Dr. Byrd is a UW professor of surgery and the section chief of surgical oncology. He was the first surgeon to bring the sentinel lymph node biopsy technique to the Northwest. He is an expert in many surgical procedures, including the Whipple procedure used in pancreas cancer treatment.
Surgical oncology, melanoma, breast cancer, thyroid, endocrine surgery and Merkel cell carcinoma
- Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Washington School of Medicine
- Director, Surgery, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
- MD and MS: Tulane University
- Residency: University of Washington
- Fellowship: University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center
- Dr. Byrd has been recognized for 10 consecutive years, most recently in 2018, as a "Top Doctor" in Seattle magazine's annual survey.
- Dr. Byrd was recognized as a 2018 "Top Doctor" in Seattle Met magazine's annual survey.
David Byrd, MD grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. He loved anatomy as he grew up and knew early on in life that he wanted to work in the service of others. And while he did play high school basketball—he stands at nearly six-foot-seven—he knew his future wasn’t in sports.
Dr. Byrd attended Tulane University where he earned his Masters of Science degree as well as his medical degree. After a general surgery residency, he traveled to India and Pakistan where he did medical volunteer work for a year. He then returned to the United States where he completed fellowship training in surgical oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
“When I came back to Seattle in 1992, there were only two surgical oncologists at University of Washington Medical Center,” Dr. Byrd says. “There are 11 of us now.”
Dr. Byrd helped to build the program at UW Medical Center which has included growing the faculty and broadening the reach of the specialized surgical services they provide. “I’ve been around since before SCCA started,” Dr. Byrd says.
Father to two sons, Dr. Byrd says he considers himself a cancer doctor first and a surgeon second. “The rewards are tremendous, not just the treatment aspect,” he says. From his life as a doctor and from his patients, Dr. Byrd says he’s learned that it’s the quality of time we have here that counts.