Kim Zuber’s path to becoming an award-winning PA began with radio-tagging bats in Costa Rica and continued through teaching high school. Upon graduation from PA school, she practiced in multiple medical specialties before finding a home in nephrology. Experiences such as her Spanish language skills to facilitate communication with her patients and her ability to talk to groups when she teaches nephrology have contributed to her successful career as a PA.
Zuber was raised in a military family, living throughout the West. She received care from military PAs which was her first introduction to the profession. After graduating from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) with a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology, Zuber took a job in Costa Rica where she found herself in the middle of the Nicaraguan civil war. She was evacuated to San Diego and spent the next 4 years teaching high school math and science. Deciding that medicine was her true passion, in 1983 Zuber enrolled in the St. Louis University PA program in St Louis, MO. Her first job as a PA was with Planned Parenthood in St. Louis for a year before her husband was transferred to the Washington, DC area.
Zuber fell in love with orthopedics and spent 15 years in the specialty before being lured into nephrology. She blossomed in nephrology with leadership roles in the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) where she was instrumental in forming the Council of Advanced Practitioners; the first national group bringing together specialty PAs and NPs. Zuber was the first Chair of the Council, and in 2014 received the Tim Poole Award for her outstanding service to her profession, patients, and community. She also received Renal Professional of the Year for her leadership skills. Zuber was the liaison from AAPA to the nephrology community and she was integral in passing federal regulations to pay PAs at 100% for mandated Medicare visits in hemo and peritoneal dialysis. She was awarded AAPA PA of the Year in 2014 for her work in this regard.
Zuber was part of the National Commission on Certification of PAs (NCCPA) group who helped develop the Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) for nephrology and served on the item writing committee. She has written, along with her coauthor Jane Davis, DNP, over 400 articles for a plethora of journals; from the Journal of the American Academy of PAs (JAAPA) where they won the Clinical Article of the Year for an article on Renal Medication Dosing, to the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (JAANP). She and Davis have also written for PA Clinics, Clinician Reviews, Nephrology News and Issues, Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN) and Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease (ACKD). She and Davis guest edited editions of ACKD and five editions of PA Clinics. They are presently the executive editors for PA Clinics. They have mentored hundreds of writers and guest editors over the years.
Zuber managed the northern Virginia PAs, hosting monthly meetings for 850+ PAs and supervised PA and PA student volunteers throughout the DC metro area for events such as the Cherry Blossom Run and the award-winning ‘Back to Schools Physicals’ program. Zuber has now retired from clinical practice, but travels throughout the US teaching nephrology at state and national conferences and at many PA programs. She has presented at the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) as an expert in PA nephrology practice, at the Renal Physician Association and NKF Spring Clinical Meetings as an educator of the ‘new to nephrology PA/NP.’ She is the Executive Director of the American Academy of Nephrology PAs (AANPA).
Zuber is most proud of her family; her husband of 38 years and her meteorologist daughter. She currently lives in Melbourne, FL.
Acknowledgments: This biography was prepared by Greg Thomas with the assistance of Kim Zuber. It was submitted to the Society in June 2023. Photographs are courtesy of Ms. Zuber.