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Lindsay Kim, MD, MPH

Lindsay Kim, MD, MPH

Name:

Lindsay Kim, MD, MPH

Email:

Linds.kim@gmail.com

Undergrad Institution; Degree and Major:

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – B.S. in Biology (2001)

Medical School:

Emory University School of Medicine (2007)

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – M.P.H., Biostatistics and Epidemiology, (2006) [this was between 3rd and 4th years of medical school]

In practice since:

2010

Your Specialty:

Internal Medicine – Primary Care, Public Health and Epidemiology

Where and for how many years did you train AFTER medical school:

  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, 2007–2010 (3 years)
  • CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service, Atlanta, GA, 2010–2012 (2 years)

How did you choose your specialty?

Internal Medicine: I chose internal medicine because I enjoyed forming a long-lasting bond with my patients and being able to help them make healthy choices.  As a medical student trying to decide what kind of doctor I would be “when I grew up”, I also liked the flexibility that internal medicine afforded me. I didn’t have to immediately decide if I wanted to be an oncologist, gastroenterologist, pulmonologist, etc., and I would still have a few years during residency to figure it out. 

I specifically chose to train in primary care, as I believe this is the cornerstone of health and healthcare access.  I also knew that I was interested in HIV care, and because HIV has become a chronic disease that people are living with, I chose to learn about treatment and care as a primary care physician and not necessarily as an infectious disease physician.

Public Health and Epidemiology: Currently, I practice public health and epidemiology full-time as a medical epidemiologist in the Division of Viral Diseases at CDC.  In this capacity, I am the lead for the adult respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) program, as we prepare for potential RSV vaccines.  I had always been interested in politics and health policy during high school, but didn’t know how to marry that with my interest in medicine.  During my sophomore year of college, I worked at the Department of Health and Human Services in D.C. with an Assistant Surgeon General on children’s environmental health risks.  It was the first time I heard the words “public health,” and it led me to explore this area.  I loved that public health encompassed population health, disease prevention, and health promotion, and it was a way for me to make a larger scale change compared to individual change.  I continued to explore it after college: getting an MPH during medical school, working with homeless populations with HIV in New York City, volunteering with Last Mile Health to treat HIV-infected patients in rural Liberia and train community health workers during residency.  For these reasons, I decided to pursue public health and epidemiology full-time after residency, and I haven’t looked back since!  

What do you like MOST, and like LEAST, about your specialty?

Internal Medicine-Primary Care

  • MOST: Partnering with patients to customize their care.
  • LEAST: The paperwork!

Public Health and Epidemiology

  • MOST: The ability to demonstrate that a public health intervention (e.g., vaccine, antivirals, etc.) can prevent morbidity and mortality, leading to impactful recommendations.  Also, I have had the privilege of participating in large scale public health responses like Ebola in Sierra Leone and MERS-CoV in the Middle East.
  • LEAST: Politics

In your opinion, what attributes are important in anyone choosing this specialty?

Passion and flexibility (though I think these are important for any specialty). Make sure you love what you are doing, and be flexible enough to consider an opportunity that sounds out of your comfort zone…it could be your dream career path!

Hobbies/special interests:

  • Hiking
  • Traveling
  • Trying new cuisines and local foods