Nancy Kadel, MD

Dr. Kadel is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, fellowship trained in Foot & Ankle Reconstruction with an additional research fellowship in Sports Medicine.  She specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries with a focus on foot and ankle problems and the care of dancers and performing artists.  She sees patients at the Seattle location.  She runs the Seattle Clinic for Performing Artists (COPA) with Dr. Matthew Grierson, MD.

Dr. Kadel earned her medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine and graduated from the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency in Boston where she served as Chief Resident at Beth Israel Hospital.  She completed a fellowship in Foot & Ankle Reconstruction at the New England Baptist Hospital as well as a sports medicine research fellowship with Dr. James Garrick in San Francisco.  

Dr. Kadel grew up in Idaho and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with an emphasis in Dance and Science.  She danced as a scholarship student at Jacob’s Pillow and the Graham School in New York.  Later she was selected for a performance with the Martha Graham Company and danced professionally in New York for a year before her medical studies. 

Dr. Kadel has a passion for helping dancers and performing artists to perform longer, better, and safely.  She hopes to help all her patients return to full function with less pain.  Dr. Kadel’s passion for working with dancers translates into better listening skills, appreciation of her patients’ dreams, and better care for all her patients.  A former Seattle’s “Top Doctor,” Dr. Kadel is legendary for her devotion to her patients.  “I believe patients who are informed and educated about their condition, options, and possible outcomes can best partner with me to achieve their goals.

Dr. Kadel recently served a 2-year term as President of the Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA), and has lectured internationally on the subject of dance injury prevention, performing arts medicine and her original research on stress fractures and biomechanics.  Formerly an Associate Professor of Orthopaedics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and at the University of Washington, Seattle, Dr. Kadel was also Medical Director of the Healthy Dancers’ Clinic in San Francisco, and consulting physician to the ODC Dance Company.  She helped co-found and is Medical Director of the Seattle Dance and Performing Arts Medicine (SeaPAM) Free Clinic.  She is a consulting physician to the Pacific Northwest Ballet School, presenting annual injury prevention workshops at their summer intensive program.   Dr. Kadel is on the Board of Trustees of Dance/USA, the service organization for professional dance in North America, and is Co-Chair of their Task Force on Dancer Health.

When not treating patients Dr. Kadel enjoys dancing, supporting the arts, travel, road cycling, skiing, hiking with her dogs, and knitting.


Dr. Matthew Grierson and Dr. Nancy Kadel are attending physicians at the Seattle Clinic for Performing Artists (COPA) at Seattle Spine and Sports Medicine.  They are both performers themselves and have joined forces to assist injured dancers, musicians, actors, and other performing artists of all ages and performance levels with their goals for returning back to peak performance.  They work with a network of expert clinicians around the Seattle area, including physical and occupational therapists, nutritionists, mental health experts, chiropractors, massage practitioners, acupuncturists, and other members of the healthcare team.  They are also actively engaged in promoting research and education into optimizing care for performing artists, and are familiar with similar clinics around the world in case an injury occurs when an artist is on tour or out of town.  Both Drs. Kadel and Grierson recognize that a one-size-fits-all approach is not the best strategy to treating performing artists, and emphasize providing a clear diagnosis and realistic treatment plan. 

When calling to schedule an appointment, please identify yourself to staff as a performing artist -- we will do our best to work you in for the most timely appointment available.  We look forward to meeting you!

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