Radiation oncologist brings bold vision to Adventist Health White Memorial Daniel H Kim, MD, Advisory Board Member

Few can pinpoint the exact moment they discovered their life’s purpose. Dr. Daniel H Kim is among the few who did — in a cold microbiology lab on a warm summer day at the University of California, Berkeley.

Daniel H. Kim, MD, Advisory Board Member and Radiation Oncologist

Daniel H Kim, MD

“I was working in a microbiology lab with vials of yeast and bacteria, and my only human interactions were my lab mates,” Kim recalls. “That’s not what I could envision for my career. So I explored medicine.”

Kim, then a biochemistry and molecular biology major, probably found the inspiration for his future in his past. Growing up in the Los Angeles area, playing baseball and youth sports likely fostered a strong sense of human connection that shaped his desire to help people. This desire led him to pivot towards medicine, specifically radiation oncology.

Radiation oncology was attractive to Kim because it blends the intricacies of science with the human aspect. Kim embarked on a medical career journey that took him from medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, to an internal medicine internship at the California Pacific Medical Center, and ultimately, to his role as chief resident at City of Hope.

In November 2022, Kim joined Adventist Heath White Memorial as Medical Director of the Cecilia Gonzalez De La Hoya Cancer Center, while also serving as a Clinical Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Known for his ability to simplify complex medical jargon into plain language, Kim brings much-needed knowledge, empathy and understanding to the patient experience. “If you start a serious discussion about cancer diagnosis with the patient, and you say odynophagia as a third word out your mouth, they’re lost,” Kim said. “They’re not going to hear anything you say. Odynophagia is just mouth pain. So say pain, say mouth. I teach that to the residents that I work with. You’re not talking with other doctors. You’re talking with your aunt, your uncle, your family member.”

Kim is also passionate about building community relationships and partnerships, a love shared by Adventist Health White Memorial Charitable Foundation President Juan De La Cruz. At their first meeting, they bonded over their expansive shared vision, a medical campus with in-house specialists to provide comprehensive care to the community, while simultaneously strategizing growth for the cancer center and creating a future community wellness hub.

Kim envisions Adventist Health White Memorial as a place where families could spend a sunny afternoon strolling through lush green spaces while visiting their loved ones, where community events could be held and where health and wellness intersect with everyday life. To him, this is a vibrant health-oriented community center.

His idea of a comprehensive healthcare hub as well as Kim’s effective communication style resonated with De La Cruz’s aspirations for a high-quality, community-centric healthcare institution. As a result, Kim was asked to join the board of directors, an invitation he gladly accepted. By joining the board, Kim furthers his commitment to demystifying medical knowledge, improving patient lives and building a medical center that the community can call its own.

The Adventist Health White Memorial Charitable Foundation congratulates and welcomes Dr. Daniel H Kim to the board of directors!

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