Dr Samuel Tae-Kyu Kim – Unsatisfactory professional conduct

9 May 2017

The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted a complaint against thoracic physician Dr Samuel Tae-Kyu Kim before a Medical Professional Standards Committee. The Commission’s complaint concerned Dr Kim’s care of a patient with a persistent cough and respiratory problems in his rooms at Goonellenbah from 2010 until early 2013.

The Commission alleged Dr Kim recommended the patient see an unregistered complementary health practitioner for ‘esoteric lung massage’ but failed to disclose to the patient that this practitioner was his fiancée. The Commission also alleged that Dr Kim inappropriately recommended or referred the patient to a number of complementary healing practitioners connected to Universal Medicine, to which he belonged. The allegations included that:

  • Dr Kim withheld conventional therapy;
  • the treatment provided by the complementary practitioners was not evidence based;
  • he did not disclose his own connection to the complementary health group and those particular practitioners; and
  • he did not explain the distinction between the treatment he was offering as a thoracic physician and complementary therapies offered by the esoteric healing practitioners.

The Commission also alleged that Dr Kim inappropriately prescribed and recommended ‘bioidentical’ hormone replacement therapy and vitamin B12 injections.

Decision

On 8 May 2017, the Professional Standards Committee found all allegations against Dr Kim proved other than in relation to his prescribing of vitamin B12 injections. The Committee found that Dr Kim’s failures amounts to unsatisfactory professional conduct. The Committee reprimanded Dr Kim and ordered that he must:

  • obtain and document a second opinion and approval from a thoracic physician before making any referrals for complementary therapies and treatment;
  • explain to his patients and document the distinction between complementary therapies and treatment and conventional treatment before making any complementary therapy referrals;
  • practice under category C supervision; and
  • submit to an audit of his medical practice.

 

Further Information

A copy of the Professional Standards Committee’s decision is here.  The Decision can also be found on the Medical Council of New South Wales’ website.

For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444 or send an email to media@hccc.nsw.gov.au.

The information in this media release is correct at the time of publication. Orders may change; for example, conditions may no longer apply. For current information regarding the status of a registered health practitioner, including any conditions that currently apply, please check the National Register at www.ahpra.gov.au.