N. Rhea Udyavar, MD

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N. Rhea Udyavar, MD

N. Rhea Udyavar, MD

  • Physician, Fred Hutch
  • Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of General Surgery, University of Washington School of Medicine


“I value the trust patients put in us as providers. We see people at their most vulnerable. Connecting with compassion on a human level while providing our expertise, knowledge and skills is very rewarding.”

— Dr. Udyavar

What brought you to oncology?

Endocrine surgery has a lot of opportunity for scientific advancement, since we see rare but aggressive cancers that still have potential for investigation. We also see a lot of disease processes that aren’t as rare but affect patients worldwide — and are highly treatable with good outcomes.

It’s gratifying to be able to offer treatment for patients that can cure their disease and to shepherd them through the process so they can go back to their normal lives.

What do you hope it's like for a patient to work with you?

I want to partner with patients so they are comfortable with me, so I make sure not to talk only about their condition, but to also get to know what they care about and what they enjoy doing. The work I do can affect their voice, so I make sure to talk about how they use it — I want to know if it is part of their job, for example. Having humility and the ability to counsel patients on what to expect are very important parts of what we do.

Provider Background

Specialty: Surgery

Area of clinical practice
Endocrine surgery

I am a physician who sees patients at the South Lake Union Clinic and UW Medical Center – Montlake.

I’m a general surgeon with a focus in endocrine surgery, which involves treatment of the endocrine organs — the thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal gland — for both benign and malignant conditions.

We truly have a team-based approach. I work closely with endocrinologists and other surgical specialists to provide the best, most comprehensive care for patients.

My research focus is in health care disparities as a result of racism. I am very focused on making sure that people who are not well represented in medicine — and who have been historically marginalized by the health care system — receive the equitable care they deserve, both on the individual level and structurally. Everything I do clinically and academically has this focus.

Diseases Treated



Education, Experience and Certifications

Undergraduate Degree
University of Maryland

Medical Degree
The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Chief Resident for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Brigham and Women’s Hospital, General Surgery; Duke University Medical Center, General Surgery

Johns Hopkins Hospital, Endocrine Surgery

Board Certification
American Board of Surgery, 2021

Clinical Trials

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

Find a Clinical Trial


Many of our Fred Hutch doctors conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other doctors 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 provider has written.

View Dr. Udyavar'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 doctors, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, 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

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Email media@fredhutch.org or call 206.667.2210