Dr. Choll Kim, MD

Orthopedic Surgery  |  
Male  |  
Age 52
Insurances AcceptedSave
Dr. Choll Kim, MD
Dr. Choll Kim graduated cum laude from Harvard Medical School and completed his fellowship training in complex spine surgery at the Mayo Clinic. In addition, he is double-board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Board of Spine Surgery. Dr. Kim is an internationally recognized expert in the field of computer-assisted minimally invasive spine surgery. He has trained and continues to train specialists throughout the country on the safe and effective application of state-of-the-art techniques using image guidance and navigation technologies. Dr. Kim utilizes a broad range of minimally invasive treatments to effectively treat all aspects of complex spinal disorders, including herniated disks, spinal stenosis, adult scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, traumatic injuries, tumors, and infections throughout the entire spine from the neck to the low back. He is one of only a handful of surgeons in the world to master laser endoscopic spine surgery (LESS), a state-of-the-art minimally invasive procedure that effectively treats herniated disks, radiculopathy and sciatica. The LESS procedure can be performed under local anesthesia, in a same-day setting and with a small stab incision that is covered with a bandaid. A leader in his field, Dr. Kim is the founder and past-president of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (SMISS), the founder of Minimally Invasive Spine Centers of Excellence (MIS-COE), the chair of the MIS Committee for the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery (ISASS), the director of the Advanced Spine & Joint Institute at Alvarado Hospital and an associate clinical professor at the University of California, San Diego. Furthermore, Dr. Kim is a Qualified Medical Evaluator and a past voting member of the FDA Orthopedic Devices Panel, which reviews all new spinal technologies. He has designed minimally invasive instrumentation used by surgeons around the world. Dr. Kim is an active member of the North American Spine Society (NASS) and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), and a fellow of the Scoliosis Research Society. Dr. Kim has over 200 publications and presentations.

6719 Alvarado Rd Ste 308

San Diego, CA 92120

Contact Information

(619) 344-6918

Dr. Choll Kim, MD

Dr. Choll Kim, MD

Accepted insurance

  • Aetna
  • Anthem Blue Cross
  • Cigna
  • CorVel
  • Health Net
  • Health Net of California
  • Medicare
  • Molina Healthcare
  • MultiPlan
  • Prime Health Services
  • Self Pay
  • Sharp Health Plan
  • Tricare
  • Triwest
  • 3 More

*Please verify this information when scheduling an appointment.

Learn about Dr. Kim

Care Philosophy

"I spent twenty years learning how to diagnose and treat patients with spinal disease; but the most important education I obtained was when my father became ill and I experienced what it is like to be on the other end of the relationship. I decided that caring for my patients requires not only that I am capable of performing state-of-the-art surgeries, but that I must care for my patients emotionally, and treat them as I would like my own family to be treated…with respect, concern, and empathy for their overall well being and the well being of their family and friends who love them."
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Dr. Kim's Experience

Dr. Kim's experience matches your search based on the following criteria:
  • Based on total number of patients treated over the last 12 months
  • Specializes in Orthopedic Surgery
  • Board certified in Orthopedic Surgery
  • No malpractice claims found
  • No sanctions found
  • No board actions found


  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Orthopedic Spine Surgery

Board Certifications

  • Orthopedic Surgery
    Accredited by: American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery*

Conditions Treated

  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Degenerative Scoliosis
  • Degenerative Spondylolisthesis
  • Herniated Disc
  • Myelopathy
  • Pseudoarthrosis
  • Radiculopathy (Not Due to Disc Displacement)
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis


  • Anterior Cervical Herniated Disc Surgery With Fusion
  • Anterior Cervical Microdiscectomy With Fusion
  • Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Surgery (ALIF)
  • Cervical Disc Replacement
  • Cervical Herniated Disc Surgery
  • Cervical Microdiscectomy
  • Complex Spine Surgery
  • Disc Replacement
  • Hemilaminectomy
  • Herniated Disc Surgery
  • Image-Guided Spine Surgery
  • Lamina Procedures (incl. Laminectomy, Laminoplasty, Laminotomy)
  • Laser Surgery
  • Lumbar Disc Replacement
  • Lumbar Fusion
  • Lumbar Herniated Disc Surgery
  • Microdiscectomy
  • Minimally Invasive Decompression for Spinal Stenosis
  • Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Percutaneous Disc Decompression
  • Percutaneous Herniated Disc Surgery
  • Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Surgery (PLIF)
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Total Disc Replacement
  • XLIF® (eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion) Procedure

Background Check

0 Malpractice Claims

No malpractice history found for California.

0 Sanctions

No sanctions history found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.

0 Board Actions

No board actions found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.


  • University Of California At San Diego
    Undergraduate School | Graduated 1987
  • Harvard Medical School
    Medical School | Graduated 1996
  • University Of California San Diego Med Center
    Residency Hospital | Completed 2001
  • Mayo Medical School
    Fellowship Hospital | Completed 2002
  • University Of California At Los Angeles
    Other Education | Completed 1992

Awards & Recognition

Awards & Honors
  • Healthgrades Honor Roll
Media & Publications

Dr. Kim has no media or publications listed.

Languages Spoken

  • English

Memberships & Professional Affiliations

Dr. Kim does not have any memberships or affiliations listed. If you are Dr. Kim and would like to add memberships or affiliations, please update your profile.

