Leah Roess, PA-C
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
University of Washington School of Medicine
I marry my practice of medicine with compassion, understanding and a little bit of humor. I think most of the people I care for remember me as a kind person, and that’s very important to me.”
What do you enjoy about providing inpatient cancer care?
I love the teamwork and camaraderie of inpatient medicine, working bedside with nurses, doctors and other staff. It’s always been one of the things that drives me as a physician assistant. Every day, I feel like I make a difference, whether that’s helping someone physically or bringing them comfort. Being admitted to the hospital is scary for patients and families, regardless of the reason. It can make you feel out of control, and placing your trust in a team of people that you don’t really know isn’t easy. I marry my practice of medicine with compassion, understanding and a little bit of humor. I think most of the people I care for remember me as a kind person, and that’s very important to me.
Specialties and clinical expertise
The branch of medicine a provider practices and their areas of focus
I am a board-certified physician assistant with more than 15 years of experience in caring for patients across a variety of settings. Prior to joining SCCA, I worked on the bone marrow transplant service at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. My background also includes experience in emergency medicine, neuro-oncology and orthopedic surgery. Currently, I serve as one of the co-leads of SCCA’s hematology-oncology platinum service. In this role, I provide care for patients with a variety of diseases who have been admitted to UW Medical Center.
What personal experiences have informed your approach to care?
My mother is the strongest person I’ve ever known. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer several years ago, it was a very humbling, vulnerable time for the whole family. She’s in remission now, and when I look back on the experience, I think it made me more sensitive to what caregivers go through. Sometimes they can be forgotten in the whole process. I have always believed in a team-oriented approach to medicine, where the patient is the epicenter, but loved ones are also an important part of that team.