Sarah J. Lee, M.D.
What attracted you to palliative medicine?
The privilege of being part of an important chapter of a patient's journey by providing whole-person care — and this includes being present for loved ones. And they teach me. The raw and refined nature of humanity you see — love, dedication, forgiveness, gratitude, sorrow, anger and pain — reminds me daily on how to live well.
I also found kindred spirits in palliative medicine who recognize the limitations of modern medicine and appreciate ways of finding healing and hope in other ways.
What attracted you to Mayo Clinic for fellowship training?
Mayo Clinic's sincere commitment to excellence, medical education and research.
What makes the Mayo Clinic Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine Fellowship unique?
The opportunity to work with palliative medicine providers from various disciplines, including psychiatry, geriatrics, hematology/oncology, general internal medicine, family medicine, critical care, and physical medicine and rehabilitation — just to name a few. Despite being "big picture" physicians, those in each specialty bring their gifts and expertise, making the fellowship truly well-rounded.
Anything surprise you about Mayo's program?
With the nation's economic hardship and discussions of health care reform, the Mayo Clinic system is flourishing and expanding.
What is living in Rochester like for you?
On a spectrum between being a country bumpkin and a city gal, I can be both in Rochester!
What does your future look like right now?
I'm planning to move back to California to join Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles, where I'll work with colleagues to develop model palliative care homebound programs to serve patients with serious illnesses who aren't in their last few days, weeks or months of life.