My interest in medicine grew out of a passion for public health advocacy and social justice. I wanted to play a role in preventing disease and helping people stay well. During my medical training, I became interested in surgery as a specialty, but I wasn’t sure that, as a surgeon, I could also pursue the community outreach work that I was passionate about. Then I met a breast surgeon who was very involved with a mobile mammogram service. One day, we screened a woman in her 40s or 50s who had a large mass in her breast and who hadn’t yet been to see a doctor about it. That was when the lightbulb went off; I knew I could do both. As a colorectal surgeon, I enjoy performing dynamic procedures that help eliminate cancer or fix other health problems for patients. At the same time, I’m able to contribute to community health by making colorectal cancer screenings more accessible.
I believe that every patient should have access to the same high-quality, evidence-driven care. It’s my job to help you navigate the complex world of cancer treatment so you can make the best decision for you. To do this, it’s important for me to listen and have open discussions with you and your family. Every person’s experiences and challenges are unique, so the solution must be tailored to fit your needs as they evolve.
Area of clinical practice
Colon cancer, rectal cancer, anal cancer
I specialize in the surgical treatment of patients with colon cancer, rectal cancer and anal cancer. Before joining Fred Hutch, I completed a fellowship in colorectal surgery at the University of Minnesota. In addition to providing care, I am interested in improving access to preventive colorectal cancer screenings in underserved communities. Screenings are an important tool for detecting abnormal groups of cells (polyps) before they develop into cancer, when they are more easily treated. My research has focused on the role academic institutions can play in supporting preventive health for colorectal cancers. I am also studying how different approaches to the treatment of rectal cancer affect disease recurrence and survival.
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Stanford University Medical Center, General Surgery
University of Minnesota, Colon and Rectal Surgery
MS, Biological Sciences
Seattle Met's 2023 Top Doctors award
Dr. Chen has received this peer-nominated award for exceptional patient care for multiple years.
General Surgery Resident Research Initiation Grant
Dr. Chen received this award in 2014 from the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. It supports general surgery residents interested in conducting clinical or laboratory-based research on diseases of the colon, rectum and anus.
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