Viswam S. Nair, MD, MS

Physician
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Assistant Professor, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
University of Washington School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Clinical Research Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Clinical expertise
Lung cancer early detection, pulmonary medicine
“I believe in empowering patients by sharing the best available evidence so that they can make informed decisions about their care.”
— Dr. Nair
Tell us about your journey as a pulmonary critical care specialist.

As a medical student, I was initially drawn toward working in the fast-paced environment of the intensive care unit, because it requires one to think on their feet and make decisions quickly. As my career has progressed, I have been drawn to the pulmonary side of medicine — helping patients manage disorders associated with the lungs. A big part of what drew me to SCCA was the opportunity to align my clinical focus with my primary research interest, which is improving the detection and treatment of lung cancer. I enjoy helping people with all cancer types manage complex respiratory issues while also striving to move the needle forward in our field.

What is your approach to care?

One of my parents was diagnosed with cancer, and that experience has attuned me to many of the issues and tough decisions that patients in oncology face. I believe in empowering patients by sharing the best available evidence so that they can make informed decisions about their care.

Provider background

Specialties and clinical expertise: Pulmonary Medicine

Respiratory complications from cancer and treatment, lung cancer risk and detection

I am a pulmonary critical care specialist who treats patients with respiratory problems from cancer or cancer treatment. My expertise also includes lung cancer screening and diagnosis as well as the management of lung nodules, small growths in the lungs that can be benign or malignant. Often, I use advanced procedural skills to diagnose abnormalities in the lung by bronchoscopy, a technique that provides a view of the lung’s airways. I provide outpatient care at SCCA and inpatient care at UW Medical Center - Montlake.

In addition to working with patients, I lead a research program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center that is focused on developing new ways to diagnose and treat lung cancer. One area of interest is improving the utility of bronchoscopy in order to better guide the care of patients with lung cancer.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
University of Pennsylvania
Medical Degree
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Residency
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Internal Medicine
Fellowship
Stanford Health Care, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Board Certification
Critical Care Medicine, 2010; Internal Medicine, 2018; Pulmonary Disease, 2019, American Board of Internal Medicine
Other
MS, Clinical Epidemiology, Stanford University School of Medicine
Languages
English
Awards
Thoracic Oncology Assembly Early Career Achievement Award

Dr. Nair received this award from the American Thoracic Society in 2018. It is given to early-career scientists who have made outstanding contributions in the field of thoracic oncology.

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.
Maggie K. Guerriero, MSN, RN, ARNP
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
Advanced Practice Provider
Pulmonary medicine
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.