Over the summer between his first and second years of medical school, Chris Kim reached out to the emergency medicine physicians at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center and secured a position conducting research under Dr. Bharath Chakravarthy. In early February 2018, Kim was invited to give an oral abstract presentation on his summer research project at the Western Regional Society for Academic Emergency Medicine’s annual meeting in Albuquerque. Keynote speakers at the conference included Dr. Rebecca Bavolek, who talked about trauma resuscitation of pregnant patients, and Dr. Tchaka Shepherd, who discussed teamwork in trauma resuscitation.

Kim’s project, “Qualitative Investigation of Cultural Motivations Behind Drugged Driving in High-Risk Populations,” was well received at the conference. The second-year medical student called the experience “engaging and informative” and said he is excited to share some of the knowledge and experience he gained from the experience with other BCOM students interested in the field of emergency medicine. Kim noted that conferences like these are great experiences for sharing academic research in medicine to highlight areas of concern in healthcare.

While he is still keeping his specialty options open, Kim has had a long held interest in emergency medicine that dates back to a childhood experience in which his brother’s life was saved by an emergency medicine team after he contracted a case of Toxic Shock Syndrome. That experience, along with interactions with other dynamic physicians, led him to volunteering in an emergency department, shadowing his own pediatrician, and eventually enrolling in BCOM.

“I’m going to wait until after I do my clerkships to decide what field I want to practice in, but what I enjoy about the ER is that you get to see a lot of different cases and areas of medicine,” he explained. “Ideally, I want to go into a field in which I can challenge myself every day and never get bored. That’s how I see myself not only helping patients and doing good, but also staying sane and happy and feeling a sense of self-worth in a profession that can be very stressful.”

Learn more about the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine at: saem.org