PHP Welcomes Medical Director Dr. Kim
In January 2020, the PHP welcomed Dr. Edwin Kim as a part-time medical director. Dr. Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology from the University of California Los Angeles and he obtained his medical degree from Saint George’s University. He completed his residency training in psychiatry at Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix and completed his fellowship in addiction psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Kim currently serves as an assistant professor in clinical psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and as medical director of the Charles O’Brien Center for Addiction Treatment, an outpatient addiction psychiatry clinic. He also dedicates time to Mother’s Matter, a Center of Excellence program that provides medication-assisted treatment to pregnant, postpartum and planning mothers who are coping with opioid addiction, and sees patients at UPenn’s general outpatient psychiatry practice.
Why did you want to join the Physicians’ Health Program team?
When the opportunity arose to join the Physicians’ Health Program, I felt compelled to learn more about Pennsylvania’s speciﬁc work. Without a doubt, numerous lives and careers are now on a positive trajectory due to the continued work of the Foundation. The numbers and testimonials are staggering when you think about it. The ability to maintain one’s practice in health care is a privilege; I am proud to support and educate physicians, medical students, residents, fellows, and other state-licensed health care professionals in their path towards recovery and pursuit of their passions and career.
Why do you believe the work being done at the PHP is important?
The Physicians’ Health Program (PHP) model is known in the treatment community to have a high success rate, with signiﬁcantly positive outcomes. When it comes to assisting individuals find their path toward recovery, I think the PHP contributes decades of experience, which is unparalleled in other settings. I am honored to join the Foundation’s team, which works so passionately for their participants. I am impressed by the commitment each team member holds to all stakeholders. The PHP really does serve as a knowledge hub and advocating force in a web of health care systems, hospitals, medical and dental practices, the public, and treatment providers and programs.
What does it mean to you to play a part in the recovery of your physician colleagues?
I remain empathetic, respectful and non-judgmental. As one part of the individual’s PHP team, I serve as a resource to help clarify the medical and psychiatric components as they are related to a sustained entry into recovery. I provide support and educate as much as possible, so that my colleagues navigate through the process. By the time someone enters our doors, some questions have been answered, while the majority certainly have not. In my opinion, spending quality time in the beginning to outline a roadmap of a monitoring agreement is crucial in establishing a meaningful rapport and alliance. The more I can help my colleagues understand my role as advocate, educator and ally in the process, the sooner they can focus their mental, cognitive and emotional energy toward recovery.
What goals do you have as medical director of the PHP?
I want to continue to work with a dedicated team of case managers, directors, my fellow medical director Dr. Raymond Truex and the executive leadership, as well as the Pennsylvania community of stakeholders, treatment centers and providers to provide the best possible experience for state-licensed health care professionals. As one of the medical directors, one of my goals is to keep the team and program at the leading edge of addiction treatment. Measurable ways to track this goal include regular contact with the Federation of State Physician Health Programs, utilization of standardized protocols and quality improvement measures, and maintaining a pulse on the emerging issues that impact licensed professionals today and in the future.
What are you looking forward to accomplishing as a member of the team?
Decades of experience and bridging with nationwide initiatives to find meaningful ways to standardize the physician health program as a whole, while continuing to work with the team to find relevant solutions specific for the Pennsylvania medical community. I hope my knowledge Decades of experience and bridging with nationwide initiatives to find meaningful ways to standardize the physician health program as a whole, while continuing to work with the team to find relevant solutions specific for the Pennsylvania medical community. I hope my knowledge and skillset complement those of the PHP’s interdisciplinary team. My clinical expertise is not the only component of the monitoring process. This is a group of individuals who serve numerous individuals across a broad geographical area. I look forward to being part of a well-oiled machine.
Do you have encouraging words for those who are struggling to seek help for their issues?
The struggle is real. The pressure can be overwhelming and seemingly impossible. Even when things seem too far gone, then please be in touch with us. We can advocate, find answers, provide education and help you build upon your strengths to put kinetics into your plan. We can help make the incremental steps in a positive trajectory.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I am so excited to serve in my new role alongside Dr. Raymond Truex and the Foundation team. I am thankful for the Medical Society staff, who have warmly welcomed me. Also, I appreciate the ongoing mentorship of Kyle Kampman, Charles O’Brien, Mario Cristancho and Jody Foster in Philadelphia. Finally, I want to recognize my PHP counterparts and mentors in Arizona, Michel Sucher and Monica Faria, as well as Matt Goldenberg in California, for their encouragement as I join the Pennsylvania team.