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

Terry B. Gernsheimer, MD

Medical Director, Transfusion Services
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Professor, Division of Hematology
University of Washington School of Medicine
Clinical expertise
Hematology, bleeding disorders, clotting disorders, platelet abnormalities, Thrombocytopenia
“You have to be able to empathize, process it and then perhaps move on, but you have to feel. If you stop feeling, then you shouldn’t be doing this.”
— Dr. Gernsheimer
What is your proudest achievement?

It has been a privilege to care for my patients and invest in them my knowledge, my energy and my compassion. I’m proud of contributing to a new way of understanding the pathophysiology of autoimmune thrombocytopenia in the late 1980s, which led to developing new treatments and later working on clinical trials with those new therapies. My work with patients with blood disorders has led to innovations in transfusion therapy and prevention of bleeding.

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What is your approach to patient care?

We all go into medicine because we want to cure diseases and save lives. Sometimes, it’s just as important to know how to help someone walk a path during difficult times. My patients can ask hard questions. I had a patient who had had multiple miscarriages and wanted more than anything to have a second child. She asked me, “How am I ever going to get through this?” and for a question like that, I honestly don’t always have an answer. However, I will always help my patients find a path to move forward — whatever the outcome is going to be.

Provider background

Specialties and clinical expertise: Hematologic malignancies, non-malignant hematology

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)

During my internal medicine residency, a patient was admitted with a severe autoimmune disorder that really caught my attention. The pathophysiology, the questions around therapy, the laboratory work-up — everything about her case was interesting to me. She actually had ITP, and I was fascinated, not realizing at the time that I was going to develop an expertise in it.

Thrombocytopenia

My team and I currently have a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to evaluate whether we can decrease bleeding in patients undergoing transplant or chemotherapy who are thrombocytopenic (a condition that means you have a low blood platelet count). We are testing different ways to transfuse patients to decrease their risk of bleeding.

Blood disorders

I care for patients with blood disorders including ITP, thrombocytopenia, anemia and excessive bleeding and clotting. I am involved in research related to these diseases, and I also teach UW medical students, residents and fellows in hematology. Teaching is a big part of my life, and I love it.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
State University of New York at Buffalo
Medical Degree
State University of New York at Stony Brook
Residency
New England Deaconess Hospital (Boston), Internal Medicine
Fellowship
University of Washington, Internal Medicine
Board Certification
Hematology, Internal Medicine, 2000, American Board of Internal Medicine
Languages
English
Awards
Seattle magazine's 2020 Top Doctors award

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

Seattle Met's 2016 Top Doctors award

Dr. Gernsheimer was nominated by his peers for this award, because of his excellent care.

Testimonials

“Terry is compassionate, dedicated and approachable. I've been a nurse working with her for 20-some years and I know that wherever she is, whatever time of day, that she will always prioritize her patients. She will be invested in your outcomes.”
— Renee LeBlanc, RN, OCN, Transfusion Services Manager

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.

Study ID:
NCT04138927
A Phase 3 Open Label Extension Study of Fostamatinib Disodium in the Treatment of Warm Antibody Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
Complete title
A Phase 3 Open Label Extension Study of Fostamatinib Disodium in the Treatment of Warm Antibody Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
Study ID:
NCT03395210
A Study of PRN1008 in Adult Patients With Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)
Complete title
An Adaptive, Open-Label, Dose-Finding, Phase 1/2 Study Investigating the Safety, Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Clinical Activity of PRN1008, an Oral BTK Inhibitor, in Patients with Relapsed Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura
Study ID:
NCT03764618
A Phase 3, Multi-Center, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Study of Fostamatinib Disodium in the Treatment of wAIHA
Complete title
A Phase 3, Multi-Center, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Study of Fostamatinib Disodium in the Treatment of Warm Antibody Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia

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.
Sarith Keo, PA-C, MCHS
Physician Assistant
Advanced Practice Provider
Blood disorders, leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
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