벨 덴탈그룹 대표 - 아이나 김 치과 전문의
Q: First, Could you please introduce yourself?
A: My name is Ina Kim. I am an Endodontist. I was born on east coast and the eldest child of 3 children from Sea Heon Kim and Kyong Ho Kim but grew up mostly in Saratoga, CA. Now I have 3 children of my own: Sophie who is 5 years old, Julie who is 3 years old, and william jr. who is 2 years old.
I studied at Pomona College, neuroscience major, class of 2001, University of Michigan School of Dentistry, class of 2005, UCSF Hospital Dentistry residency completed 2006, and Temple University Endodontics Specialty, class of 2008.
Q: What is your most memorable childhood episode?
A: I was not always the smartest or top student in my class when I was younger, but my parents instilled in me very good work ethic and diligence and I think that is the main erason why I was able to go through school and end up where I am now. One thing that my dad said that I can never forget and I hope to teach my own children as well is that "an A is not always an A. I much prefer giving 100% effort and ending up with a C, than giving 50% effort and getting an A. The self reward when you try your best is better than any physical outcome." Even if you don't end up on top after you try your best, you keep trying your best and never give up.
Another thing that I don't think I even told my mom how much I appreciated it growing up was her staying up late with me when I had to study or had a project to complete. I remember the most from high school, but there were times that I had to study or was working on something for school and had to stay up until midnight or later. I know that's not so late for an adult, for a child it was a struggle. Those nights that I stayed up, my mom stayed up with me and didn't go to bed until I went to bed. She would cut me fruit or give me snacks in the late night and check up on me. She never asked how long it was going to take, or when I was going to bed, or even what I was doing but would quietly sneak in snacks and let me do my work, but at the same time staying up and not going to bed until I was done. It may seem like something so little, but it was very meaningful to me.
Q: Who are the mentors who helped get to career?
A: I would say that my mentors that helped me with my career would be my parents and my aunt. My mom and dad always encouraged me with everything I did, whether it was academically or my hobbies and provided unending support, even when they didn't agree with my decision. Choosing which college I would attend was a big debate, but in the end, they supported my decision to attend Pomona even though they were wary. With anything I did, they always stressed diligence and effort. My aunt, who also lives in Saratoga, is a dentist as well, and I grew up watching her go through dental school, the exams and finally becoming a dentist and starting her own practice. Not only is she beautiful, but she is smart and successful and I grew up seeing her rise in her own career from student to dentist and admired her greatly.
Q: How do you like your current job?
A: I love my job! Most people react with fear when I tell them I am dentist and then when I tell them that I am a root canal specialist they are even more scared. But in reality, I am not inflicting pain but I am instead removing their pain and infection. I feel the most gratified when I see a patient that has been suffering for a long time from dental infection and I can remove it all in one visit and they can enjoy their normal life again. Some patients cannot even sleep because of their dental pain and once I relieve their pain, they sleep in the chair while I am working on them because they are finally relieved of pain
Q: What are important things for your life?
A: The most important thing in my life is my family, not just my own husband and children but my parents, siblings, and parents in law. I feel so lucky and grateful that I have loving and wonderful parents, but I was even lucky to have such great parents in law that love and take care of me like their own daughter. I know that sometimes that is very difficult to get such good in laws, but somehow I was so lucky to have such wonderful parents in law, even though my Korean is not so great that communication is a bit difficult sometimes.
My friends always said that our family was like the Brady Bunch because we all got along so well. Of course we fought but we were also very close growing up and still are. I hope my children are as close with their siblings as I was with mine. I completely respect my dad and my mom and I are very close. I remember coming home from college and we would lie in bed together and talk about what was going on with our lives
Q: What were the most unforgettable happiest moments in your life, and how did you overcome if there were any obstacles?
A: My most unforgettable and happiest moments are easy. They are the day I got married and the days each of my 3 children were born. It is very hard to describe the love of a mother for their child until you become a parent. My most difficult and happiest times were all related to my children.
One of my biggest obstacles is my timidness or shyness. I don't enjoy being the center of attention or standing up and talking in front of people, even a small group of people. It's something that my parents helped me overcome and something that I still work on to this day. I still don't enjoy talking in front of a group or people or being the center of attention, but I try to force myself into sometimes uncomfortable situations to get over my fears.
Q: What are your hobbies, and how do you relieve stress if you have any?
A: I enjoy exercise and I also believe it is something very important for your health both physically and mentally. I used to run/jog more and even did a half marathon when I was a student, but now I take group exercise classes with people in my community, including teachers and moms of the area where I live and it's a great way to bond with other people outside of work but at the same time getting physical health benefits.
Q: Do you have any advice for younger generation who want the same career path or comments to readers?
A: More than anything always tries your best. Hard work and diligence will always pay off. Be open to new things and challenge yourself to see what you are capable of. There is no such thing as failure, but an opportunity to learn.