About Dr. Christopher Lee
Dr. Christopher Lee, M.D., who grew up in Texas, knew he wanted to pursue medicine since high school. Initially, he wanted to become a surgeon, then an anesthesiologist, but later on transitioned out of anesthesia because he wanted to get into hospital/corporate medicine leadership. Dr. Lee is now the Medical Director at Baycare Urgent Care for four years running. To get to where he is today, he acquired his medical degree from the Miller School of Medicine in Miami and completed his residency at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Lee then proceeded to get his advanced subspecialty residency at the University of South Florida, where he is also an affiliate professor for Internal Medicine.
Dr. Lee enjoys the variety of people he gets to interact with daily, from medical students to patients and colleagues. He is proud to be part of Tampa’s leading health care system and takes pride in providing outstanding medical care for his community.
What is Urgent Care?
The main difference between working as an urgent care physician and a primary care physician is the amount of time the doctor gets to spend with the patient. In primary care, doctors get to see their patients on more than one occasion and develop relationships over time. However, in urgent care, doctors usually meet a patient only once and for a limited amount of time.
Dr. Lee said it is essential to build a bond with the patient quickly while giving them the proper care and assistance they need. Luckily, Dr. Lee has excellent people skills, and he can put them to good use when he sees 30-40 different patients daily.
How Has COVID-19 Affected Urgent Care?
During the initial pandemic blow, the hospital was turned upside down due to many protocol changes. Dr. Lee said that they had to scramble around looking for sufficient COVID-19 testing and PPE. The significant lack of proper protective equipment was the main struggle for them during the first months of the pandemic. On top of that, they also had to deal with hospital staff contracting COVID-19, leading to a high volume of staff turnover. Fortunately, BayCare has been fluid with its response to the unprecedented changes, and they were able to think fast and plug holes at the last minute.
Telemedicine Is Here To Stay
It’s no surprise to hear that Dr. Lee has also seen a substantial decline in the number of patients he sees. With COVID-19 hovering over everyone’s mind, patients now think twice about visiting the hospital. But that’s where telemedicine comes in. Now, patients can get a medical evaluation instantaneously through a click or an app.
Dr. Lee ultimately sees telemedicine as a benefit, especially during these unprecedented times. However, he still notes the concerns that it brings about, especially from a financial standpoint. Because reimbursement rates for telemedicine visits are significantly lower, doctors’ revenue will also decrease. Additionally, people who don’t have access to smartphones and Wi-Fi are unable to use this platform. Dr. Lee also points out that telemedicine is still limited in what it can do because it cannot replace the ability to do physical examinations. Nevertheless, telemedicine is still a great supplementary tool for doctors and is a great way to expand healthcare access, especially to areas with a shortage of physicians.
Get Vaccinated Now
Having received the vaccine last December, which was earlier than he anticipated, Dr. Lee is excited to have things go back to normal this year. He is delighted in the thought of traveling around again and being able to take some time off work — especially since he worked for 97 straight days last year.
Dr. Lee urges the public to read the correct information regarding vaccinations. He is also trying his best to explain to the general public the science behind how the vaccine works. Dr. Lee connotes getting the vaccine as the light at the end of the tunnel, and the sooner that everyone can realize that the sooner we can all go back to living a COVID-19-free life.
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Brianna Connors & Derek Archer Co-Editors