Hanna Kim, MS, MD, Lawrence Shulman Scholar in Translational Research, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)/National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Md.
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Explore This IssueJanuary 2016
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Background: Many rheumatologists enter the field for the intellectual curiosity that comes with being a rheumatic detective, and Dr. Kim is no different. But while she revels in the “diagnostic and clinical challenge of pediatric rheumatology,” what keeps her so engaged are the patients.
“Every patient I see can teach me something about how the disease affects an individual and family, including medication side effects, changes in school attendance, as well as participation in sports and other activities,” she says. “Additionally, I get to see how the right treatment can lead to improvement in multiple facets of patients’ lives.”
Dr. Kim received medical training at University of California at Irvine and pediatric internship and residency training at Children’s National Medical Center/George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, D.C. She did pediatric rheumatology fellowship training at A.I. duPont Hospital for Children/Thomas Jefferson University in Wilmington, Del., NIAMS/NIH in Bethesda, Md., and Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C.
She was a founding member of the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Association (CARRA) Fellows Committee and was elected co-chair in 2014–15. She has earned multiple awards, including the Earl J. Brewer Best Abstract Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics Rheumatology Section in 2014 and the Pediatric Research Award by the Rheumatology Research Foundation in 2015.
Q: What advice do you have for the next generation of rheumatology fellows?
A: Use your fellowship to find something you are passionate about because you can make a difference! Rheumatology is such an exciting field right now because even a fellow has the potential to make a major impact in the field, which is so collaborative and supportive.
Q: How is mentorship important during fellowship?
A: Mentoring is so important, particularly during training. Different mentors, formal and informal, can offer essential guidance on the pathway to success. From my mentors, I have gained insight and perspective on becoming an excellent clinician, the collaborative approach required for clinical trials, and how to approach a career in research as a physician from my mentors, all of which has been invaluable.
Q: If you could change one thing about the field of rheumatology, what would it be?
A: I would try to increase early positive exposure during medical school and pediatric residency to pediatric rheumatology as a specialty. Patients sometimes have to cross state lines and wait weeks to months for an appointment, when early diagnosis and treatment are so critical.