Emmanuel R. Lim, MD
Combining the scientific skills of an experienced pathologist with the psychosocial training of an emergency psychiatrist, Dr. Emmanuel R. Lim brings a unique perspective to the complex field of HIV/AIDS treatment. As the Medical Director of Lim-Keith Multispecialty Medical Clinic, Inc., his intense personal dedication has placed him in the forefront of the profession.
A native of the Philippines, Dr. Emmanuel Lim graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Zoology from the country’s premier state school, the University of the Philippines College of Arts and Sciences in Manila. He remained at the University’s College of Medicine to earn his M.D., and then interned at the Medical Center of Manila. After traveling extensively through Europe and Asia, Dr. Lim came to the United States for a prestigious Fellowship in Emergency Psychiatry at the Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, which involved crisis intervention and first-line treatment of chronic and acutely psychotic patients at a county facility.
He served a further two-year internship/residency in Pathology at the Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center, developing scientific skills in several departments, but came to realize that his interests were too broad ranging to be confined to a single specialty. Deciding that he would be happiest and most productive in family practice – involved not only with the medical aspects of cases, but psychosocial levels as well – Dr. Lim returned to the east coast to complete a three year program in Family Medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey. During that time, he was also a staff physician in Emergency Medicine and Urgent Care units at several local hospitals.
Having lived and worked in many different parts of the U.S., Dr. Lim selected Los Angeles in which to settle, because he liked “the diversity, the freedom, the expanse” of the city. In September 1991, he was invited to join Keith Medical Group, Inc. in Family Practice – HIV Medicine/AIDS. Founder Paul E. Keith III, M.D., was one of the most respected professionals in the field, and Keith Medical was regarded as one of the most innovative and trusted names in HIV/AIDS treatment. Over the next four years, Drs. Keith and Lim worked together closely, helping to develop today’s standard of care. Because of the intensity of the disease process, Dr. Lim found himself further developing the psychosocial training he had previously acquired.
Following the death of Dr. Keith in 1994, and in accordance with his recommendation, Dr. Lim was made Medical Director of the re-christened Lim-Keith Multispecialty Medical Clinic, Inc. of the Hollywood Community Hospital Medical Center. At that time, he was also made Medical Director of the Hospital’s Immune Suppressed Unit. In Dr. Lim’s words, “The practice maintains the mission, the vision, promulgated by Dr. Keith. It’s my intention to preserve the 20-year legacy of Keith Medical, combining that stability with a renewed dedication to caring for the population affected by HIV/AIDS, primarily the gay and lesbian community.”
Lim-Keith Multispecialty Medical Clinic, Inc. lives up to its name, providing care in a variety of fields, including cardiology; ear, nose and throat; gastroenterology; incontinence; infectious diseases; neurology; nutrition; oncology; ophthalmology; psychology, psychiatry and urology. Patients can potentially receive treatment under the same roof for all of their medical needs.
One of the aspects of the Lim-Keith practice of which Dr. Lim is most proud is its openness: “When patients know that they can discuss their sexuality, their sexual activity, in a truly understanding, nonjudgmental, professional environment, they feel a confidence, a security, which can only have a positive effect on the efficacy of their health care, as well as their health. The physician-patient relationship is paramount.”
According to Dr. Lim, HIV care is quite good at this time. Dr. Lim sees “a tremendous improvement in the survival and quality of life of patients. They are much healthier, have less medical problems, and are more comfortable physically. Many have gone back to work.” However, he finds it tragic that so many people who suspect they may be infected with HIV still remain in denial, and because they don’t want to deal with the reality of their status, they end up coming in for treatment late. “I tell my patients that the most important aspect of life is quality,” he states. “That is always my message. Prioritize. Tomorrow is always a new day, and we all ought to live it as if it is our only day. Longevity is secondary. And of course, the definition of ‘quality’ is relative, different for every individual. We try to address more than just a patient’s medical needs.”
Because of the constant advancements in the field, Dr. Lim finds HIV/AIDS medicine not only the most intense, but the most fulfilling. “It allows me to be a real doctor,” he explains, “in the old-fashioned way, treating the whole patient, with a great deal of interaction. That’s my kind of medicine. I don’t want to be in an ultra high-tech setting. I like the trust. There’s a high level of trust between the patient and the physician, and that’s the most gratifying aspect of what I do.”
Since 1979, Dr. Lim has been a research investigator in disparate scientific studies ranging from HIV/AIDS protocols to health care management in a rural community. Licensed in several U.S. states, his professional memberships include the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of HIV Medicine, the California Academy of Family Physicians, the International AIDS Society, the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the LA County Medical Association, the American Society for Microbiology and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.
In his free time, Dr. Lim likes to travel, his demanding schedule limiting him to mostly weekend jaunts, although that can include San Francisco to New York City.