Meet Our Breakfast Chair Susan Baumgaertel, MD

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Meet Our Breakfast Chair Susan Baumgaertel, MD

Susan Baumgaertel, MD is in Internal Medicine at the Polyclinic. She has served on the Cancer Lifeline board since 2018 and has chaired our annual signature fundraiser Breakfast with Friends for the past two years.

Below is an excerpt from her official bio with the Polyclinic.

“I believe in empowering people to make healthy changes. I strive to offer support and accountability for strengthening health and wellness goals along the way. My patients receive personalized continuity of care with respectful collaboration, and a sharing of information to improve both physical and mental health.”

Dr. Baumgaertel was honored as an Ontario Scholar in 1984 by the Minister of Education for the Ministry of Colleges & Universities in Ontario, Canada. She then completed her Bachelor of Arts in 1989 at the University of Washington College of Architecture & Urban Planning. She went on to receive her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1993 and completed her residency at UW Department of Medicine, including a rotation as Chief Resident at Swedish Medical Center.

Dr. Baumgaertel has been in full-time practice at The Polyclinic since 1996. Her practice encompasses all areas of internal medicine, including preventive medicine, women’s health, cancer care, menopausal concerns, weight management and managing chronic disease, all in the spirit of compassion and caring. She collaborates as needed with holistic support in her office suite, including acupuncture and naturopathic medicine. She served as medical director of Menu for Change, an innovative weight management & wellness program, and continues to incorporate this program’s philosophy into her medical practice.

“Over the years, I became very moved by the many stories of people struggling to lose weight. While each story was unique, there were also so many similarities that my interest in providing weight loss services intensified. I networked with researchers and specialists around the country and in other countries and got excited to see other ways to approach weight loss treatment. These relationships inspired me to develop the Menu for Change program, which ultimately developed into a rich tapestry of offerings.”

Professional Awards & Accomplishments

  • Top Doctor
  • The Best Doctors in America
  • America’s Top Physicians
  • Seattle Met Top Doctors
  • Seattle Magazine Top Doctors (Cont’d.)
  • American Diabetes Association and National Committee for Quality Assurance for delivery of quality diabetes care
  • American Heart Association /American Stroke Association and National Committee for Quality Assurance for delivery of quality stroke and cardiovascular care
  • Primary Care Section Chief at The Polyclinic
  • Chair of The Polyclinic Quality Management Committee
  • Medical Informatics Physician Champion for Electronic Health Record rollout at The Polyclinic, and Chair of the Technology Committee
  • Chair of The Polyclinic Integrative Medicine Committee


Teaching & Volunteer Activities

  • Internal Medicine Teaching Panel at Swedish Medical Center Department of Medical Education (1996-2000)
  • Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at UW Department of Medicine (1997-2016)
  • Institute for Healthcare Improvement (national audio conference)
  • Menu for Change lecture series (2012-2019)
  • YMCA Wellness leadership conference for Washington and Oregon (2014)
  • Board of Directors, Cancer Lifeline (2018 to present)


Personal Interests

A Seattle native, Dr. Baumgaertel lived in Ontario, Canada during her childhood, returning to Seattle as an adult. Prior to medical school she followed her interests in architecture and completed a degree in Architecture and Urban Planning. Married since 1991, she and her husband Glenn try to get spare time with their daughter Jennifer who is in college. Family interests include many outdoor activities, restaurant patronage, movies, music, reading, and travel.