019: A New Take on Heart Health – Dr. Rick Lee

In this episode, Dr. Rick Lee shares his journey to becoming a premier cardiothoracic surgeon and what he has learned along the way. He started his healthcare career as an EMT in college. Now Dr. Lee is transforming the way we treat patients with heart diseases alongside an amazing team at Saint Louis University Hospital!

Currently, Dr. Lee is the Co-Director of the Center for Comprehensive Cardiac Care, the C4, at St. Louis University Hospital. Formerly, Dr. Rick Lee worked at Washington University in St. Louis and Northwestern University where he helped transform their cardiothoracic programs and invent new ways to treat the heart. This journey gives Dr. Lee a unique perspective on the state of heart health in America and what the future looks like.

Throughout the interview we also dive into what Dr. Lee learned in his various roles throughout his career. Many of these lessons he has put into his book, “Get Directions: A Career as a Physician”. I highly encourage you all to check out the book and learn more about the C4 and the work of Dr. Lee at their website!

Enjoy the Episode!

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– Dr. Lee’s original motivation to go into medicine [0:20]
– His experience as an EMT [5:20]
– Deciding to go into heart surgery [8:20]
– The story behind going to St. Louis [11:40]
– The Creation of C4 [14:03]
– The hybrid maze procedure [17:09]
– His thoughts of the occurrence of Heart disease [22:20]
– How his routine looks like [24:44]
– The motivation of his book [25:26]
– His advice to those who aspire to be in the health profession [29:00]
– Where he see the future of healthcare [34:40]
– What he loves about cardiac-thoracic surgery [37:35]
– Focusing on the patient [40:50]
– One thing he’d love to change about healthcare [42:50]
– About death being part of life [46:16]
– Prevention is the best solution [47:50]
– Dr. Lee’s advice to the next generation of health leaders [54:34]
– End of interview [56:00]

Significant Quotes:

“We could really take care of one patient not through one’s eyes but through our partner’s eyes.” [14:30]
“The roles are there, they’re very clear but not many people understand what they are.” [28:44]
“We need to work toward not rationing healthcare but having “rational” healthcare.” [35:10]
“At the end of the day, you’re there for one person — your patient.” [41:32]
“Death is part of life.” [48:38]
“Opportunity create change.” [55:24]


Dr. Rick Lee

His book Get Directions: A Career as a Physician

The C4

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