Dr. Lee knew he wanted to be a physician when he was 13 years old. As a teenager, he hoped he could one day cure his mother’s type 1 diabetes. A rotation in urology during medical school set him on a different path. “I saw that urologists really get to make a big difference in a patient’s life because many of the cancers we treat have a very good cure rate,” he says. “If the cancer is caught early, someone with bladder, prostate, kidney, or testicular cancer generally has a pretty good chance of being cured surgically.”
Dr. Lee decided to specialize in urological oncology. At MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, he was introduced to the precision of robotic surgery and the way it helped patients heal more quickly. “At that time, we always performed open surgery at MD Anderson,” Dr. Lee says. “When I first saw robotic surgery and the difference it made in patient recovery, I felt it was going to revolutionize the way urological cancers were treated—and it has.”
Now nearly two decades later, he is a founder of Urology Partners and one of the most experienced robotic surgeons in the United States using the da Vinci® Surgical System—having performed 3,000 robotic prostate surgeries over the course of the past 15 years.
“The most rewarding thing about what I do is help someone have a good outcome,” he says. “To tell someone that they’re ‘cancer free’ is pretty powerful. It’s a privilege you’re given as a surgeon, when patients allow you to put your hands inside their body to remove their cancer or, hopefully, fix whatever problem they have. You have to treat that with a lot of respect.”
Dr. Lee understands that patients are very thankful when their doctors do good things for them, but he says his patients help him, too. “I think they have all made me a better physician.”
Dr. Lee attended Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana, on athletic and academic scholarships before he graduated from the University of Texas Austin. He completed his medical degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and spent six years in surgical and urologic training at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Hermann and Memorial Hospitals and MD Anderson Cancer Center.
When he’s not caring for his patients, Dr. Lee and his wife, Kim, enjoy running, biking, soccer and triathlons. They live in Frisco with their two sons and daughter.