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5 minutes with Kimmy

08 December 2021

Meet Kimmy Lam, an international student from Hong Kong. Kimmy is currently studying at the Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation and is a volunteer at St. Christopher’s Hospice.


What drew you to palliative care?

My grandmother brought me to this field – I thought she would not die because we loved her so much, but she died in 2010, beautifully with dignity and love surrounded.  And this picture led me to advocate people should die with love, dignity and peace. 

What is your background and what are you working on now?

I am a social worker and a Fellow in Thanatology(FT®). I was a project manager in palliative care community support service over 6 years. I am currently studying at the Cicely Saunders Institute (CSI) at King's and also volunteer at St. Christopher’s Hospice, which was founded by Cicely Saunders.

This is a year for me to re-think how palliative care could be barrier-free to all nations, step down from the frontline and take my experience from Hong Kong to explore palliative care from macro, international perspectives.

What advice would you give to someone considering studying Palliative Care at King's?

This is a brilliant place with fantastic people around. This was my dream to study at the  CSI from the first day I worked in palliative care. So apply, and see what happens next!

Cherish all the learning opportunities ...
Seamless learning from marco (research / policy) to micro (practical)
Incredible stimulation in palliative care

What challenges have you overcome since beginning your studies?

Lockdown is a huge issue for an international student. The pandemic gave us a huge lesson on how to stay with ourselves, and others. Isn’t it similar in facing end-of-life? We all have to pass away on our own, but at the same time, we also need to connect with people.

I would love to connect and learn more about people at the CSI before I graduate. Thank you to our course coordinator and every teacher who has tried their best to lessen our loneliness. All the lessons were brilliant and stimulating.

Best advice you have received?

The group tutorials are inspiring.

‘You are not JUST a social worker. You ARE a social worker and palliative care is a multidisciplinary team every professional are equally important.

‘Panic in assignment’ is a positive emotion which means you are striving for improvement and perfection.

Who inspires you most and why?

My over 500 deceased patients and bereaved caregivers. Thank you for allowing me and our team to step into your life. Thank you for all the precious moments and the limited time which reminds us life is limited. Achieve what you want without regrets.

What do you think people should know about palliative care?

Palliative care is not that far away, everyone can be involved in tiny things. An ear to listen, a smile for support and company – ALL MEANS, IT MATTERS!And to prepare for your ‘good death’, ‘live well’ in every moment.

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