annual "Best Hospitals" issue. Since 2012, UW Medical Center’s patient care has been ranked No. 1 in the state and in the Seattle metro area. In the most current rankings, for 2016-17, UW Medical Center is ranked among the nation's top 20 hospitals in four specialties: rehabilitation (No. 4), cancer (No. 7, provided jointly with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance), ear, nose and throat (No. 16), and geriatrics (No. 20). ​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 Care 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

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​ WWAMI Institute for Simulation in Healthcare (WISH), 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 healthcare innovation.

UW Medical Center completed a new state-of-the-art 50-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in November 2012. Seven new operating rooms were constructed and occupied in November 2015. Two 28-bed Intensive Care Units (ICUs) were completed and occupied in January and February of 2016. A newly constructed Medical Surgical Unit consisting of 31 beds was constructed and occupied in April 2016.