People in Seattle are a little more casual than in many other places. Seattlelites still think of themselves as working in a small, quiet city, despite its tremendous growth. Work wear is casual and so are the work relationships.
Faculty, staff and residents in the department are state employees, and therefore reap many of the benefits. These include insurance packages, discounts on home loans, investment programs, tuition exemption on University classes, etc.
As with many Universities, work space is at a premium. The University is undergoing a major building development phase that is adding many more labs and research facilities for the Health Sciences.
Many faculty do not actually work at the University, but have offices at one of the four hospitals where University Physicians provide primary anesthetic and pain management care.