We had the good fortune of connecting with Sophia Kim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sophia, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
I was a late bloomer growing up. But at one point of my life, there was an “aha moment” where it dawned on me that no else could be held accountable for my success other than myself. There are three main drivers that were crucial to my success: failure, perseverance and determination.
The road to success was slow and precarious and definitely did not happen overnight. I never gave up when facing setbacks or failures and continued to persevere and pursue my goal no matter how long it took. I’ve always believed that everything in life happens for a reason. You may not know what the reason is at the time but there’s a reason for everything.
I view my life as a jigsaw puzzle. I first set my frame by creating a clear mental picture of how I wanted my life to be, and started building. Some parts were easier to build and other times it was a painstaking process of trial and error, but I kept working and pushed through until I filled in my frame. Take chances and risks, push your boundaries, and see where life takes you. That is my success story.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Since graduating as a UCLA Nurse Practitioner, I am so humbled and blessed to have come so far in my career. I am currently the Clinical Director and Nurse Practitioner at Skin Detour (a medispa at Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery, owned by Drs. David and Eugene Kim). I perform non-surgical aesthetic procedures such as neuromodulators (for example Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers, and other ancillary aesthetic procedures, like laser skin resurfacing and hair removal, face and body fat reduction, as well as skincare and dermatological treatments. In addition, I also assist in overseeing quality assurance protocols, engage with pharmaceutical reps and managers while overseeing medical products, and work with my employers to create business strategies to further grow the practice.
I am passionate about aesthetic medicine as it allows me to use my creativity and artistry combined with science to help people look and feel their best. It is also an ever-changing field where it fuels my love for constant learning where I can learn the most advanced and up-to-date injection techniques to deliver subtle, yet significant aesthetic improvements for my patients. I love the feeling of building trust with my patients and creating lasting relationships with them. It is absolutely fulfilling when my patients leave the office feeling radiant and that I have helped them boost their self-confidence and achieved their goals.
I work with integrity and take pride in my work and all of my responsibilities. I care for my patients as if they are my own family and I do the best I can to deliver as promised. As a result, I see the fruits of my labor because my patients, staff, and employers trust and depend on me, which have all helped lead to my success and push my career forward. Finally, I also volunteer as a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at UCLA School of Nursing and am so honored to educate and mentor others. I hope to be a role model that can inspire future providers to impact each of their patients in a meaningful way.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There is such an amazing variety of things to do, places to go, and must-try restaurants in one of America’s biggest and most diverse cities — the list can be endless. That said, I’ll just highlight a few of my favorites.
I love hiking up to Griffith Observatory as you get to see the Hollywood sign and the LA skyline. Los Leones Trail near Pacific Palisades is also one of my favorites as you get stunning views of the city and the ocean. While on that note, I love to stroll on the Santa Monica beach and pier and would also recommend driving along the PCH to Malibu and take in one of LA’s quintessential scenic drives.
I love live music and performances so nothing can beat a night of music under the stars than at the Hollywood Bowl. Having a picnic and wine just elevates the experience even more.
Moving on to food! LA is truly a melting pot and we are so spoiled with good eats. Being Korean-American and my love for Korean food, I find that LA isn’t complete without Korean BBQ. I can list a dozen great places right now, but I’ll keep it short and simple: Park’s BBQ and Genwa.
I love hanging out in Larchmont Village for its quaint, small-town feel along with many of my favorite eatery spots lined up along the street. Larchmont Village Wine and Cheese is one of my go-to sandwich shops and is a true hidden gem. You can walk down the street and head to Salt & Straw afterwards for their unique and delicious artisanal ice cream and also grab a high-quality, rich, smooth cup of coffee a few stores down at Go Get Em Tiger. I’m a coffee snob so I have to mention that I love Blue Bottle and Intelligentsia as well.
A couple more food places! 71 Above is a great place to go during sunset for dinner and yummy cocktails and drinks while enjoying the 360 degree view of beautiful LA while being on top of the city lights. Lastly, if you want fresh, melt-in-your mouth sushi, Sugarfish is a great LA hotspot that you shouldn’t miss. But if you’re willing to splurge, I highly recommend treating yourself to an omakase dinner at Sushi Zo or Sushi Ginza Onodera for the ultimate, highest-quality sushi experience.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to give a special shoutout to my parents. Coming from an immigrant family from South Korea, my parents had a significant impact in my life growing up as they came to the U.S. in the 80’s to achieve the ‘American Dream’. They moved to the States with nearly nothing, worked relentlessly from the bottom of the economic totem pole and progressively worked themselves up to accomplish their dreams to provide our family with the most comfortable life possible and to give me a wonderful education. They have instilled in me a work ethic and determination to never give up on my dreams and that I can do anything I set my mind to.
I’d also like to give recognition to my husband, Dr. Arthur Cho. He has been my greatest support and my #1 cheerleader. As a Vice-Chair of Pediatrics at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a Full Professor of Pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine, he has been a prime example of embodying success in his workplace. Not only is he my husband, but also an influential role model who I admire and strive to emulate in my professional life. His encouragement and constant support has allowed me to flourish not only personally but professionally as well.