I once cared for a woman in her twenties who had been diagnosed with sarcoma, a rare cancer that affects connective tissue like muscles or bones. We met when she came to the hospital for her first chemotherapy session. Every time she was admitted, I ended up taking care of her, so I followed her throughout the duration of her treatment and all the ups and downs. After she got her last round of chemotherapy, there was a big celebration with lots of smiles and lots of tears. She’s in remission now, living her life, hanging out with her dog. To be with her from her very first day of treatment to the last was really special.
As an inpatient provider, it’s unusual for me to follow patients for long periods of time, but regardless of how long an interaction is, it’s really important to get to know people on a human level. Rather than just focusing on the problem that’s brought you in, I like to get a sense of the big picture — where you’re from, what you do for a living, what you do for fun — so that I can care for you in a way that’s in line with who you are.
Multiple members of my family have been touched by cancer over the years, including my father, who has been diagnosed with three different types of cancer in his lifetime! I know what it’s like to be the frightened family member hanging out at the hospital bedside for hours on end. With each experience, the desire to give back became stronger and stronger. Working in inpatient oncology is rewarding because even though outcomes are never certain, I can be there to comfort patients and families when they’re feeling as scared as I once was.
Inpatient oncology care
I am a board-certified physician assistant who provides hematology-oncology inpatient care at UW Medical Center - Montlake. I work with patients who have been admitted to UW Medical Center - Montlake, whether it’s for a scheduled visit or because they are experiencing an acute illness during treatment. Prior to joining Fred Hutch, I worked in the inpatient setting at Valley Medical Center, where I focused on neurology and stroke care. Now, I treat patients with all types of cancer as well as non-malignant blood disorders such as sickle cell disease.
Western Michigan University
MEDEX Northwest, University of Washington
Physician Assistant, 2014, National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
Seattle Met's 2019 Top Doctors Award
Kim received this peer-nominated award for her exceptional patient care.
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