Heakyung Kim, M.D.

  • Kimberly-Clark Distinguished Chair in Mobility Research
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Brain Injury
  • Cerebral palsy

Biography

Heakyung Kim, MD, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Kimberly-Clark Distinguished Chair in Mobility Research at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She specializes in pediatric rehabilitation medicine, brain injury, cerebral palsy, and botulinum toxin injections for spasticity and drooling management.

Dr. Kim earned her medical degree at Ewha Womans University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea. She completed both her residency in rehabilitation and fellowship in neuroscience in rehabilitation medicine at Yonsei University Health System in Seoul. She later completed a combined residency in pediatrics and physical medicine and rehabilitation at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

Certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in physiatry with subspecialties in pediatric rehabilitation medicine and brain injury medicine, she joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2022.

Prior to joining UT Southwestern, Dr. Kim served as Vice Chair and A. David Gurewitsch Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Columbia University; Director of Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital; and Chief of the Physiatry Department at Blythedale Children’s Hospital. She was the founding Director of the Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Fellowship Program at Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. She also served as Associate Director of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine in the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center at Columbia University.

Dr. Kim also previously worked at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she was Assistant Chief for the Division of Child Development, Rehabilitation and Metabolic Disease and Medical Director of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine and the Cerebral Palsy Program.

She is nationally and internationally regarded as an expert in pediatric rehabilitation medicine and serves on the World Health Organization’s committee for rehabilitation interventions for people with cerebral palsy. In addition, she is the Medical Director and Leader of the Rehabilitation Mission for the Children of China Pediatrics Foundation. Her research interests include cerebral palsy, especially spasticity and drooling management with botulinum toxin; robotic therapy; exercise for spastic muscles in children with cerebral palsy; and lifespan care for people with cerebral palsy, including sexuality.

Dr. Kim is Associate Editor at Large and Guest Editor of Special Cerebral Palsy Issues for Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine and serves on the editorial board of Journal of Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation.

A prolific and renowned presenter and author, Dr. Kim has published widely across peer-reviewed journals related to her areas of clinical interest. Her recent publications include contributions to Braddom's Rehabilitation Care: A Clinical Handbook and Pediatric Musculoskeletal Medicine.

Dr. Kim has been recognized as one of America’s Top Physicians since 2003. She is also a New York Times Super Doctor, named by Castle Connolly as among the Exceptional Women in Medicine, and listed by American Registry as the Best of the Best. She has received four Teacher of the Year awards.

Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Association of Academic Physiatrists
  • International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Honors & Awards
  • Nominee for CUIMC, Women’s History Month 2021-2022, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
  • Best Doctors 2012-2022, New York Magazine
  • New York Super Doctor, (2012, 2015-2022) Super Doctors
  • Top Doctors 2012-2022, Castle Connolly
  • Exceptional Women in Medicine, (2017, 2019, 2020, 2021) Castle Connolly
  • Best of The Best (Top 1% of America’s Most Honored Doctors), (2016, 2020, 2021) American Registry
  • Inductee, Academy of Clinical Excellence 2017, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons
  • Resident Alumni Award 2017, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation/Kessler Institution for Rehabilitation
  • America’s Most Honored Professionals (Top 1%) 2016-2017, American Registry
  • Distinguished Membership 2016, International Healthcare Leadership (IHL)
  • Teacher of the Year, (2015, 2022) Department of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine, New York-Presbyterian/Columbia/Cornell
  • Samberg Scholars in Children’s Health 2013, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian
  • America’s Top Physicians 2003-2012, Consumer’s Research Council of America
  • Best Leader of Family-Centered Care in Action 2007, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Teacher of the Year, (2001, 2006) Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine
  • Invited Member 2006, Allergan Institute of Distinction
  • Outstanding Contribution Award 2003, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Books & Publications
  • Books
    • Neurolysis in Handbook of Spasticity: A Practical Approach to Management
      Suputtitada A, Kim H, Munin MC, Winston P (2022), Springer Publishing Company, LLC
    • Chapter 47 Cerebral Palsy in Braddom's Rehabilitation Care: A Clinical Handbook, 2nd edition
      Kim H, Cassidy D (2022), Elsevier
    • Chapter 24 Pediatric Musculoskeletal Medicine in Principles of Rehabilitation Medicine
      Kim H, Tenaglia A, Stumph J (2021), McGraw Hill Publishing
    • Chapter 3 Spasticity Management: Non-operative and operative management in Orthopedic Care of Patients with Cerebral Palsy: A Clinical Guide to Evaluation and Management across the Lifespan
      Kim H, Del Rosario E, Anderson RE, Levin J, Bainton N, Bowman A (2020), Springer
    • Physical Abuse (non-Accidental Trauma) in PM&R Knowledge Now
      Kim H, Erby M (2020)
    • Chapter 63 Pediatric Musculoskeletal Medicine in Principles of Rehabilitation Medicine
      Kim H, Shoval HA (2019), McGraw Hill Publishing
    • Chapter 60. Pediatric Neurologic Disorders in Principles of Rehabilitation Medicine
      Kim H, Shoval HA, Kim N (2019), McGraw Hill Publishing
    • HIV in Children and Adolescents in PM&R Knowledge Now
      Eison K, Kim H (2018)
    • Cerebral Palsy in PM&R Knowledge Now
      Kim H, Shin MR (2017)
    • Osteogenesis Imperfecta in PM&R Knowledge Now
      Kim H, Shoval HA (2016)
    • Congenital and Acquired Myotonia in PM&R Knowledge Now
      Kim H, Shoval HA (2015)
    • Biomechanic of Gait and Treatment of Abnormal Gait Pattern in PM&R Knowledge Now
      Kim H, Shoval HA, Ploypetch T (2014 )
    • Club feet in Pediatrics: Rehabilitation Medicine Quick Reference
      Kim H (2010), Demos Medical Publishing
    • Special Considerations in Rehabilitation of Children with Spinal Cord Injury in Pediatric SCI
      Kuluz J, Kim H, Dixon D, Samdani A, Gonzalez-Brito M, Mulcahey MJ (2008 ), Baker & Taylor
    • Spasticity in Rehabilitation Medicine
      Kim H, Kim SW, Lee YH, Choi JU (2007), Seoul, Hanmibook
    • Management of spasticity in Pediatric Rehabilitation
      Kim H., Kwon BS (2006), Seoul, Korea, Koonja
    • Chapter 34. Pulmonary rehabilitation in PM&R Secret, 3rd edition
      Bach JR, Kim H (2005), Philadelphia, Elsevier
    • Principles of neuromuscular rehabilitation in Motor Disorders
      Bach JR, Kim H (1999), Philadelphia, Little Brown
Research
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Lifespan care for people with cerebral palsy, including sexuality
  • Robotic therapy and exercise for spastic muscles in children with cerebral palsy
  • Spasticity and drooling management with botulinum toxin

Clinical Focus

  • Brain Injury
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Spasticity Management

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