February 23, 2024

Behind the stethoscope: A conversation with Dr. Tim Kim

As the medical landscape continues to evolve, it becomes increasingly crucial to connect with healthcare professionals who are not only experts in their field but also dedicated to the health and vitality of their community. We caught up with Dr. Tim Kim, Associate Program Medical Director for Sound’s Hospitalist Medicine practice at Memorial University Medical Center (MHUMC) in Savannah, Georgia, to go behind the stethoscope and learn more about his career, practice, and life down South:

What brought you to Sound and what keeps you at Sound? 

As with most good things in my life, my wife is the reason I am with Sound. She began her internal medicine residency here in Savannah. Once we had her residency location, I contacted Memorial University Medical Center and learned there was only one open position with Sound Physicians—associate program medical director. I was fortunate enough to get the job, so now we both work in Georgia.

Sound is unique because it holds a national presence while maintaining foundational values: providing quality patient service, protecting integrity as a team, and leading with innovation. There are conferences and opportunities to meet and build relationships with other Sound clinicians across America. Sound also provides virtual, monthly clinical updates for hospital medicine. Overall, Sound is a great place to build my career because its values are closely aligned with mine and it provides great support for their frontline clinicians. 


How has Sound supported you in your leadership role? 

Sound offers pathways for professional development and growth and can help foster a service-oriented or innovative project you may be passionate about. I personally went through Emerging Leaders, a program aimed at growing nominated clinicians’ professional development. After completing the program, I felt more confident and eager to pursue a leadership role at my local program.  

During my first three years as a hospitalist with Sound, I was focused on delivering quality patient care to the bedside. I did not have a specific ambition to progress in leadership or administrative duties. The more I became invested in my local program, the more I felt Sound valued my input. Sound recognized my efforts in creating positive change in the program. It was a natural transition to accept the role as the associate program director. 


What stands out about the team you work with?  

One unique thing about my team is that there are many hospitalists who were medical students or medical residents here at Memorial MHUMC. They make up a solid core group of hospitalists who have completed their training here. I believe retaining experienced hospitalists is a testament to this team’s culture. Uniquely, because of that personal connection, this group of hospitalists are truly invested in growing this team well. There is a significant drive towards teamwork and helping when help is needed. 


Why should someone consider joining your local practice? 

This is a unique time and opportunity to join us in Savannah. 

Memorial University Medical Center is an established, tertiary-care, Level-1 trauma center. It provides the most comprehensive care in southeast Georgia, caring for 35-plus surrounding counties it serves across southeast Georgia and South Carolina. Yet even in such an established hospital, the hospital medicine program can offer a new group of hospitalists an opportunity to build and shape culture for the next few years here. Since we are looking for several hospitalists to join our practice, they will be part of a class together — to learn, grow, and have ownership in the practice. The hospital has also refreshed its administrative leadership, so it is an exciting time to join us. We are focused on making a positive impact in the hospital.  

This practice provides a ton of experience as a hospitalist. We set high expectations for our hospitalists, and we work with our staff and leadership with diligence and care to help the group meet those expectations. It’s a busy program, but I believe clinicians will season themselves as experienced hospitalists here. Lastly, as challenging as it sounds, the hospital has so much ancillary staff and support that you’re never alone in difficult situations. The group values teamwork and will always be available to offer extra help. 


What is your favorite part about living in Savannah, Georgia? 

My wife and I are both from bigger metropolitan cities, so Savannah was a big change. Our original plan was to move soon after my wife completed her residency, but we are still here after five years. The team I work with, the patients I care for, and the city’s charm have all made Savannah our home. 

Savannah is a hidden gem along the coast of Georgia. It has a rich history and culture with fun events happening every few weeks. There are many places

 around the city to explore and appreciate. The iconic Forsyth Park and Wormsloe Historic Site are wonderful places to just enjoy what Savannah has to offer. We’re right next to Tybee Island and there is a local boat club, if you enjoy being out in the water. 

It’s also a great place to raise a family. My wife and I have two little ones, at this time of writing, an 8-month-old and a 24-month-old. It’s as if the city is designed to raise a family here, with its numerous parks and child-friendly stores. 

I don’t think you could go wrong with spending a few years in Savannah!


What does bringing better to the bedside mean to you? 

To me, bringing better to the bedside is distilled into a single skill: education. 

Education is the single most important service I can bring to the bedside. Educating patients and their families about their diagnoses and treatment plans empowers them to have ownership of their health. I find it often inspires patients to engage in discussions about their hospital course and next steps. Excellence in education is difficult to obtain but when I do, I know I’ve brought better to the bedside; much more than any antibiotic can achieve. 

To learn more about Memorial University Medical Center and explore a Sound career of your own, click here: https://careers.soundphysicians.com/job/hospitalist-attractive-commencement-bonus-savannah-ga

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