Zita Lim, PA-C, is a member of the KCA’s Clinical Advisory Board and sees patients at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. We spoke about her work supporting kidney cancer patients.
How long have you been working with the KCA and what motivated you to get involved?
I was invited by the leadership to join the Clinical Advisory Board and joined in the fall of 2020.
What prompted/inspired you to go into the medical field?
My mother was a nurse and I was also inspired to join the medical field after feeling the helplessness of watching my younger brother get his first seizure at age 10 before being diagnosed as an epileptic.
What is meaningful about being a Physician Assistant? How do your patients inspire you?
I love my role as a Physician Assistant in that I am able to work closely with patients and their families while also being involved in research and education about kidney cancer. I am lucky to work with someone as highly-esteemed in the field as Dr. Nizar Tannir[, a medical oncologist at MD Anderson and a member of the KCA’s Medical Steering Committee,] who took me under his wing early in my training and has helped me grow into a seasoned medical oncology PA. I have worked with kidney cancer patients now for 17 years and I am always impressed with their courage and willingness to advance the field with new medications by participating in clinical trials and volunteering to talk to other patients who have been newly diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma. As a PA, I get to develop a special bond with our patients as I have more time to discuss both their physical as well as their emotional needs.
What is your favorite travel destination and why?
About 15 years ago, I hiked the Inca trail to Machu Picchu and remember being impressed with the natural beauty of the surroundings, the friendliness of the people, and the fascinating history of the Inca culture. I would love to go back there again with my husband and kids but I would need to get back in good shape to tackle the high altitude hikes.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I am the mom of an 8- and a 10-year-old, so my free time mirrors their interests which means lots of time reading/watching the Harry Potter series, playing with Legos, and taking care of our COVID pets, a set of guinea pigs.