Fernando J. Kim, MD, MBA, FACS

Fernando J. Kim, MD, MBA, FACS

American Urological Association

Denver, Colorado

Fernando J. Kim, MD, MBA, FACS, is President of the South Central Section of the American Urological Association (AUA), Editor-in-Chief of AUA NEWS in Portuguese, and Associate Editor of the Journal of Urology Plus and the Patient Safety in Surgery Journal. Dr. Kim graduated from the University of São Paulo School of Medicine in São Paolo, Brazil. Following medical school, Dr. Kim spent four years as a postdoctoral trauma research fellow at the University of Colorado (CU) Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Kim completed an internship in general surgery at the CU Health Sciences Center and finished his general surgery training at Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine in Illinois. Upon completion of his residency training in urology at Loyola University, Dr. Kim completed his fellowship in endourology and laparoscopy at the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and joined the faculty of the Division of Urology/Department of Surgery at the CU Health Sciences as Assistant Professor and Chief of Urology at Denver Health Medical Center. Dr. Kim, an alumnus of the American Urological Association Leadership Program and an honorary member of the Korean Urological Association and Sociedade Brasileira de Urologia, significantly contributed to international collaboration as the American Urological Association’s Host Country Liaison from 2008 to 2023 culminating with the American Urological Association’s Presidential Citation for his international relations and contributions to Minimally Invasive Urological Surgery. His expertise garnered consistent recognition, with listings in the Best Doctors in America by US News & World Report since 2008.


Talks by Fernando J. Kim, MD, MBA, FACS

Caring for Underserved and Vulnerable Populations for Over 23 Years

Fernando Kim, MD, MBA, FACS, Chief Emeritus of Urology at Denver Health Medical Center and Professor of Surgery/Urology at the University of Colorado at Denver, shares insights gathered from his more than 23 years of caring for underserved and vulnerable populations. Dr. Kim describes some of the needs and characteristics of these populations, and gives examples of the traumatic experiences to which those populations are regularly exposed. He also emphasizes the importance of physicians understanding their patients’ cultures, communication styles, and needs so that they can effectively treat those patients.

He addresses time constraints for patients who cannot afford to be out of work, and how developing a minimally-invasive practice can help support those patients. He cites disparate oncological profiles along demographic lines, as well as research that supports multiple factors influencing patient treatment selection. For example, he explains that, especially for African-American men, the less invasive nature of cryoablation appeared to influence opinions regarding surgery for the treatment of localized prostate cancer.

Dr. Kim cites another study that reaffirms the importance in health disparities research of modeling interactions between race/ethnicity and variables that reflect diverse aspects of a patient’s socioeconomic circumstances, since the research showed that doctors’ treatment recommendations were less aggressive for poor or indigent populations. He concludes by reemphasizing the importance of empathy, cultural humility, and understanding when working with vulnerable and underserved communities.

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Urology

Fernando J. Kim, MD, MBA, FACS, Chief Emeritus of Urology at Denver Health Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado, characterizes diversity as a mosaic of differences and similarities—and dimensions—among people, including appearance, age, culture, ethnicity, race, language, gender, sexual orientation, religion, family environment, income level, and job title. Dr. Kim notes that communication is filtered through one’s cultural perspective, which includes characteristics and experiences ranging from things like age, race, learning style, military experience, and much more. All of this influences how people perceive one another. He points out that the “melting pot” theory of American society has evolved to where American culture values respect for individual groups and characteristics within society. Dr. Kim turns to equity and differentiates equity from equality, pointing out that equity speaks to fairness or justice while equality is the state of being equal. He explains that equity goes beyond fair treatment, opportunity, and access to information and resources for all, stressing the importance of intentionally and actively removing barriers, challenging discrimination and bias, and institutionalizing access and resources that address historical and contemporary social inequalities. Dr. Kim turns next to inclusion, which actively invites all to contribute and participate; it strives to create balance in the face of exclusive differential power and create a society where every person’s voice is valuable and no one person is expected to represent an entire community. He differentiates among Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), affirmative action, and diversity and inclusion. Dr. Kim cites the fact that urologists today are usually men and explains that while this may be changing, the field of urology lags behind other specialities in the share of women practitioners. He explains that workforce diversity is good for business and discrimination and poor diversity management pose an economic cost, with the average EEO complaint costing an organization approximately $250,000. Further, 25-40 percent of the workforce attrition rate and 5-20 percent of lost productivity can be attributed to poor diversity management, and employee turnover costs 75-150 percent of the replaced employee’s salary. Dr. Kim cites NASA’s implementation of a strong diversity management program after the Report of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board found that organizational culture that squelched dissent, stifled differences of opinion, resisted external criticism and doubt, imposed a “party-line vision,” and prevented open communication had plagued NASA and contributed to the Columbia accident. Dr. Kim concludes by asking, “At what level do you value differences?,” differentiating among tolerance, acceptance, valuing, and the celebration of differences; he emphasizes the importance of celebrating individual differences and deeply understanding and respecting others’ viewpoints.

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What Urologists Need to Know About COVID-19

Fernando J. Kim, MD, MBA, FACS, Chief Emeritus of Urology at Denver Health Medical Center, Professor of Surgery/Urology at the University of Colorado at Denver, and Associate Editor of the Patient Safety in Surgery Journal, and E. David Crawford, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Grand Rounds in Urology, discuss how the rapidly changing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 crisis require doctors to be flexible in order to protect both their patients and the healthcare providers themselves. They further discuss how important it is to understand the capacity of ICU beds, respirators, and personal protective equipment, particularly the N95 mask. Dr. Kim suggests that urologists should follow the recommendations of both the CDC and the AUA to stop performing elective procedures, but that in cases of metastasizing cancers doctors need to weigh the need for the surgery against the possibility of contracting COVID-19 while the patient is in recovery in the ICU.

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Culture of Patient Safety Part 2

Fernando J. Kim, MD, MBA, FACS, discusses internal physician factors and external factors in the current medical field that can put careers and patient safety at risk. He then reviews ways in which systems thinking and professionalism can optimize outcomes in urology practices.

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