Mary Kwok, MD

Physician
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Clinical Associate Professor, Division of Hematology
University of Washington School of Medicine
Specialty:
Hematology Oncology
“I love being a teammate to patients with multiple myeloma and similar conditions. What you’ll find in me is an advocate; I want to understand what’s important to you and help you reach those goals.”
— Dr. Kwok
Tell us about an interaction with a patient that had a significant impact on you.

Throughout my career, I’ve conducted clinical trials investigating different treatment combinations and types of lab tests for multiple myeloma. I remember the day that I first met one of my trial participants. She showed up in a wheelchair and was in a lot of pain because the disease had infiltrated her bones. One day, about four months after she’d started an experimental treatment, I was getting on the elevator when I heard footsteps behind me. It was her — not only was she out of her wheelchair, she was up and running! I held the elevator for her, amazed at how far she had come. As a clinician and a researcher, it has been so exciting to bear witness to stories like hers, to see patients with multiple myeloma living longer and better as treatment options improve.

Kwok-Secondary.jpg
What’s it like to work with you?

I completed my medical training in the military and practiced medical oncology within that system for eight years before joining SCCA. Multiple myeloma is not yet a curable disease, so I’ve walked alongside many of my patients from the point of initial diagnosis, throughout treatment and long afterward as their lives progressed. Together, we’ve celebrated milestones, like returning to work or taking a dream vacation, and we’ve navigated unpredictable health setbacks. I love being a teammate to patients with multiple myeloma and similar conditions. What you’ll find in me is an advocate; I want to understand what’s important to you and help you reach those goals.

Provider background

Specialty: Hematology Oncology

Multiple myeloma

I am a board-certified medical oncologist who specializes in the care of patients with multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma affects plasma cells, a type of white blood cell that plays an important role in the functioning of the immune system. The early part of my career was spent under the mentorship of Dr. Ola Landgren, a leading international expert in multiple myeloma. For four years, I conducted clinical research at the National Cancer Institute, studying the use of drug therapies and diagnostic tools for this disease. At Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, I provided care for patients with multiple myeloma, led clinical trials and served as the program director of the hematology-oncology fellowship program. Now, as a member of the multiple myeloma team at SCCA, I collaborate with a variety of specialists to treat people with this disease and other related conditions. Every day, I am inspired by the resilience and strength of the patients and families I work with.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
University of Washington
Medical Degree
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Residency
Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Internal Medicine
Fellowship
Walter Reed National Medical Center, Hematology-Oncology
Board Certification
Medical Oncology, 2013; Hematology, 2012; Internal Medicine, 2009, American Board of Internal Medicine
Languages
English
Awards
Military Treatment Facility Teacher of the Year

Dr. Kwok received this award in 2019. Sponsored by the U.S. Army Chapter of the American College of Physicians, the award recognizes leadership and excellence in teaching.

James J. Leonard Award for Excellence in Teaching Internal Medicine

Dr. Kwok received this award in 2014 from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. It acknowledges outstanding teaching skills and dedication to student learning in the field of internal medicine.

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.

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.

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)
Your nurse manages your care alongside your physician and assists with care procedures and treatments.
Team coordinator (TC)
Your team 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