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Resident Spotlight: Dr. Anne Kim

Dr. Anne Kim is a first-year resident at University of Missouri Kansas City. She is originally from Seoul. The Paper Point‘s Dr. Moein Sadrkhani recently caught up with her to learn about her background and journey to endo.

The Paper Point: Anne, thank you for joining us for this interview , tell us about yourself:

Dr. Anne Kim: I’m currently a first year resident at UMKC in Kansas City, Missouri. I am originally from Seoul, South Korea. I somehow ended up going through dental school twice, once in Korea and another one at UCLA, and yes, I survived and here I am onto my next journey in KC!

The Paper Point: You have done dental school in Korea, and the international program at UCLA, after working for 4 years you started your residency. How did you motivate yourself for more schooling.

Dr. Kim: I think working as a general dentist for the past four years had made me realize what kind of person I am and what I truly enjoy doing the most. But, the more I grew passion for endo, the more I felt like I was not good enough and my knowledge and skills were lacking. By the time when I figured that endo is something that I want to pursue for the rest of my career, I really didn’t have to push myself for going back to school. I knew I wanted to learn and get better at endo, and my desire to become an endodontist exceeded everything!

The Paper Point: What do you like about endo so much that you decided to specialize in it?

Dr. Kim: First of all, I think endo is super rewarding especially because we are in the forefront to help patients that are suffering with severe pain. Also, I love how detailed and sophisticated our job is. I enjoy taking time trying to perfect my craft and endo suits me perfectly in that sense.

The Paper Point: You mentioned you are motivated to get involved more with organized dentistry and be an active member of AAE; why do you think that’s important?

Dr. Kim: I am aware of the hard work going on behind the scene all the time to keep this specialty strong. Having interests and being engaged in activities related to dental public health throughout my time in dental school have allowed me to learn that it is always more effective to make changes and difference as a group. I also believe that each of us as an individual can grow and thrive further when we work as a group and when our organization itself is succeeding.

The Paper Point: How has residency been so far? Was it tougher than what you thought?

Dr. Kim: My residency experience has been great so far. Our program is very intimate with only two residents per year. I love the fact that our program doesn’t micromanage us and gives us lots of autonomy in terms of patient care. When I am not in school, I am reading for the most of my time haha I’m sure this applies for everyone in the residency. To be honest, it was tougher than I thought at the beginning, especially because I have been out of school for the past four years. It did take me a while to get back into the academic setting, but at this point, I think I am fully adjusted. 🙂

The Paper Point: How was your APICES experience; are you excited about the upcoming AAE meeting?

Dr. Kim: A month into residency while still struggling to get used to everything, I had such a great time mingling with the residents from all over the states who were in similar situation. It was also the very first time where I felt the strong sense of belonging as a part of this community. I developed so much appreciation for the enormous amount of support that we get from the organization. I can’t wait to see everyone at the AAE [Annual Meeting] in Chicago!

The Paper Point: What is next after residency?

Dr. Kim: I still have 15 more months to go til graduation so my answer is, I don’t know! But, since most of my friends and families are in California, I will probably go back and see what opportunities are out there. I eventually want to start my own business but we’ll see. Being involved in academia as a part-time faculty to teach is also something that I plan to do in the future. I am a firm believer that teaching pushes you to learn and grow and to become a better version of yourself!

The Paper Point: Any last words for our readers?

Dr. Kim: I am excited to participate in the making process of The Paper Point. I hope the newsletter can contribute in facilitating communication within our specialty and become a great platform for providing useful information to the residents and young endodontists.

Dr. Mo Sadrkhani is chair of the AAE’s Resident and New Practitioner Committee.