Kenneth Kim, MD | Health Policy Academy Fellow
What did you gain from your year-long experience as a Health Policy Academy Fellow?
As a Health Policy Academy Fellow, I learned about how democratic organized medicine organizations like EMRA and ACEP are guided by their policy, which is itself derived from their members’ resolutions. Through my experience as a member of the Reference Committee at EMRA’s Spring Representative Council and as an alternate councilor at ACEP Council, I learned how these resolutions are crafted, edited, and finalized into policy that is sensible and sensitive to the needs and desires of our membership. Equally valuable, I was able to gain and strengthen friendships and connections through EMRA that made me want to run for the director of health policy position in order to give back to the community of EMRA.
Why would you encourage others to apply for Health Policy Academy?
I think one of the highlights of the HPA program is our role as alternate councilors during ACEP Council. While there are other opportunities for residents to get involved via state or section delegations (and if those opportunities arise, you should definitely take them), these councilor positions can be hard to attain, particularly for busy residents who don’t always have time to become established leaders in their state. Being invited to help make policy within the largest EM organization in the country at such an early point in our careers was such an honor and so eye-opening for me. It was especially exciting to hear folks I respect throughout the country talk about how the EMRA delegation was such a strong and respected voice within ACEP Council. As an HPA Fellow, you get to be a part of that!
In addition to this, throughout the year, and particularly at our EMRA conferences, you get to interface with other EMRA leaders and make connections that will last throughout your career in EM. EMRA folks are some of the most passionate, funny, interesting people I know, and if you’re on the fence about getting involved, you should get off the fence and absolutely do it!
What specific policy (or policies) do you hope to focus on, and advocate for, as a direct result of your involvement in Health Policy Academy? In other words, what issues affecting the realm of EM are important to you?
This past year, as an involved leader in both EMRA and CIR/SEIU (the Committee of Interns and Residents, the largest resident-physician organization in the country), the topic of resident unionization has become increasingly interesting to me.
In addition to this, my main career interest has solidified in the past few years to be an educator who focuses on increasing curricula around health policy in medical schools and residency. I hope that by educating the doctors and trainees on the front lines about our healthcare system, we can realign the incentives in that flawed system to prioritize patients and the care we give them rather than the bottom lines of other stakeholders. My time in the HPA has given me insight into not just how to be a better communicator and educator of health policy concepts, but also has allowed me to see by which avenues I can make my career dream a reality.