Elizabeth M. Swisher, MD

Elizabeth M. Swisher, MD
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Elizabeth M. Swisher, MD

  • Deputy Director, Fred Hutch/University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Cancer Consortium
  • Affiliate Investigator, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch
  • Professor, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine

Gynecologic Oncology

“I love the fact that I can do research that improves our understanding of the diseases I treat and then translate those discoveries into benefits for patients on a day-to-day basis. ”

— Dr. Swisher

Tell us about an interaction with a patient that had a significant impact on you.

My first year out of medical training, I took care of two women with hereditary ovarian cancer. They ultimately died as a result of their disease, but my experiences with them shaped the trajectory of my career. Those women inspired me to better understand ovarian cancer so that we can predict who is at risk, preventing these cancers from developing or at least curing them if they do develop — so generations of women don’t succumb to this disease.   

What do you enjoy about practicing oncology?

I always wanted to focus on oncology because I felt like this specialty really fit my idea of who a doctor was: someone who took care of patients with life-threatening diseases and helped them get through a difficult time in their lives. One of the things that really appeals to me about gynecologic oncology in particular is that I get to provide the whole breadth of care from surgery to chemotherapy to radiation and palliative care. I get to walk with patients throughout their whole therapeutic course, and I find that very rewarding. 

Provider Background

Area of Clinical Practice
Gynecologic cancers, high risk prevention

I am a board-certified oncologist who treats patients with gynecologic cancers. My interests include studying the genetics of gynecologic cancers and using that knowledge to assess cancer risk and personalize prevention strategies. I also have expertise in using minimally invasive surgery to treat cancer. 

As the deputy director of the Fred Hutch/University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Cancer Consortium, I help train the next generation of clinicians, surgeons and researchers in the field of gynecologic oncology. In addition to teaching and working with patients, I conduct basic science and translational research, leading national and international trials in ovarian cancer. I am committed to translating scientific findings to patients as soon as possible though creative clinical trials. Phase 1 trials are no longer a “last resort option” for patients but may provide early access to promising precision medicine drugs. I love to help patients navigate complex treatment options and find the most promising clinical trial option.



Education, Experience and Certifications

Undergraduate Degree
Yale University

Medical Degree
University of California School of Medicine, San Diego

University of Washington

Washington University School of Medicine

Board Certification
Gynecologic Oncology, 2003; Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2001, American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology


Seattle Met's 2023 Top Doctors award
Dr. Swisher has received this peer-nominated award for exceptional patient care for multiple years.

UW Medicine Excellence in Mentoring Award
Dr. Swisher received this award in 2019 for giving her time and expertise to mentor fellows, residents and students in gynecologic oncology.


All news
Navigating a cancer diagnosis while pregnant Rare genetic mutation leads to cancer, treatment and vigilant screening for family June 7, 2023

Clinical Trials

We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by Fred Hutch physicians. Many of these trials at Fred Hutch have led to FDA-approved treatments and have improved standards of care globally. Together, you and your physician can decide if a study is right for you. 

Find a Clinical Trial Led by Dr. Swisher


Many of our Fred Hutch physicians conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other physicians and selected for publication to the United States National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world. See scientific papers this Fred Hutch physician has written.

View Dr. Swisher's Publications

Your Care Team

At Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes physicians, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like registered dietitians, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders. 


Fred Hutch accepts most national private health insurance plans as well as Medicare. We also accept Medicaid for people from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. We are working to ensure that everyone, no matter what their financial situation, has access to the care they need.

For the Media

The Media Relations team at Fred Hutch is available to assist members of the news media who would like to arrange interviews with providers.

Email media@fredhutch.org or call 206.667.2210