Orthopedic Surgeon Frank Lee, MD, enjoys challenging himself professionally and personally.
Orthopedic surgery was a natural fit for him because he has always liked taking things apart and putting them back together. He currently enjoys “wrenching” on his Jeep and making cars go faster. His fascination with tools parallels his interest in learning new techniques in surgery and solutions for difficult problems. However, when it comes to surgical techniques, “I am quick to learn but slow to implement,” he said. “Patients don’t always like being guinea pigs when it’s their turn to have surgery.”
Dr. Lee’s need to pursue precision is highlighted by his decision to specialize in hand surgery as well as by his enjoyment in the shooting sports. He practices regularly at the local indoor shooting range and is a member of the Effingham Sportsman’s Club. Dr. Lee recalled with a laugh, “One guy told me at the range that he would choose me as his surgeon because I shot out the bull’s eye that day!”
At the time that Dr. Lee was fulfilling his residency requirements, it was routine for doctors to work long hours and through the night; the endurance that helped Dr. Lee make it through those tough shifts now helps him to train for triathlons. He is a latecomer to the sport, but Dr. Lee completed his first Half Ironman last year. Triathlon training helps Dr. Lee identify with patients who have exercise injuries and who don’t want to quit.
One of Dr. Lee’s residency trainers imparted on him the importance of listening to patients. “By actively listening to patients, we can come up with the diagnosis in many cases and we can figure out how to optimize their outcomes,” he said. Dr. Lee’s easygoing nature makes it easy for people to connect quickly with him. He tries to use as little medical jargon as possible when communicating with patients, and he provides every reasonable treatment option and expects patients to help choose what’s best for them.
Dr. Lee specializes in the upper extremity, which includes the area from the shoulder to the hand. He treats disorders such as arthritis, tendinitis, rotator cuff tears and fractures, plus carpal tunnel and other nerve problems.
Dr. Lee earned his undergraduate and medical degree in the Boston University Six Year Medical Program. The traditional time to earn both degrees is eight years. He completed his surgery internship and orthopedic residency training at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. He completed a hand surgery fellowship at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Dr. Lee and his wife, Sally, have lived in Effingham for 20 years. They have three adult children: sons, Drake and Lynden, and daughter, Audrey.
To make an appointment with Dr. Lee, call the SBL Bonutti Clinic at 217 342-3400.