December 20, 2013
Jessica Kim heads up International Dentist ProgramJessica Kim, DDS’05, is newly appointed director of the School of Dentistry’s International Dentist program (IDP). In September she replaced Michael Fitzpatrick, DDS, who has served twice as director of IDP, beginning in 2006, for more than five years altogether.
In January of 2013, Dr. Kim joined the IDP faculty and left for maternity leave after delivering a baby girl in March who joined her three-year-old sister in the Kim household.
Dr. Kim graduated in 2000 from Loma Linda University School of Allied Health Professions with a Bachelor of Science degree in Clinical Laboratory Sciences. It was during her undergraduate studies, while working as a clinic laboratory scientist at the LLU Medical Center, that Dr. Kim decided on dentistry for her career path.
After graduating with her DDS in 2005, Dr. Kim earned a certificate in Dental General Practice from the University of Nevada School of Medicine in 2006. With certificate in hand, she returned to LLU as an assistant professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry where she mentored junior and senior dental students in the School’s clinic while working part time with a couple of nearby dental practices, before joining the LLU Faculty Dental Practice in 2008 and then the LLU Surgery Center Special Care Dentistry one day each week beginning in 2010.
Dr. Kim says she enjoys very much the cultural diversity and family atmosphere of the dentist-students who comprise the IDP program. She points with pleasure to the IDP clinic’s east wall with its profuse display of flags that represent the 81 countries from which its 483 students have arrived to augment their dental education and clinical skills. This year she says IDP added flags for Moldova and Trinidad & Tobago to the countries represented by the program’s graduates since its inception in 1985.
Dr. Kim was born in South Korea and at the age of three moved to California with her parents and sister.
She is married to Michael Kim, DDS’11, who practices privately in the Inland Empire. For the time being, the directing of IDP and two small children take up most of her time.