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

Michi M. Shinohara, MD

Co-Director, Cutaneous Lymphoma Clinic
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Assistant Professor, Division of Dermatology
University of Washington School of Medicine
“It’s meaningful to care for people in a longitudinal way, seeing them through all the different phases of their lives. ”
— Dr. Shinohara
Why do you practice dermatology?

I have the unique opportunity to help patients alleviate skin symptoms associated with cancer treatment. These symptoms tend to be very visible and bothersome, like itching or peeling. Showing people how to take care of their skin while undergoing treatment can have a big impact on their quality of life. I also treat patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), a rare type of cancer that originates in white blood cells but affects the skin. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about this disease, so I find it rewarding to help patients understand what the condition is and how we can treat it. Most people live with CTCL for quite a long time, and I want to make sure those years are good years. 

What personal experiences have shaped your approach to care?

I was treated for thyroid cancer at SCCA, and that experience made me appreciate the fact that people can have very different ways of coping with illness. Personally, I valued being able to let go of the problem; while I still participated in making decisions, I chose not to be involved in all the details or to read every new study about my disease so that I could instead focus on living my life. As a physician, I strive to understand your motivations, identify what you see as an ideal outcome and respect your desires about how much information you want to know. 

Provider background

Specialty: Dermatology

Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, cancer-related skin complications

I am a physician who is triple-board-certified in internal medicine, dermatology and dermatopathology (the cellular causes of skin diseases). My clinical expertise includes the treatment of a variety of cancer-related skin complications. I see patients at the Dermatology Clinic at UWMC-Roosevelt, and I also serve as the co-director of SCCA’s Cutaneous Lymphoma Clinic.

CTCL is often diagnosed only after substantial delay, and it can be challenging to treat. I am establishing a national registry for patients with CTCL so that we as a field can better understand the disease and develop novel treatment strategies. In addition to conducting clinical trials for CTCL, I also participate in collaborative studies with the United States Cutaneous Lymphoma Consortium.  

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Medical Degree
University of Washington
University of Washington
University of Pennsylvania
Board Certification
Dermatology, 2009, American Board of Dermatology; Dermatopathology, 2011, American Board of Dermatology
Seattle Met's 2021 Top Doctors award

Dr. Shinohara has been recognized as a Top Doctor in this peer-nominated award multiple years in a row.

Seattle magazine's 2021 Top Doctors award

Dr. Shinohara has been recognized as a Top Doctor in this peer-nominated award multiple years in a row.


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:
Complete title
USCLC Cutaneous Lymphoma Registry
Study ID:
Naloxone Hydrochloride Study for Relief of Pruritus in Patients With MF or SS Forms of CTCL
Complete title
A Double Blind, Randomized, Vehicle Controlled, Crossover Study to Evalute the Safety and Efficacy of Topical Naloxone Hydrochloride Lotion, 0.5%, for the Relief of Pruritus in Patients with the Mycosis Fungoides (MF) or Sezary Syndrome (SS) Forms of Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (CTCL)
Study ID:
Complete title
USCLC Cutaneous Lymphoma Registry


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.


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

Top Doctors 2021: Dermatology

SCCA’s Paul T. Nghiem, MD, PhD, and Michi M. Shinohara, MD, were named to Seattle Magazine’s list of Top Doctors in Seattle for 2021, recognizing their excellence in dermatology for skin cancer.

Dermatologist burnout: Contribution of gender and impact of children

Michi M. Shinohara, MD is the corresponding author of “Dermatologist Burnout: Contribution of gender and impact of children” published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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.


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