ER Wait Time | Door To Provider: 37 minutes | If this is a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

Choll Kim, MD, PhD, was named 2015 San Diego Physician Champion of the Year (medium-sized company) by the San Diego Business Journal. He was honored at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park in Oct. 15, 2015.

Dr. Kim, who is co-medical director of Alvarado Hospital’s Advanced Spine Institute, was selected for his pioneering efforts in the field of minimally invasive spine surgery. He co-founded and was executive director of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and continues to be national leader in this field—traveling around the county to lecture and teaching other spine surgeons how to perform spine surgery minimally invasively.

Dr. Kim was instrumental in establishing Alvarado Hospital’s Advanced Spine & Joint Institute, which opened in July 2015. In his role as co-medical director, he has overall responsibility for the new spine program treating all aspects of complex spinal disorders, including spinal stenosis, spinal deformities, traumatic injuries, tumors and infections of the spine, from neck to low back.

Dr. Kim also was instrumental in bringing O-Arm capabilities to the operating room. The O-Arm provides a real-time 2-D and 3-D image of a patient’s internal anatomy. These images guide surgeons when performing minimally invasive spine procedures with great precision. He also has been a leader in emphasizing the importance of outcomes transparency. Under his leadership, the program utilizes customized Patient Reported Outcomes iPad application to gather patient satisfaction data, keep a pulse on the patient’s pre- and post-surgical experience and clinical outcomes.

In addition, Dr. Kim is active in the specialized medical community and is the founder and past-president of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. He is an associate clinical professor at UCSD, a qualified medical evaluator and a past voting member of the FDA Orthopedic Devices Panel which reviews all new spinal technologies. He also is a member of the Spine Network of California, which has a patient advocacy branch. He has more than 200 publications and presentations.

Dr. Kim has been acknowledged with numerous honors. He is among the US News and World Report Best Doctors and is an expert consultant for ABC News. Under his tenure, Alvarado Hospital has been named among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Spine Surgery in 2014-2016.