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

Paul T. Nghiem, MD, PhD

Director, Skin Oncology Clinical Program
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Professor, Dermatology/Medicine, and Adjunct Professor, Oral Health Sciences and Pathology; George F. Odland Endowed Chair in Dermatology
University of Washington School of Medicine
Head of Dermatology
UW Medicine
Affiliate Investigator, Clinical Research Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Clinical expertise
Dermatology, Merkel cell carcinoma, melanoma, graft versus host disease, complex skin cancer management in a multidisciplinary team
“I will share my knowledge with you and support you in the decision-making process.”
— Dr. Nghiem
How do you work with patients?

I enjoy getting to know my patients, understanding their lifestyle and explaining the latest science and available therapies. Our multidisciplinary team brings together leading researchers and cancer specialists to ensure that you are offered the most innovative treatment options. I emphasize education and will share my knowledge and experience with you, so you are able to make the best decisions about your care.

In addition to seeing patients in my office, I consult with patients from other parts of the country and their physicians who want expert guidance. Extensive consultation lets me look at the whole picture, consider all treatment options and customize patient care. I can successfully work with your local physician, allowing you to be treated where you live.

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What drew you to the field of oncology?

When I was a new attending physician, a mentor recruited me to help write a textbook chapter on Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). I had seen only one case of MCC and knew very little about it. As I dug into the existing studies on MCC, my interest grew. I discovered that MCC is a unique cancer that strikes aggressively and is managed differently, has distinct risk factors and is the most lethal of all skin cancers. Since then, unraveling the mysteries of MCC has become the major focus of my clinical work and research.

Provider background

Specialties and clinical expertise: Dermatology

Medical oncology

I am part of the SCCA Multidisciplinary Skin Oncology Clinic, and I hope to continue expanding the clinic’s focus to include a greater breadth of skin cancers and dermatology. I am excited about recent discoveries in skin cancer research that will improve patient care.

In addition to seeing patients, I lead a lab at UW Medicine that studies the biology of Merkel cell carcinoma. Our goal is to develop new approaches to treating this disease.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
Harvard College
Medical Degree
Stanford University
Residency
Massachusetts General Hospital
Fellowship
Harvard University
Board Certification
Dermatology, 1998, 2019, American Board of Dermatology
Other
PhD, Cancer Biology, Stanford University; Internship, Medicine, Brigham & Women's Hospital
Languages
English
Japanese
Awards
Seattle Magazine's 2020 Top Doctors award

Dr. Nghiem has been recognized as a Top Doctor year after year.

Testimonials

“Dr. Nghiem is truly passionate about caring for patients with Merkel cell carcinoma. He has made enormous strides in the care and treatment of patients with this disease.”
— Michi Shinohara, MD
“Dr. Nghiem is one of the country’s experts on Merkel cell carcinoma. He and I work together a lot, and he develops amazing relationships with his patients. He’s the captain of the ship when they get a diagnosis, overseeing every aspect of their care. ”
— Peter Neligan, MB, FRCS, FRCSC, FAC

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.

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.