Hailing from Sydney, Australia, where the PA profession doesn’t exist, Hwal Lee, PA-C, NCCTP always thought he’d become a doctor. However, he couldn’t afford to go to medical school. He discovered the PA profession when he moved to the U.S.
Lee now practices family medicine in Albany, New York at a federally qualified health center in a health professional shortage area. Lee earned his middle and high school diplomas through self-study. He has been a Certified PA for over a year and just completed his Doctor of Medical Science program at the University of Lynchburg.
Lee was drawn to family medicine because of the breadth of knowledge required to care for a variety of patients’ needs. “The needs of medically underserved community members of all ages are often complex, which I find challenging yet rewarding.”
The opportunity to provide exceptional care to all patients is one that he doesn’t take for granted.
“One memorable encounter involves a patient I saw on a mobile health unit,” said Lee. “I was later informed by a colleague that the patient cried as she left the site – she was so happy and grateful that she was treated with care, respect and empathy.”
A typical day for Lee starts with reviewing the day’s scheduled patients along with support staff. He sees patients in the morning and afternoon. He works with medical care providers including PAs, medical doctors, nurses and other support staff.
“PAs are educated as general medical practitioners, which gives us a broad knowledge and skill base to be integral members of health care teams in every medical specialty and clinical setting,” Lee said.
For Lee, every day is an affirmation that he chose the right career path as a PA.
“I am happy with my decision to become a PA.”