Nicole K. Zern, MD, FACS

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Assistant Professor, Surgery
University of Washington School of Medicine
“The treatment of endocrine disorders requires a collaborative and multidisciplinary team. I am committed to working with the team to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of your illness and to guide you through surgical treatment.”
— Dr. Zern
Why do you practice oncology?

I was raised in a very altruistic family. My mother is a social worker, and my father is a police officer, so I always knew that I wanted a career in which I could also serve others. As a surgeon I am able to help many people each year understand their disease, go through treatment and get back to living their lives. Not only do I help my patients, you in turn teach me. I am inspired by the strength and determination exhibited by people with cancer and truly enjoy being able to care for you through this time. I hope that in my lifetime, significant advances will be made in identifying the cause of cancer in each individual. This may include analysis of individuals’ genetics or identification of an environmental cause such as a virus. Once a cause is identified, we can work towards preventative measures.

Provider background

Specialty: Surgery

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
University of Kansas
Medical Degree
Emory University School of Medicine
University of Washington, General Surgery
Royal North Shore Hospital, Australia, Endocrine Surgery
Board Certification
General Surgery, 2016, American Board of Surgery
Internship, University of Washington


Diagnosed with a rare adrenal tumor, Whitney Wynn beats the odds
Diagnosed with a rare adrenal tumor, Whitney Wynn beats the odds

Whitney Wynn had experienced strange symptoms for years, but her primary care physicians didn’t suspect cancer. Her recurrent yeast infections were dismissed as “just women’s problems” although they were later attributed to the high levels of cortisol being secreted by her tumor. 


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.


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

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