Justin Kim with Albert and Alberta mascots in lab coats

Medical school and the Master of Science in Management program: Justin Kim’s experience

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Justin Kim (MSM ’19) graduated from the Master of Science in Management (MSM) program in the spring of 2019, and is currently pursuing an MD degree at UF. Last semester, he and fellow MSM alumnus Christopher Jones won the Technology Impact Award in the UF Big Idea Business Plan Competition for their blockchain company Research Blocks. We spoke with Kim about how pursuing an MSM in conjunction with his medical studies is helping him accomplish his personal and professional goals.

What was your journey like leading up to UF?

Kim: “I moved to Tampa, Florida when I was 12 from Incheon, South Korea. I attended Hillsborough High School in Tampa then the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, where I received my BSE degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2015. After college, I worked for an Electronic Health Records company, Epic Systems, as a technical services analyst for a year. In 2016, I came back to Florida to attend the University of Florida College of Medicine as a medical student.”

Why did you decide to pursue an MSM degree while in medical school?

Kim: “Growing up, I was always interested in entrepreneurship and biotechnology, but I lacked any business knowledge. When I heard about the MSM program, I thought that it would provide a good stepping stone for me to learn about the business world. I also believe that the MSM program will make me a better doctor who can help improve our healthcare through enhancing efficiency and quality of care.

In addition, the business courses prepare future physicians for the business complexities related to running a private medical practice or heading a group practice, as well as prepare medical students for careers in health sector management, leadership and policy.”

Research Blocks logo with digital rendering of organic compoundsMedical school takes up a lot of time academically. What do you do in your spare time?

Kim: “During my free time, I like to play soccer and video games. I also like to travel and explore new cities. While enrolled in the MSM program, Christopher Jones (MSM ’19) and I founded our company, Research Blocks. Now, most of my free time is dedicated to working for Research Blocks.

Our technology documents and timestamps the manufacturing processes from start to finish and allows manufacturers to share the process directly with consumers. We also provide verifications for industries that demand final product verification (e.g. dietary supplement industry). So, in short, Research Blocks helps to win consumer trust by bringing more transparent and quality products to consumers. It is the first blockchain company to verify supplements and share that data with consumers. Currently we work with the food industry, dietary supplements and CBD oil. More about Research Blocks can be found at www.researchblocks.com.”

Any advice to future MSM students? Would you recommend this program to other MD students?

Kim: “Take advantage of all opportunities you have, and do not be afraid. I would recommend the MSM program to any MD student who is looking to gain any business background and to develop a good foundation in business. The MSM program is a good value for your money, and it gives you business knowledge, management tools and leadership skills to be a change agent – driving innovation and transforming your career.”

What have you gained from the MSM program?

Kim: “Through the MSM program, I was able to gain business insights and broaden my perspective. Before the program, it was not easy for me to fully comprehend and consider business aspects of things, but after the program I am able to apply the concepts that I learned throughout the program and see things the way I was not able to see before. I also believe that the business knowledge that I gained through the MSM program will help me to carry out healthcare related Quality Improvement (QI) projects more easily.”

Anything else you wish to share?

Kim: “My startup, Research Blocks, is currently doing a crowdfunding campaign. Please check us out and consider contributing. Thank you!”


Interested in learning how the Master of Science in Management program can benefit your medical career? Request information about the program today.