Esther Kim, M.D.

Esther Soo-Young Kim, M.D.



Cataract - Refractive Surgery



  • Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science


To see if Esther Soo-Young Kim is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).

Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center

4860 Y St., Suite 2400
Sacramento, CA 95817
Driving Directions

Primary Phone:

Additional Phone Numbers

Clinic Fax: 916-734-6197
Physician Referrals: 800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Philosophy of Care

Dr. Kim believes in holistic care. As a comprehensive ophthalmologist, she is able to diagnose and treat most ocular ailments both medical and surgical. She works with a large team of doctors to deliver the seamless care using the most advanced technology.

She is also dedicated to serving her community. She volunteers in numerous free health screening programs. Her favorite program has been going to San Blas, Mexico to perform free cataract surgeries through Liga Flying Doctors.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Kim is a comprehensive ophthalmologist who takes care of patients with wide range of ocular diseases including cataract, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration and neuro-ophthalmic conditions. She has special clinical interest and expertise in cataract surgery with expertise in premium intraocular lens implants that can correct astigmatism and presbyopia. She is also trained in ophthalmic pathology.

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Kim's research focuses on improving the surgical outcomes for patients having cataract surgery. She also has interest in educating future ophthalmologist. She is a dedicated teacher to medical students and residents to become the leaders in their respective fields.



Center/Program Affiliation

Eye Center


M.D., UC Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento CA 1990

A.B., Occidental College, Los Angeles CA 1986

Internship: Internal Medicine, UCLA/VA Sepulveda & Olive View Hospital, Los Angeles CA 1990-1991


Ophthalmology, UC Davis/UDCHS, Sacramento CA 1991-1995


Ophthalmology/Pathalogy, UC San Francisco, San Francisco CA 2014-2015

Board Certifications

American Board of Ophthalmology,

Professional Memberships

American Academy of Ophthalmology

American Medical Association

California Medical Association

United States - Canadian Academy of Pathology

Honors and Awards

Life Time Teaching Award, UCD Department of Ophthalmology, 2014

Employee Excellence Award, UCDHS, 2011

Alpha Omega Alpha, UC Davis SOM, 1990

Phi Beta Kappa, Occidental College, 1986

Select Recent Publications

Bacorn C, Kim E, Lin LK. Eyelid abscess masking underlying sebaceous cell carcinoma. Orbit. 2020 Jun;39(3):212-216. doi:10.1080/01676830.2019.1663885. Epub 2019 Sep 18. PMID:31530211.

Bacorn C, Kim E, Borowsky AD, Lin LK. Previously undiagnosed neuroendocrine tumour mimicking breast cancer metastasis to the orbit. BMJ Case Reports CP. 2020 May;13(5):e234629.

Hellman JB, Kim E, Lin LK. Recurrent Bilateral Periorbital Swelling. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2018 Dec 1;136(12):1406-1407. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.1856. PMID:30242331.

Abbassi S, etc. Concurrent Baylisascaris Procyonis and Varicella Zoster Virus Infection in a Child with Purine Nucleoside Phosphorylase Deficiency. Clin Surg. 2016;1:1272.

Samuelson TW, Katz LJ, Wells JM, Duh YJ, Giamporcaro JE; US iStent Study Group. Randomized evaluation of the trabecular micro-bypass stent with phacoemulsification in patients with glaucoma and cataract. Ophthalmology. 2011 Mar;118(3):459-67. doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2010.07.007. Epub 2010 Sep 15. PMID:20828829.

Mwanza JC, Oakley JD, Budenz DL, Anderson DR; Cirrus Optical Coherence Tomography Normative Database Study Group. Ability of cirrus HD-OCT optic nerve head parameters to discriminate normal from glaucomatous eyes. Ophthalmology. 2011 Feb;118(2):241-8.e1. doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2010.06.036. Epub 2010 Oct 28. PMID:20920824.

Rosenfeld PJ, Brown DM, Heier JS, Boyer DS, Kaiser PK, Chung CY, Kim RY; MARINA Study Group. Ranibizumab for neovascular age-related macular degeneration. N Engl J Med. 2006 Oct 5;355(14):1419-31. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa054481. PMID:17021318.

Kass MA, Heuer DK, Higginbotham EJ, Johnson CA, Keltner JL, Miller JP, Parrish RK 2nd, Wilson MR, Gordon MO. The Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study: a randomized trial determines that topical ocular hypotensive medication delays or prevents the onset of primary open-angle glaucoma. Arch Ophthalmol. 2002 Jun;120(6):701-13; discussion 829-30. doi:10.1001/archopht.120.6.701. PMID:12049574.

Feiz V, Mannis MJ, Garcia-Ferrer F, Kandavel G, Darlington JK, Kim E, Caspar J, Wang JL, Wang W. Intraocular lens power calculation after laser in situ keratomileusis for myopia and hyperopia: a standardized approach. Cornea. 2001 Nov;20(8):792-7. doi:10.1097/00003226-200111000-00003. PMID:11685053.