Samuel Emlen Rice-Townsend, MD

  • Samuel Rice-Townsend, MD, is an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Washington and an attending pediatric surgeon in the Division of Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Dr. Rice-Townsend earned his medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine in 2007 and completed his residency in General Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.  He completed his fellowship training in pediatric surgery at Seattle Children’s Hospital.  Prior to joining the staff at Seattle Children's Hospital, Dr. Rice-Townsend practiced at Boston Children's Hospital where he was an assistant professor of surgery at Harvard University.
    Dr. Rice-Townsend is board certified by the American Board of Surgery in adult general surgery and pediatric surgery. He is a member of the American Pediatric Surgical Association, a specialty fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.


    • Tina Maple Valley, WA 09.20.22

      Our daughter Olivia was critically ill with Covid-19 in the PICU. She was needing life support & Dr. Rice-Townsend completed her surgery for the ECMO machine. It was successful & because of the amazing care she received, she is alive today. We are so very thankful that our little Olivia has another shot at life. We appreciate you!

    • Melanie Boston, MA 02.19.20

      I would recommend Dr.Rice-Townsend to anyone. He is an amazing surgeon and he cares about his patients. He takes his time to speak with you and address your concerns, he explains everything in detail. If it was not for him I'm not sure my daughter would be doing as well as she is.

    • Mae Boston, MA 12.19.19

      After months of testing, we were finally told during an ultrasound to bring our daughter into Boston Children's Hospital because she needs surgery. We got to the ER, frazzled to say the least, and met with a team of doctors. We were told that first thing tomorrow, Dr. Rice-Townsend would be operating on our 12 month old. The doctor on staff let us know that we were in great hands, and that among doctors, Dr. Rice-Townsend was referred to as very "slick with the scope." From that moment on, that is how we referred to Dr. Rice-Townsend. A surgery that was expected to last 2-3 hours took 7. I was able to stay updated and did my best to stay occupied but for some reason, something in me knew that she was in the very best hands. There is not a sole on earth that could convince me that Dr. Rice-Townsend is not the singular reason why my daughter's surgery was able to be completed laparoscopically rather than open. There is not a sole on earth that could convince me my daughter's surgery would have been as successful. Overall, I want to thank Dr. "slick-with-the-scope- Rice-Townsend for everything he's done for our family and the long lasting effects he's made, likely without even thinking of us, as he's taking care of so many other families. To the terrified parents reading this as your child is in surgery with Rice-Townsend - know that you are in the absolute best hands. Know that he will do anything for your child. To Seattle Children's, as long as you are lucky enough to have Dr. Rice-Townsend, I'll be heading your way from thousands of miles away should we ever need anything surgical again. Keep a spot open for us Boston Children's patients, just in case.


Board Certification(s)

Surgery (General Surgery)
Surgical Critical Care
Pediatric Surgery

Medical/Professional School

Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA


Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA


Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA
University of Washington School of Medicine GME, Seattle, WA

Clinical Interests

Dr. Rice-Townsend's clinical interests include anorectal malformations, Hirschsprung disease, cloaca, as well as multiple aspects of neonatal and pediatric critical care. He is actively involved in the multidisciplinary Reconstructive Pelvic Medicine (RPM) program.  This represents one of the few multidisciplinary colorectal and reconstructive pelvic surgery programs in the United States. This program involves a comprehensive approach to patients with issues of the pelvic floor and urinary, reproductive, and intestinal systems in a team effort to improve their quality of life.

Research Description

Dr. Rice-Townsend participates in the Pediatric Colorectal and Pelvic Learning Consortium (PCPLC) that studies various outcome measures in anorectal malforations and related patient populations.