WASHINGTON'S LEADING BUSINESS MAGAZINE

Face Time

Martin Siegel finds the cure in one-on-one time with his patients.
Myke Folger |   March 2011   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
Photograph by Hayley Young

Martin Siegel, MD Swedish Polyclinic

Martin Siegel has more than his fair share of accolades and accomplishments. The former director of epidemiology at Swedish Health Services and member of the board of trustees at Swedish, he won Case Western Reserve University’s Alfred S. Maschke Award for Clinical Excellence, and is frequently selected as one of Seattle’s top doctors. But in the end, the real meaning in his professional life comes from the face-to-face time he spends with patients.

When he meets with patients, who are often at their most vulnerable, he always introduces himself as Marty Siegel, not Dr. Siegel, and encourages questions.

“If patients can be engaged in their care, asking questions, that’s a good sign,” he says. “It breaks down some of the misconceptions of what the experience will be like by having them ask questions.”

And while the art of health care has morphed over the past three decades into something more austere and business oriented, Siegel, who is an infectious disease specialist at The Polyclinic, remains steadfast in his commitment to patients.

“What I treasure most is my experience at the bedside, talking to families and working with patients,” Siegel says. “The greatest pleasure is seeing people get better.”

When he began practicing in 1983, patient care was always his top priority. But by 1986, the health care environment was akin to practicing “alone together”; doctors weren’t communicating with one another. However, in the last 10 years at The Polyclinic, there has been a much greater recognition of the interdependence of doctors in providing the best care for their patients. Personalized care is written into the clinic’s mission statement. That approach has been a blessing for Siegel and the group of physicians he works with in Seattle.

“The emphasis on quality [of care] over the past decade has really helped create alignment among various caregivers in the community,” Siegel says. “It’s led to tremendous motivation on everyone’s part to do a better job for the patients.”

Siegel continues to proselytize the importance of personalized care with residents. A clinical professor of medicine at the UW’s School of Medicine, he has won the resident teaching award twice at Swedish Medical Center and once at Providence Medical Center—the only physician to win the prestigious award at both institutions.

RUNNERS-UP>>>

Patricia Dawson, Medical director, Swedish Medical Center

Since beginning her medical career in the 1970s, Patricia Dawson has made significant strides as a caregiver. As the medical director and a breast surgeon at the Comprehensive Breast Center at the Swedish/Cherry Hill Campus, Dawson focuses on building relationships with her patients. In 2012, she will head up her most ambitious project yet, the True Family Women’s Cancer Center. Addressing the physical, psychosocial and educational needs of women with cancer, the center will be the Northwest’s largest and most comprehensive unit devoted to treating cancers affecting women.

Stephen Setter, Associate professor of pharmacotherapy, Washington State University

A popular professor with pioneering pharmacy practice Elder Services, Stephen Setter’s contributions to the field of pharmacy reach beyond the arenas of patient care and education. He is an active researcher in the pharmaceutical care of older adults, with notable work in the early detection and resolution of medication discrepancies in home-bound elderly patients, for which WSU received funding from the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He was one of the founding board members of the Parkinson’s Resource Center of Spokane and often gives free medication consultations to people with Parkinson’s disease.

    Subscribe Free     Free Insight Newsletter