Chris Gaynor, MD
Dr. Chris Gaynor is an experienced family physician with a broad breadth of knowledge, skills and experience in all aspects of family medicine. He is committed to the ethical practice of the highest-quality, culturally-informed, compassionate care for all patients. While past work has included obstetrical, pediatric and hospital care, including ICU patients, his current practice is limited to outpatient primary health care of adolescents and adults. He is committed to equity in care, and has an interest in working with patients, and teaching students and residents from diverse backgrounds, including, but not limited to BIPOC, LGBTQi, immigrants, and other patient populations, including those in their final stages of life and their loved ones. He has extensive training, including a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Boston College (1986), and attended Tufts University School of Medicine (1993).
He moved to Seattle with his husband in 1993 for residency training at Providence (now Swedish, Cherry Hill), working primarily with Black and African American patients in the Central District of Seattle.
Work experience has included work with Community Health Centers (Snohomish County), working with many wonderful Latinx, Eastern European and West African Immigrants, and Seattle Indian Health Board, where he became the Site Director for Residency Training. There he was humbled by the grace and humility of his indigenous patients. He is grateful for the many things he was taught about traditional healing, and was honored to participate in several sweat lodge ceremonies sponsored by his native colleagues.
When his son, Josh, became old enough to ask for weekend time together, Chris opted to leave obstetrics and hospital medicine behind. He created his first private practice, Rainbow Family Medicine, where he cared for an increasingly sizable cadre of GLBTQi patients and people living with HIV/AIDS. There, he learned much about the many benefits of so-called alternative medicine, and the value of an even more holistic approach to care than is taught in traditional Family Medicine training programs. He has incorporated many of these into his approach to integrative patient care, combining the best of science- and relationship-based medicine with an emphasis on starting with the least invasive interventions, primarily behavioral ones, and progressing to more Western approaches if the others have not resulted in the patient’s desired health outcomes.
Subsequent work (2011-2017) included serving as staff physician and briefly as Acting Medical Director at Qliance’s flagship clinic in Seattle, caring for a wide variety of patients, associated with diverse occupations from companies that contracted for cost-effective, high-quality medical care for their employees. Patients included C-Suite Executives to factory line workers on fishing vessels from around the globe, to Seattle firefighters, with their unique set of health risks, and many others.
From 2017-2020, Dr. Gaynor was a partner with Capitol Hill Medical, where he focused on the care of GLBTQi patients, and people living with HIV (PLWH). During that time, he has participated in ongoing training in the care of PLWH through the NW HIV ECHO network of HIV providers. He served on the Bree Collaborative’s work group on GLBTQi care, which developed recommendations to the Governor for standards of care in GLBTQi health care.
Dr. Gaynor is proud of is long-term work in organized family medicine. He has worked with the Washington Academy of Family Physicians since residency, when he received the Mead-Johnson award for social justice in residency training for work with HIV prevention with students at Garfield H.S., and for participation as a member of the Domestic Violence Task Force. He has served on numerous committees and the Board of Directors of the WAFP, and has served as its chapter president. He has also served on the AAFP Commission on Public Health and Special Constituencies Task Force, and served as Convener of the National Congress of Special Constituencies, as well as Alternate Delegate and Delegate to the AAFP Congress for New Physicians, GLBT, and for the Washington Chapter. He currently serves as President of the WAFP PAC, raising money to advance the cause of family physicians across the state, in their quest to better serve all patients in Washington.
Dr. Chris holds an appointment as Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Washington, where he completed a residency teaching fellowship. He holds a license to practice medicine in WA state, is licensed by the DEA without restrictions, and is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
The COVID-19 (SARS Co-V 2) pandemic has ignited a passion in Chris to help heal physicians, therapists, and other medical and behavioral health care providers and first responders who may be suffering from compassion fatigue, burn-out, and moral injury.
Dr. Gaynor is so grateful for time with his family and friends, opportunities to explore different cultures and meeting new people, gourmet cooking and dining, travel, all things natural, mindfulness meditation, yoga, dancing, swimming, hiking, backpacking, music, singing with the Resounding Love Center for the Arts gospel choir (whose mission is to help us learn and teach anti-racism through artistic expression and through members’ engagement in deeply challenging, but necessary internal work), and for opportunities to give back and pay forward the fountain of love and support he has received in his lifetime.