Charles Kim grew up in Seattle, graduated from Harvard Medical School and moved to New Mexico after he wrapped up training at Stanford.
“The original Lovelace Medical Group recruited me straight out of training. I hadn’t been here before, but a former colleague who had been a couple years ahead of me was here, and he was one of the first academically trained interventional cardiologists in Albuquerque.”
First impression? “Wow. This is pretty desolate compared to California.”
Kim’s parents still live in Seattle. Dad was a structural engineer, and Mom raised the kids.
Why did he choose medicine? “I thought about becoming an engineer, and in high school I kind of drifted toward sciences. Medicine became one of those options when I was thinking, ‘What am I going to be when I grow up?’
“You learn about medicine. You do research and working in the hospital and you say, ‘OK, this looks reasonable,’ so I sort of stayed the course.”
He decided on cardiology and specialized in interventional cardiology, which includes treatments such as stents, balloons and heart caths. “Why is everyone worried about cholesterol? It’s because it clogs up your arteries.”