Well, the time has come. After almost 25 years of patient care, I have decided to hang up my stethoscope. November 22, 2023 will be my last day seeing patients. I want you to know that I have cherished the relationships we have built over the years. The trust and commitment you have shown to me and my staff has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I have cried with many of you, celebrated life, prayed, and even argued with a few. Through it all, there has never been a single day that I regretted the decision to become a family physician and start San Marcos Family Medicine.
You might be asking yourself, why now? Is something wrong? I want to 100% reassure you that I am fine and nothing is wrong. After 25 years of doing the same thing, it is time for me to take on some new challenges. Primarily, I will run our practice as CEO and will be around almost every day trying to improve something. If you see me in the hall, please stop and say hi and let me know what is going on in your life. I may take on some other roles as well but they have yet to reveal themselves to me. As many of you have experienced, there is a shortage of medical providers in the US. Longer wait times for appointments and difficulty scheduling are a result of this. These are the types of issues I hope to tackle as CEO.
25 years ago and over $200,000 in medical school debt, my wife Tiffany and I decided to hang out a shingle in San Marcos. The first week in practice, we had 3 patients scheduled and 2 no-showed. We wondered if we had made the wrong decision or chosen the wrong place. How will we pay our bills? Will anyone come see us? We decided to give it a bit and see what happened. Ramen noodles can’t be that bad, right? Through word of mouth and referrals from most of you, we gradually became busier and it began to look like it might work. 25 years later, we have 4 locations and treat a little over 30,000 patient visits a year. When people ask me how that happened, I immediately let them know that our success is due to you, our patients. You have stuck with us through insurance issues, staffing challenges, COVID, phone problems, and the like. I have now seen 3 generations of many families. Some of the kids I used to see have grown up and become parents of their own. Many of you became patients as college students and we have had the joy of seeing you spread your wings in the world and flourish. I have been with many as they have transitioned from working life to retirement and worked out the challenges of a life transition. For some, we have grieved the loss of a loved one together. I still see many of their faces and think of them from time to time. Being a physician is probably the most rewarding career one could have but it is not without some pain. I have had the honor of being involved in the lives of so many people who have all changed mine in many different ways. You have been a part of my life and I will forever be grateful.
Lastly, rest assured that you will not be abandoned. San Marcos Family Medicine is your medical home. It is my responsibility that you are cared for and I will make absolutely sure that happens. Our new physician, Hadeel Barrawi, starts here in August. In fact, she might be here in the next month doing the last of her residency rotations with us. I would like to introduce you to her and provide a warm handoff. Additionally, we have hired 2 new nurse practitioners and continue to look for another physician to start in 2024. Drs Polson and Mangalick continue to accept new patients as do our advanced practice providers Mia Painter, Brittany Reel, Velia Martinez, Erik Spencer, and Kendel Grant. In short, our team of providers will continue to provide you the compassionate care from which you have become accustomed.
Thanks for your trust.
Lane (Dr. Lee)
PS: Between now and November, I expect many of you will want to schedule an appointment with me. Please be patient as I would imagine the schedule will be a bit jammed up as appointments will each take longer saying goodbyes. If necessary, I will open up some additional time in order to get everyone seen.