Top Doctor Top Doctor
The Top Doctor award is a peer-nominated award for providers who give exceptional care.

Barbara Stulken Norquist, MD

Physician
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Associate Professor, Division of Gynecologic Oncology
University of Washington School of Medicine
Physician
UW Medicine
Specialty:
Gynecologic Oncology
“Every patient needs something different. Figuring out what that is, no matter how big or small, and then providing it to the best of my ability is very rewarding.”
— Dr. Norquist
What do you enjoy about practicing gynecologic oncology?

Every patient needs something different. Figuring out what that is, no matter how big or small, and then providing it to the best of my ability is very rewarding. I take equal satisfaction from curing someone’s cancer through surgery or talking to them for an hour about the effects of premature menopause. One of the unique aspects of my specialty is that I am there for patients throughout the course of their disease, providing care that ranges from chemotherapy to surgery. As a result, I tend to form these incredible relationships with people. I feel privileged to gain insight into my patients’ lives and help them navigate their reproductive health.

Chemotherapy Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. It may be given alone or with other treatments. Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy may be given by mouth, injection, infusion or on the skin, depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. It may be given alone or with other treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy or biologic therapy.
Barbara Norquist
How do you like to work with patients?

My approach to care is based on honesty, respect and empathy. I aim to be as clear and direct as possible about your prognosis and treatment options. When it comes to cancer, it can be difficult to forecast the future, so I am also very candid about what I don’t know. Whether you’re at an increased risk of developing cancer or have received a diagnosis, I strive to answer all your questions and ultimately empower you to make decisions about your health. My goal is to help you live the life you want to live at each stage of your cancer journey.    

Prognosis A statement about the likely outcome of a disease in a patient. Stage The extent of a cancer in the body. Staging is usually based on the size of the tumor, whether lymph nodes contain cancer and whether the cancer has spread from the original site to other parts of the body.

Provider background

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

Gynecologic cancers

I am a board-certified oncologist who specializes in the care of patients with known or suspected gynecologic cancers. My expertise spans the medical and surgical management of these diseases, including minimally invasive surgery, chemotherapy and long-term follow-up care. At SCCA, I serve as the medical director of the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Prevention Program. In this role, I counsel patients who are at an increased risk of developing gynecologic cancers due to a family history of these diseases or other genetic factors. The goal of the program is to provide a personalized approach to the assessment and prevention of cancer.

In addition to working with patients, I study the genetics of ovarian cancer — how mutations can increase a person’s risk of developing the disease and how this information can be used to improve care. One of the most fulfilling aspects of my job is that I am able to apply scientific discoveries in the lab directly to patient care, helping people live longer and better lives.

Chemotherapy Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. It may be given alone or with other treatments. Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy may be given by mouth, injection, infusion or on the skin, depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. It may be given alone or with other treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy or biologic therapy. Mutation Any change in the DNA sequence of a cell. Mutations may be caused by mistakes during cell division, or they may be caused by exposure to DNA-damaging agents in the environment. Any change in the DNA sequence of a cell. Mutations may be caused by mistakes during cell division, or they may be caused by exposure to DNA-damaging agents in the environment. Mutations can be harmful, beneficial or have no effect. If they occur in cells that make eggs or sperm, they can be inherited; mutations that occur in other types of cells are not inherited. Certain mutations may lead to cancer or other diseases. A mutation is sometimes called a variant. Oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment, such as treating cancer with radiation. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Medical Degree
University of Washington School of Medicine
Residency
University of Washington, Obstetrics & Gynecology
Fellowship
University of Washington, Obstetrics & Gynecology
Board Certification
Gynecologic Oncology, 2015; Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2014, American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Languages
English
Awards
Seattle Met's 2021 Top Doctors Award

Dr. Norquist has been recognized as a Top Doctor year after year in Seattle Met's annual survey multiple years in a row.

Research

Clinical trials

We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by SCCA doctors. Many of these trials at SCCA 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.

Study ID:
NCT03606486
Lavage of the Uterine Cavity for Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer
Complete title
Lavage of the Uterine Cavity for Diagnosis of Ovarian Carcinomas
Study ID:
NCT03606486
Lavage of the Uterine Cavity for Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer
Complete title
Lavage of the Uterine Cavity for Diagnosis of Ovarian Carcinomas
Study ID:
NCT03606486
Lavage of the Uterine Cavity for Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer
Complete title
Lavage of the Uterine Cavity for Diagnosis of Ovarian Carcinomas

Publications

Many of our SCCA 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 SCCA provider has written.

Press

SCCA providers are often asked to give their medical expertise for press and news publications. Read articles by or about this SCCA provider.

The Triple Crown: Generations of Mentoring for Women in Science

SCCA's Barbara Goff, MD, Elizabeth Swisher, MD, and Barbara Norquist, MD, discuss the benefits of mentoring in research.

Read UW Medicine Article 

Your care team

At SCCA, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a team 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.
Registered nurse (RN)
Registered nurse (RN)
Your nurse manages your care alongside your physician and assists with care procedures and treatments.
Patient care coordinator
Patient care coordinator
Your patient care coordinator works closely with you and your physician and serves as your scheduler.

Insurance

SCCA 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 providers