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Dr. Cathy A. Kim, MD, APC

Dr. Cathy Kim Featured on Medical Staff Voice Live

Dr. Kim on Medical Staff Voice Live

Dr. Cathy Kim Featured on Medical Staff Voice Live

Watch (or read) below to learn more about Dr. Cathy Kim in this Podcast for her local hospital.

00:53 Background and Training:  “Korean-American Hillbilly”
02:45 Unique Speciality:  “Gray Area” Physician
04:17 Medical Philosophy:  “Everything is Plastic”
07:13 Curing the Untreatable:  “Advantage of the Long View”
09:35 Converting Skeptics:  “Gravity Spares Noone”
10:47 Practice Information:  Ventura and Camarillo
11:38 Special Interests/Hobbies
12:29 Game:  “This or That”
15:46 Office Locations (with Insurance)

Transcription:

Stan:
Welcome to the Medical staff voice Live, I’m Dr. Stan Frochtzwajg Chief Medical Officer here at Community Memorial health system and I’m joined today by Dr. Cathy Kim. Welcome Dr. Kim. 

Cathy:
Thanks for having me. 

Stan:
Very welcome. We have a number of questions that we would like to review with you, and the first one is probably the most straightforward, and really relates to who you are, we want to know where are you from, what brought you to Ventura, and where were you trained? 

Cathy:
Okay, it’s a bit unconventional for this area to answer where I’m from. Because Southern California, with it’s Koreatown prominent claim to fame, is not where I’m from. 

I grew up in West Virginia, so I am a true hillbilly, Korean-American hillbilly is what I say that I am. My English is pretty good, without any trace of a hillbilly accent and I always joke it’s because when you’re struggling to learn English and discern that hillbilly accent from your parents heavily accented Korean English, then you kind of take the pure middle road. 

I’m from West Virginia and I came here in early 2000 because I met my then-husband in medical school and we we came back to Ventura because that’s where he was from, or at least this area, because this is where he was; and we had met in medical school at UCLA and then we trained MetroHealth Hospital, which is the county hospital for Case Western Reserve University. I did my Family Medicine Residency there. 

Stan:
Very nice and did you come straight from residency to this area?

Cathy:
No, my ambitions were to go back to the East Coast which is where a lot of my five brothers and sisters moved. So we went there but then eventually Southern California called the family back in a way. The joke is my husband said, “everybody wants to live there, they just all can’t find jobs there.” So with that persuasive argument, I said, “okay we’ll go back.”  

Stan:
Very nice. Of interest to both of our patients and our medical staff, what is your subspecialty? What treatments and procedures do you offer medical staff? And what ages and particular conditions you like to see? 

Now I have to admit, you and I work quite a bit together, so I know many of these answers but please for our physician and patient audience can you be specific and go from there?

Cathy:
Sure! I’ve thought about this question because I’m asked this many times, and I thought maybe the clearest answer is that I am a “Gray Area” specialist now. 

After practicing Family Medicine for over 20 years and understanding that there are things that are clear-cut, that I know the answer to — or I know what the treatment is for, or we know that it’s finite what the course will be. Then, you accumulate all of these patients with chronic conditions that have no end. After 20 plus years, this is now where I live. 

The advantage of having been a Family Medicine doctor, including having done prenatal care, is that there is no area where I’m like, “I can’t touch that”. I’m interested in it all, so I would say I’m a “Gray Area” physician and open to anytime anyone is stumped. I say, “Stumped? Okay, that’s time for me.” I welcome the opportunity. 

Stan:
So I know specifically that you treat a whole array of conditions. Some very specific ones, that that’s almost no one else will even touch, and for me, my referrals to you have been along those lines and quite frankly 90% of my patients are exceptionally surprised and satisfied. 

