Dr. Clarence Lee Jr. – the newest doctor and medical director for U.S. HealthWorks in Sacramento – goes above and beyond in whatever he pursues. He has a unique background in the medical world.
As a former U-2 flight doctor in one of the most elite squadrons in the United States Air Force, Lee was responsible for taking care of pilots who fly into the outer limits of the atmosphere, reaching heights of more than 70,000 feet in the famous U-2 aircraft. These pilots often run the risk of decompression sickness from the altitude, also referred to as DCS.
“It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever done,” Dr. Lee said. “We take care of the pilots, deploy with them, and develop one-on-one relationships. It’s a great way to practice medicine.”
Lee entered the U-2 program as a flight doctor at a critical time in 2011. In-depth research was being done on DCS driven by a recent increase in cases, thought to be a result of more operations brought on by the global war on terror.
The U-2 program’s goal was to decrease the number of pilots who had DCS. Lee had the opportunity to treat a pilot who was diagnosed with DCS and learned a lot throughout the experience.
“After they changed the pressurization in the cockpit and reduced the altitude, the number of DCS cases went down significantly,” Lee said.
Lee graduated from the Drexel University School of Medicine in Philadelphia and spent nine years in the Air Force. He has traveled and deployed all over the world. He also earned his MBA at Drexel University in Sacramento.
So, what inspired him to become a doctor? Lee says the answer is his mom. She was a single mother working as a NICU nurse during the night shift. Lee would sometimes go to work with her and that’s when he became interested in the medical field.
“The relationships that my mom created in the NICU inspired me,” Lee said. “You help families at such difficult times in their lives.”
He certainly has an inspiring story to tell, which is why he decided to write his first book, Well, My Mom Says…, to motivate others to never give up on their dreams.
These experiences also explain why he became a motivational speaker in addition to being a successful doctor. After graduating from medical school, Lee started a mentoring program in San Antonio, Texas.
Currently, Lee is the newest medical director at the U.S. HealthWorks North Sacramento facility. He is enjoying meeting patients in the area as he oversees all clinical practices. He has a 9-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son. His wife, Chenelle, is a fourth-grade teacher.
Lee was just nominated for Drexel University’s 40 under 40. He was also recognized last year by the Sacramento Business Journal as one of the top 40 under 40 professionals in the city.
“Most shy away from their failures, I speak openly about mine in order to encourage others to see past theirs, Dr. Lee said.”