Kim H. Kawakami, OD
I speak: English
My gender: Female
Where I practice
I was born in Hilo Hospital on the Big Island of Hawaii to parents who were teachers looking for employment. They found it one year later at Kohala Elementary and High School, also on the Big Island, and that is where I grew up and went to school until I was 18 years old. As teachers, both of my parents encouraged me to strive to be the best student and person that I could be. They always believed in me and that gave me the confidence to know that I could do anything I set my mind to. After getting my bachelor’s degree in biology, I earned the degree of doctor of optometry from Southern California College of Optometry in Fullerton, California.
About my practice
While attending college, my favorite class was Human Anatomy and Physiology. I was fascinated by the human body and wanted to learn more, and this influenced my choice of career. The person who influenced me the most in my specialty was my optometrist. During my first eye exam at the age of seventeen, I was so impressed by the professionalism of my optometrist and his staff. The entire experience from beginning to end was pleasant and interesting. I'll never forget the feeling I had when I put on my first pair of glasses and could see so clearly. I had no idea what I had been missing! Optometry is a challenging and rewarding field. It enables me to provide the gift of improved sight to my patients and it was this desire that drove me to enter this field. The thing I enjoy most about practicing with the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group is working with my physician partners. Being connected to information about each patient’s physician visits, imaging, drug allergies, current problem lists, and medications helps to facilitate effective patient care. We can easily communicate with others involved in each member’s health and we can work together to manage disease. My philosophy is to view each patient as an individual person and care for their unique needs. Connecting with my patients on a personal level is a high priority for me. Knowing what kind of work they do and the kind of extra-curricular activities that they enjoy helps me to provide them with the best eye care advice.
How I thrive
I stay active in my children's school and extra-curricular activities and enjoy volunteering at community events, attending family-centered activities, and spending time with family and friends.