Could you address those? Particular the ones I’m interested in hearing about are the biomechanics, or biophysical treatments you provide 

Cathy:
Okay sure, going back a few steps. I would say when you look back at our training, our training was originally that the brain is set the way it is — you’re born with that many neurons and if you really murdered them with too much alcohol in your younger days, then you’re out of luck. 

Well, that’s all been turned on its head. So now we have the concept of brain plasticity . . . neural rewiring . . . even dementia is being proven to be reversible now — with reversing metabolic inflammation and activating more of your microbiome to help calm down your whole immune system. With that and then understanding that in the nineties, Dean Ornish helped prove that heart disease was reversible also — how many times are we going to have to really realize that it’s all reversible? This idea that we’re just like set to be on this course and there’s nothing to be done, it’s a bit fatalistic. 

I’d say that where I live right now professionally, is in the world of, “it’s all plastic”. Instead of assuming it’s all set, and that you can’t change it, I now assume that everything is plastic. 

You can run out of time, a little bit like when you’re in a sports match and you’ve figured out the other team, but you ran out of time. You can run out of time on turning things around, but with the right motivation and the right strategic approach you could reverse a lot of things.

That’s the basis on which I tackle these problems. When people come to me and they’ve had something for 20 years, I don’t say, it’s been 20 years and there’s nothing I can offer. I think, well that was 20 years of that strategy; if we turn it a little bit, we could look at it differently from the perspective of metabolic inflammation. 

What really gets neglected, I’d say, is the structural imbalance. So if we tackle it with that in mind and correct for that, then the whole house can kind of straighten out and several problems at once will improve.

Stan:
Just for the clarification of our audience, I know for myself I’ve seen you treat and cure conditions that for many people are thought to be untreatable, such as coccydynia, tailbone chronic pain or chronic low back pain or chronic knee and leg pain. So there are conditions that often many physicians simply give analgesics, pain pills to solve which never solves the problem, but somehow you’re able to solve the problem. 

Cathy:
I would say that it helps if you have family medicine as your background. Having helped and seen the spectrum of illness and or complaints from when people are toddlers or children, and then being able to recognize it when someone is pregnant. and you kind of synthesize it all at once in an ah-hah kind of way. There are some unifying principles, and I’d say that’s what happened to me. I realized it’s almost like you have to have that perspective of this long view of how the body is changing and adapting over time. 

Which we actually understand from the standpoint of — we treat high blood pressure because we want people to not have stiff inflexible ventricles, so that they don’t have diastolic dysfunction from undertreated high blood pressure. We understand the adaptive quality of the heart to high blood pressure that makes the heart inflexible.

Well, that is what’s happening to us when we use our bodies in a way that is not promotional of flexibility, then it stiffens also. 

But, just like diastolic dysfunction and heart muscle stiffness can regress overtime if you treat that pressure, you can actually reclaim that flexibility for your body.  And then when things are not wired so stiff, (so you’re like a harp or a guitar, where just even the slightest twang makes all the strings go), then the body has enough flexibility within it to absorb that. You don’t have five different symptoms all flaring at the same time in different areas of your body and thinking that you have five different problems. 

Stan:
Thank you. Well I really appreciate also your ability to turn around some of my most skeptical patients. 

Cathy:
Well, that is just wonderful. I think that I just explain that gravity spares no one and this idea that we have, a little bit like in philosophy, there’s this Age of Enlightenment where we kinda get high on ourselves and we think we’re super rational beings and we’re above all of that. Freud’s just like, “No you’re not. You’re really just Id and base human emotions.”

I think that because we’re so accomplished and can build things that can do these things that defy a lot of the natural world, that we think that we’re kind of above that. We expect that when we lean something off-kilter, that it will fall. We know that will happen. But if we’re off-kilter, we’re like, “oh no, that’s okay for us”. But we pay, because all the muscles unconsciously are doing very hard work to keep you all from falling over.

Stan:
Well I certainly remain intrigued. So the next thing we want to know is where is your practice located? 