Dr. Kim's Reviews

Likelihood of recommending Dr. Kim to family and friends
based on 56 total reviews (8 with comments)
Dr. Kim's Performance
  • Trustworthiness
  • Explains condition(s) well
  • Answers Questions
  • Time well spent
Office & Staff Performance
  • Scheduling
  • Office environment
  • Staff friendliness
  • Average wait time
    16 to 30 minutes
Patient Comments (8)
in Yorktown, VA |
In 2012, Dr. Kim treated me for severe pain in both my legs due to bulging L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1 discs with moderate bilateral neuroforaminal narrowing and a small posterior annular tear in one of the discs. I had sciatica pain for years, but it had become debilitating in 2012. Dr. Kim performed a minimally invasive discectomy on my L5-S1 disc, which eliminated the pain. It's been over 4 years since the surgery and I still have no pain. I highly recommend Dr. Kim.
in San Diego, CA |
I had a lumbar disc herniation that caused debilitating pain for six months. Surgery was my last option after months of physical therapy. Based on my research, I could see that Dr. Kim was one of the top spine surgeons in the country. Dr. Kim performed a microdiscectomy surgery to repair my disc herniation. The surgery was 100% successful and the results were immediate. It has been 2 1/2 years since my surgery and I have had no pain. Dr. Kim truly gave me my life back
in Mesa, AZ |
I am an orthopedic surgeon and came from Arizona for his care. I was quite pleased in every aspect! His staff was courteous and helpful. Dr Kim took time to listen to my concerns and address them thoroughly.
in San Diego, CA |
Dr. Kim basically saved my ability to become useful again...He goes 1000? above and beyond any Dr. I have ever dealt with... He's my hero!
in San Diego, CA |
I had an outstanding outcome due to Dr. Choll Kim's expertise and personalized approach to resolving the onset of crippling spinal stenosis and complications due to a compressed lower spine from an old injury decades earlier. Although I was scared, I trusted Dr. Kim to treat me a carefully as he would his own mother. I'm glad I went forward with the reconstruction of my lower spine providing me with lasting relief from stenosis and compression of my lower spine. Thank you! Dr. Kim.
in Carlsbad, CA |
Dr. Kim seems very well educated and on top of his field.
in San Diego Ca |
Dr Choll Kim Is a EXCELLENT. DOCTOR. I had surgery for the first time in My life at the age of 63, I was sacar about the surgery.Dr Kim talked to me and MY husband concerning EVERYTHING about the surgery. I know I was in the hands OF a very EXCELLENT DOCTOR. Dr Choll Tim treated me like a family member NOT as a patient.Dr Kim Is a Careing DOCTOR. If you every need a EXCELLENT and Careing DOCTOR Please Check Dr Choll Kim. You will be Very Happy You Did. Thank You Dr Kim and All his Staff.
in San Diego CA |
excellent treatment by Dr. and staff, successful surgery, feet no longer have a feeling of numbness. He came well recommended and did not disappoint.Grateful for his expertise and getting me going once more. Sincerely, Jose E.
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Now Accepting New Patients
Dr. Kim accepts 17 insurance carriers
  • Aetna
    Aetna PPO
    Choice PPO
    Elect Choice PPO
    Essential PPO
    Managed Choice PPO
    Medicare Advantage PPO
    Open Choice PPO
    Traditional Choice PPO
    Worker's Compensation WC
  • Anthem Blue Cross
    Anthem Blue Cross PPO
    Medicare Advantage
    Prudent Buyer PPO
  • Cigna
    Cigna PPO
    Commercial PPO
    Open Access Plus PPO
    Select Network PPO
  • CorVel
    Worker's Compensation WC
  • Health Net
    Advantage Platinum PPO
    Health Net PPO
    Individual and Family PPO
    Large Group PPO
    Medicare PPO
    Tricare PPO
    Worker's Compensation WC
  • Health Net of California
    Large Group PPO
  • Medicare
    Medicare Advantage PPO
    Medicare of California PPO
  • Molina Healthcare
  • MultiPlan
    Worker's Compensation WC
  • Prime Health Services
  • Self Pay
  • Sharp Health Plan
  • Tricare
    TriCare for Life
  • Triwest
  • TriWest Champus
  • UnitedHealthCare
    CarePlus Medicare Advantage PPO
    Medicare Advantage
    Medicare Supplement PPO
    United Healthcare
    United Healthcare PPO
    Worker's Compensation WC
  • Worker's Compensation
    Worker's Compensation WC

*Please verify this information when scheduling an appointment.

Hospitals where Dr. Kim has admitting privileges

Palomar Medical Center Downtown Escondido
555 E Valley Pkwy
Escondido, CA 92025
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Alvarado Hospital Medical Center
6655 Alvarado Rd
San Diego, CA 92120
View Hospital Profile
Sharp Memorial Hospital
7901 Frost St
San Diego, CA 92123
View Hospital Profile
UCSD Medical Center - Hillcrest
200 W Arbor Dr
San Diego, CA 92103
View Hospital Profile
Palomar Medical Center Poway
15615 Pomerado Rd
Poway, CA 92064
View Hospital Profile
Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla
9888 Genesee Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037
View Hospital Profile


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