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Sara Kim, PhD

  • Research Professor
  • Adjunct
  • MEE


Educational Continuous Quality Improvement, healthcare communication skills, and conflict management negotiation research.


PhD in Education from University of Washington in 1999. Currently, serves as Associate Dean for Educational Quality Improvement, School of Medicine, University of Washington and is the inaugural holder of the George G. B. Bilsten Professorship in the Art of Communication with Peers and Patients.  Research and teaching focus in conflict management through collaboration with a wide range of clinical, administrative and educational stakeholders across UW Medicine to develop and disseminate communication skill training programs.


My current research focuses on healthcare conflict and communication skills as follows:

Arnold P. Gold Foundation (KIM, PI), 11/1/15-2/28/17, $15,000, Activate For Inquiry: A Model for Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Speaking Up

The major goal is to create and pilot a novel curriculum that promotes healthcare providers’ commitment and ability to speak up patient safety concerns. The curriculum will be validated with charge nurses, ICU teams, and residents.

Arnold P. Gold Foundation (KIM, PI), 9/1/15-2/28/17, $5,000, Equalizing Voices: the Power Hierarchy in Healthcare

The major goal is to conduct a scoping literature review that focuses on how power differentials and organizational hierarchy affect healthcare providers’ motivation to speak up or withhold from speaking up.

Representative publications:

Kim, S, Phillips, WR, Pinsky, L, Brock, DM, Phillips, K, Keary, J. A conceptual framework for developing teaching cases: A review and synthesis of literature across disciplines. Medical Education. 2006 40(9):867-76.

Kim, S, Phillips, WR, Huntington, J, Astion, ML, Keerbs, A, Pinsky, L, Dresden, G, Sharma, U, Shearer, DW. Medical Case Teaching on the Web: Principles, Strategies and Examples. Teaching and Learning in Medicine. 2007 Spring;19(2):106-14.

Kim, S, Brock, D, Prouty, C, Odegard, P, Shannon, S, Robins, L, Boggs, JG, Clark, FJ, Gallagher, TH. Development of the Web-based Team-Oriented Medical Error Communication Assessment Tool. Teaching and Learning in Medicine. 2011 23:68-77.

Abu-Rish, E, Kim, S, Choe, Lapio, Varpio, L, et al. Current Trends in Interprofessional Education of Health Sciences Students: A Literature Review. Journal of Interprofessional Care. 2012; 26(6):444-51. (Winner of the 2012 Baldwin Award)

Kim, S, Buttrick, E, Bohannon, I, Fehr, R, Frans, E, Shannon, SE. When Focusing on the Patient is Complicated: Conflict Narratives from the Healthcare Frontline. Conflict Resolution Quarterly. 2016:33(3):255-277.

Kim, S, Buttrick, E, Bohanon, I, Fehr, R, Frans, E, Shannon, S. From A “Hot Seat” Simulation Model for Conflict Resolution: A Pilot Study”. Journal of Healthcare Quality (Accepted)