Dr. Julia Kim is a Clinical Psychologist at Hospital for Special Surgery. She served as Senior Psychologist at the Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center for 7 years, where she helped inpatients recover from medical, surgical and physical conditions. Treatment included psychological and neurological evaluations and psychotherapy for a wide-range of medical conditions, including musculoskeletal, spinal cord injury, neurological disorders, cardiac and pulmonary issues, limb loss, stroke and traumatic brain injury.
Dr. Kim's focus is to develop an Integrative Care Program, designed to incorporate psychological services to a multi-disciplinary care team. She works closely with physicians and surgeons to optimize the best possible medical outcome.
Adult Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: Anxiety, mood and psychiatric disorders; health and rehabilitation psychology due to medical and sports-related injury or trauma. Psychological and Neuropsychological Evaluations.
Please call our office if you have questions regarding your insurance coverage. If you have out of network benefits, then your insurance may reimburse you for a portion of your office visit. We will work with you and your insurance to minimize your out-of-pocket costs. Financial assistance may be available for patients in need.
Clinical Psychologist, Hospital for Special Surgery
American Psychological Association
National Merit Scholar
Illinois State Scholar
PhD, Long Island University, New York
Bronx Psychiatric Center, New York
New York Psychoanalytic Institute, New York
Lenox Hill Hospital, New York
Please arrive 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to complete forms.
Please bring the following documents with you to your first appointment:
For General Consultation
Patients might feel unsettled when a doctor asks their patient to see a psychologist. Here are Dr. Kim's responses to frequently asked questions:
Why am I being referred to a Clinical Psychologist?
The purpose of a psychological evaluation is to help patients have the best possible medical treatment outcome. There is a widely recognized relationship between mind and body functioning. Psychological evaluations identify risk factors and barriers to a successful outcome. The goal is to help you understand the impact your medical situation may have on your emotions, work and relationships. Psychotherapy can help you develop skills to cope with your situation and improve your quality of life.
Does my doctor think the pain “is all in my head” or that I have a psychiatric disorder?
Not at all, many physicians rely on members of a multidisciplinary team to complement the medical care they provide. Physicians recognize that chronic pain and other medical illnesses take a significant toll on one’s body and can have an emotional impact. Pain or medical problems can naturally lead to increased tension, frustration and depression. In addition to your medical treatments, a psychologist can help you identify triggers that exacerbate pain, adjust thinking that may contribute to feelings of depression or anxiety, and develop strategies for adjusting to your situation.
Wouldn’t anyone be anxious or depressed in my situation?
Symptoms of anxiety, depression, and adjustment difficulties may surface at the time of diagnosis, during medical treatment, or as a response to treatment. The emotions you feel may be very “normal” considering the circumstances; however, that does not mean you could not benefit from psychological services. Medical conditions often impact work, personal and family life. Common symptoms include anxiety, depression, irritability and/or anger, sadness, difficulties concentrating, headaches or body tension, decrease in energy, loss of interest, change in appetite, and change in sleep. In addition, research has shown that patients experiencing significant anxiety, depression, poor coping skills or support systems, substance abuse or untreated mental health conditions may not respond well to surgical or pharmacological pain treatment.
Why is my surgeon requesting I see a Psychologist before surgery?
Pre-surgical evaluations are now considered a routine part of medical care for some elective procedures, much like other medical tests. The reason psychological evaluations have become routine is because there is extensive research on the impact of psychological factors on processes and outcomes of elective surgeries. In general, studies have demonstrated that psychological and social factors have an important role in managing chronic pain and medical conditions, preparing for surgery, coping during recovery, adjusting to changes during rehabilitation, maintaining compliance with treatment recommendations and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Review of the surgical process, and expectations and challenges of surgery and recovery is designed to help you have the best possible outcome. Many insurance companies and/or surgeons now require a psychological evaluation before you can undergo an elective surgical procedure.
What can I expect during my Psychological Evaluation?
During a 75 minute evaluation, you will be asked about your personal experience with your particular condition to help you to understand the impact it may have on your work, personal and family life. Emphasis will be placed on helping you to understand the medical and/or surgical aspects of your condition and the challenges or recovery. Interventions to enhance your medical treatment and overall quality of life are identified in this evaluation and will be reviewed with you.
Kim, Julia M. PhD. Individual First, Professional Second: Commentary on an article by Matthew K. Stein, MD, et al.: “Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear: Symptoms of Depression and Suicidality in Orthopaedic Surgeons”. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery: June 1, 2022 - Volume 104 - Issue 11 - p 1037 doi: 10.2106/JBJS.22.00320
Sharma AK, Elbuluk AM, Gkiatas I, Kim JM, Sculco PK, Vigdorchik JM. Mental Health in Patients Undergoing Orthopaedic Surgery: Diagnosis, Management, and Outcomes. JBJS Rev. 2021;9(7):10.2106/JBJS.RVW.20.00169. Published 2021 Jul 23. doi:10.2106/JBJS.RVW.20.00169
Urch E, Kim JM, Rancy SK, Saltzman EB, Lee SK, Wolfe SW. Association of Claustrophobia and Anxiety with Cast Intolerance in Patients with Extremity Injuries. HSS J. 2020;16(Suppl 2):383-393. doi:10.1007/s11420-020-09763-7
For more publications, please see the PubMed listing.
Effects of psychological factors on medical/surgical treatment expectations and outcome.
One of the goals of HSS is to advance the science of orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and related disciplines for the benefit of patients. Physicians at HSS may collaborate with outside companies for education, research and medical advances. HSS supports this collaboration in order to foster medical breakthroughs; however HSS also believes that these collaborations must be disclosed.
As part of the disclosure process, this website lists physician collaborations with outside companies. The disclosures are provided by information provided by the physician and other sources and are updated regularly. Further information may be available on individual company websites.
As of November 12, 2019, Dr. Kim reported no relationships with healthcare industry.
By disclosing the collaborations of HSS physicians with industry on this website, HSS and its physicians make this information available to their patients and the public, thus creating a transparent environment for those who are interested in this information. Further, the HSS Conflicts of Interest Policy does not permit physicians to collect royalties on products developed by him/her that are used on patients at HSS.