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Five Questions with Margaret T. Lee, MD'97, R'01

Margaret T. Lee, MD'97 R'01Margaret T. Lee, MD'97 R'01, is an obstetrician-gynecologist, practicing at the Truesdale Clinic in Fall River since 2001. Dr. Lee shared some insights with us regarding her time at UMass Chan, the current state of health care in the U.S., and why it’s important for alumni to give back to the Medical School. 

1. Reflecting on your time as both a medical student and resident at UMass Chan, can you tell us one thing that’s special about the Medical School? 

UMass Chan Medical School trains doctors to be excellent clinicians. I think all medical schools cover the same basic material, but one of the obvious strengths of UMass Chan is the application of the knowledge that is learned. The education throughout is practical and covers all settings—outpatient, inpatient, operating room and labor room. 

2. What do you think are some of the biggest challenges in health care, right now?  What makes you hopeful about the future of medicine?

The practice of medicine has tremendously evolved since I finished residency in 2001. One of the biggest challenges facing medicine is burnout. The cause of physician burnout is multifaceted. The demands placed on providers by insurance companies, our licensing boards, the hospitals at which we are credentialed, support staffing shortages, a more complex patient population and pressure to maintain productivity are just some of the stressors we face. Physicians in my field are prematurely stopping the practice of obstetrics or pursuing alternative types of practice to improve their lifestyle. Others are abandoning their specialty and opening cosmetic medicine clinics. To be honest, I am not very hopeful regarding the future of medicine in this country seeing the direction in which it is heading, which is why I think it’s so important to support aspiring physicians, who represent the future of health care. 

3. Can you briefly tell us about one patient whom you’ll never forget, and why? 

I have clear memories of many patients while I was at UMass Chan, but one particular delivery stands out. The largest baby I have ever delivered vaginally weighed 12 pounds and was when I was a resident working with Dr. Peter Davidow. I hope to never break that record!

4. Why do you give to UMass Chan? And why is support from donors, including alumni like you, important?

I may be unique because not only did I complete medical school and residency at UMass Chan, but I was born at UMass Memorial Medical Center and grew up in Auburn. I donate to the annual fund because I believe in UMass Chan’s mission to train well-rounded physicians with a focus in primary care. As an OB-GYN, I benefited from the learning contract and have often reflected on my decision to attend UMass Chan for medical school as the best financial decision of my life. 

Since leaving UMass Chan, I have been able to appreciate the quality of the education I received when faced with difficult clinical scenarios or when working with physicians trained elsewhere. All alumni can confidently say that we can measure up to anyone out there. Supporting the annual fund is a small gesture of appreciation for the excellent education that we experienced.

5. What’s your favorite way to spend a day off? 

My perfect day is a day that I am neither pre- nor post-call. I start the morning with my favorite Pilates reformer class. Next, my husband, son (who happens to be home from his freshman year at Vassar College) and I go out for lunch at one of our favorite ethnic food restaurants in the Providence area. I then go take a walk on the Bristol bike path with my friend and my three dogs. Later, my family and I go watch a movie and then go out for boba or dessert in Providence. 




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