Karen James, M.D.

Karen James, M.D.

Get to Know Dr. Karen James

Watching M*A*S*H inspired Dr. James to go into medicine. She saw her future in the exploits of Hawkeye Pierce, the irascible but dedicated physician from the show. Dr. James realized her dream in 1999, graduating from the University of Washington School of Medicine. She returned to join its clinical faculty in 2002, after completing her residency in Family Medicine at Swedish.

In 2004, she was named Medical Director of the Swedish Family Medicine First Hill Clinic. That same year she completed the University of Washington’s Faculty Development Fellowship, to support and encourage new physicians to choose family medicine as their specialty.

Dr. James continues to teach and work with doctors-in-training, a role that demands she stay current on the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating hundreds of common conditions. Though she loves teaching, the best part of Dr. James’ day is working with her patients at Seattle Premier Health. “Now I have the time I need to really get to know my patients,” she says. “I can be of so much greater help when I understand everything that might be affecting their health.”

Education & Certification
  • Medical School: University of Washington
  • Board Certification: Family Medicine
Clinical Interests/Special Procedures Performed
  • Preventative care
  • Sports medicine
  • Women’s health
Additional Qualifications
  • Medical Director, Swedish Family Medicine Clinic
  • Associate Clinical Professor, University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Faculty, Swedish Family Medicine Residency
  • Chair, Swedish Family Medicine Gynecology Curriculum
  • Chief Resident, Swedish Family Medicine Residency

Personal Side of Dr. Karen James

Karen James has somehow managed to find balance among her lives as a physician, professor, wife, mom, and bicycle enthusiast.

A Washington native, she takes every opportunity to get outside, whether it’s for hiking, backpacking, or working in the garden. She’s also a bit of a die-hard cyclist, racing at the Marymoor Park Velodrome in Redmond during the summer or entering cyclocross races in the winter.

Yet, the center of her life isn’t her job, her teaching, or her hobbies. It’s her husband, David, and daughter, Ella. As a family-medicine physician, Dr. James fully appreciates the value of a healthy family, and she has made her own the highest priority.