Cathy:
I practice at the Centers for Family Health, the CMH (Community Memorial Hospital) satellites. And I practice there where all insurances are accepted pretty much and I practice Ashwood (Ventura) and then on the Arneill Road office in Camarillo. 

I would like to say that all insurances are accepted at the Centers, except, since I’m boarded in Family Medicine, certain insurance groups, the HMOs don’t recognize me as a separate specialist. That poses some challenges for people who are in an HMO situation, for referrals.

Stan:
Very good thank you. So moving on to an area that I also want to know about, and our viewers want to know, do you have any outside interests and hobbies, other than medicine I mean? 

Cathy:
Well it turns out that when, as part of your passion for work, you are also doing YouTube videos on the side and you also own a home — it turns out that those become your special interests and hobbies! So I have become a sound editor and an iMovie video editor and my own director. And so it turns out that these are now my hobbies. I’ll let you know when that shifts and then I can take on other hobbies. But right now those are my hobbies.

Stan.
Well it sounds like you have a passion for it, so that’s a great hobby. So we’re going to move over to an even lighter part of this program, it’s called, This or That. Gives us some insight into people and I’d really like to know a couple things. I’m going to hit you with a few This or Thats:

Coffee or tea?

Cathy:
I’d say it’s been coffee the last few years. And if you want some elaboration, I choose one that’s really low mold, low toxin. So I won’t drink (just) any coffee; it has to be only one or two kinds. 

Stan:
I’ve tried your coffee, it’s wonderful, thank you. Scrubs or business casual? 

Cathy:
There was a Scrubs phase. That was probably when my two kids were really young and that’s when everything’s “fine” and you’re surviving, but now I’m in business casual 

Stan:
Beautiful. Text message or call?

Cathy:
I’d have to say I’m a texter, unless it’s for something that carries the weight for the call. So yeah, I’d say text.

Stan:
Chocolate or candy?

Cathy:
It’s been chocolate for years. I’ve had to change that recently . . . the more you know, the more you know and then you can’t unsee, but I will say that my love, and addiction maybe, will be chocolate.

Stan:
Mac or PC, although I know the answer?

Cathy:
I’m on Mac.

Stan:
iPhone or Android?

Cathy:
Android offers way too many options.  From my son I realized, who would tweak his phone every day, I realized the iPhone was just set for just “run and go,” so i’m an iPhone person.

Stan:
Good. Cat or Dog?

Cathy:
I have a bunny!

Stan:
We’re going to have to add that to our list!  Hiking or gym?

Cathy:
Hiking. I think we need more contact with the natural world so that we understand we’re part of the natural world — because we accidentally infer that we operate more in the technical/electric machine world.

Stan:
Very good. Audible or book?

Cathy:
Audible, I’d say. It used to be a book, but now it’s Audible.

Stan:
Singing or Dancing?

Cathy:
Probably singing. Not by skill, just by preference! 

Stan:
I understand, and finally, sunrise or sunset?

Cathy:
I think it has to be sunset, because I really don’t like to be cold and sunrises are always defacto . . . they’re just a cold situation. 

Stan:
Very understandable choice. Well I want to thank you so much for participating and sharing your knowledge and experience with everyone, our medical staff, as well as our patients. Thank you so much Dr. Kim.

Cathy:
Well I have to say thanks so much for having me. It’s always a pleasure.

Stan:
You’re certainly welcome. Thank you for tuning in to learn more about Dr. Cathy Kim. 

For more information on all the service and specialties offered at Community Memorial Health System, visit cmhshealth.org and be sure to like and subscribe for more from your Community Health System. Thank you for watching.

Dr. Cathy Kim

Dr. Cathy Kim

Dr. Cathy Kim is a Board-Certified Family Medicine physician and Body Function Specialist. She practices in Camarillo, CA and specializes in complex cases.
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Catherine A. Kim, MD, APC

1601 Carmen Drive, Suite 216, Camarillo, CA 93010