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Over a lifetime of service to his patients and his readers, Dr. Lee made an enormous personal impact on the lives of thousands of women and men. Nobody shared more intimately in those years of service than his wife and ever-present assistant, Pat Lee.
This page presents stories from Pat in which she "remembers John" in her own words and inimitable style. Over time, this page will grow as Pat adds more of her memories. So drop by now and then to learn more about the life of the doctor and incredible man who transformed the way we think about hormone balance.
Taking the Time
John always questioned everything–to some annoyance to others–and was always looking for the "cause". He was the all-time prevention doctor. John took time with each patient (too much, his office staff used to say, as it got all their schedules out of synch) as he felt that as a good doctor, you have to know your patients.
Sometimes it's not the treatment of a cut finger or a cough they've come in for, but other problems they need to talk about. John always felt it important to be a good listener and kind to all no matter how long the appointment took.
One time, a patient finally got in to see John in a very irate state. "Dr. Lee, I've been waiting out there for over 45 minutes!"
"Oh, I'm so sorry," said John. "We'll hurry and get through your appointment in record time so I can get back on schedule!"
"Oh, no – that's OK, doctor. Never mind what I said."
Don't Take Two Aspirin
Thinking about a headache I had the other day, I was reminded of John's advice.
When a patient presented with a bad headache, John used to say that the cause could be anything. It could be stress, a sinus infection, allergies, a need for new glasses, a need for a new husband or wife, or it even might be a brain tumor!
If aspirin hadn't worked, then something else was going on. Instead of the usual "take two aspirin and call me in the morning" routine, I'd hear him say, "Well, my dear, I really don't think you have an aspirin deficiency!"
Always looking for the cause –
John had a patient that had several major operations over the years. He had tried to convince her to try progesterone and get her hormones in balance to help her problems. She had a habit of coming to John for advice, not taking it, and then going to a "body parts doctor"–as John called some specialists–for her operations. She had trouble with her gall bladder and had that removed, trouble with her uterus and had that removed, and then had a breast removed because of unusual cells.
John finally told her to at least follow his advice this time and "Never tell those doctors that you have a headache!"