Women in Medicine: Kim Hauff, MD, FAAP

Meet WCAAP board secretary, Dr. Kim Hauff! Dr. Hauff is a pediatric hospitalist at Swedish Hospital and teaches in the Swedish Family Medicine resident program. Her WCAAP board service started early, with a term as Early Career Representative, and we are so grateful she has continued with a position on the executive committee as an officer. Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Dr. Hauff attended University of Washington for her undergraduate studies before heading to Tulane University for medical school and an MS in pharmacology, before returning to Seattle for residency.

Why did Dr. Hauff choose pediatrics? “The desire to help, and fascination with life-long learning. I love that pediatric hospital medicine is trying to push the line a bit and safely do less for our most-common diagnoses. It makes me smile to be able to tell families there is newer research that they can safely go home sooner than they could have 10 years ago.”

As an only child who was only the second in her large extended family to graduate college, Dr. Hauff has benefitted from a variety of sources of inspiration along the way. “For example: my 5th grade teacher saw something in me and let me just work ahead of the workbooks when I wanted to,” she says. “She also made an entire fake syllabus for me when I traveled to visit some cousins who always called me ‘nerdy.’ She sent me on vacation with a calculus textbook and a copy of War and Peace; with notes of ‘I know this is too easy for you, but you’re on vacation.’ Anyone who can have that much passion, intuition, and joy in their job is someone I still look to.”

In the hospital, Dr. Hauff’s current interests center around adolescent mental health. “I see way too many patients in the hospital in crisis, and I know this is a sad reality that all pediatricians and families are facing.”

Dr. Hauff’s contributions to WCAAP efforts to involve early career members and provide member value have been essential to the Chapter’s growth. “I drank the WCAAP Kool-Aid early in my career; I’m always excited to share with others how membership may help them in their own careers.” Dr Hauff says “WCAAP helps fill my physician cup,” adding that opportunities for advocacy and networking with people who also want the best for kids is fulfilling.

When she’s not caring for kids at Swedish or working on WCAAP board responsibilities, you’ll find Dr. Hauff, her husband, and their 4-year-old daughter immersed in the great outdoors. “I like to tout that my partner has a way cooler job than me. Mack is a design engineer for an outdoor company; designing outdoor camping equipment and water filters,” she says. “We spend a lot of time outdoors as a family; and I have a huge interest in nature and childhood development.”

Dr. Hauff ‘s advice for women pursing medicine? “Surround yourself with strong women who can advise, support, and empower you. I meet regularly with a group of female physicians who are similarly mid-career— and we just bounce ideas and career questions off one another. Having that safe, supportive space has helped me a lot in COVID times.”