Dr. Kyung Mi Kim, PhD, RN

Dr. Kyung Mi Kim, PhD, RN, was accepted as a DICE Fellow for the 2020-2021 term. Through the support of Dr. Shah and Dr. Michelle Y. Williams, PhD, RN, of the Office of Research Patient Care Services (ORPCS), Dr. Kim’s fellowship was extended another year and she recently completed the program. 

Inspired by her experience as a clinical nurse working in the operation room and the existing trend of longer human survival rates, Dr. Kim commits her research to benefitting surgical and underserved patients/caregivers, specifically within elderly populations. 

For her doctoral dissertation, Dr. Kim evaluated the positive and negative effects of a national pay-for-performance policy on the value of surgical care. During the time in her fellowship, Dr. Lee expanded her health equity research to examine if there were disparities in end-of-life care choices among different ethnic groups. 

She found that Black patients were relatively less likely to utilize palliative care services, primarily due to provider bias and Black patients’ perception of health systems. 

Her research emphasizes the need for policy change that will make palliative care more accessible to minorities, thereby reducing healthcare costs and improving quality of life for both patients and families.

Dr. Kim hopes that such opportunities could be more available to nurses and encourages others to apply for the CERC Fellowship. She provided the following account of her experience:

“The postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford has allowed me to continue to believe that policy action plays a vital role in improving the value of health care but added a new mission to contribute to health care as a nurse scientist by being a leader in an incredibly collaborative and interdisciplinary research environment. 

Dr. Michelle Williams, who has been one of my mentors for my postdoctoral fellowship, has shown me how kindness, thoughtfulness, extensive knowledge, and leadership as a nurse can help to lead the health care team. 

Dr. Shah, another amazing leader in health care, empowers the meaning of a positive partnership. They are my mentors, collaborators, and supporters – it is amazing to experience a relationship that is so agreeable while also stimulating. 

I was fortunate to receive wise counsel at every critical point in my development, from Dr. Williams in nursing, Dr. Shah at the School of Medicine, and Dr. Sparacino with the Stanford Nursing Alumnae Association. They further enriched my understanding of the linkages among different dimensions and mechanisms of the health care system and the critical role of nurses in improving the value of health care. 

Moreover, they helped me establish a philosophical understanding of what I call ‘healthy interdisciplinary research.’