Human Centered Designer Joins Department of Surgery

Joshua Kim, MSJoshua Kim, MS joined the Department of Surgery as a senior designer and program coordinator in the Human Centered Design initiative, led by David Mahvi, M.D., Alice Ruth Folk Endowed Chair in Clinical Oncology and Chief, Oncology Integrated Center of Clinical Excellence, and Mike Yost, Ph.D., Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Surgery.

The goal is to develop a new culture at MUSC based on design thinking, develop new products or processes that use a human-centered approach, and educate students in the art of human centered design. The institute is uniquely positioned for success through partnerships with MUSC Health, Clemson University College of Engineering, and MUSC, a research based medical school.

Kim will work with students to explore human-centered design in medicine, relating it to medical entrepreneurship and innovation. He will lead design teams of surgeons, residents, engineers and business development trainees based on design initiatives presented by surgeons and residents. Through this program, students and residents will use this knowledge to become medical innovators who are unafraid of pushing the boundaries of medicine today.

Prior to joining MUSC, Kim completed a Master of Science in Engineering Design Innovation program (EDI) at the Segal Design Institute, McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University, known for educating students to lead the design of future innovative products, services, and technologies. 

Kim’s master’s thesis titled Plus+ identified and created a new way to mechanically facilitate patient alignment during proton therapy cancer radiation treatment. The new couch-top he designed was made to dramatically reduce clinical time for cancer patients, thus reducing their exposure to x-ray radiation and reducing time immobilized on the couch-top during treatment.

“This is a great example of how design research, brainstorming and ideation, iterative prototyping, and testing allow human-centered designers to generate innovative solutions to complex problems,” said Kim. “I am excited about the opportunity to use my experience to lead learning groups composed of clinicians, engineers and students to find human-centered solutions for complex problems.”