By Christin Senior | February 17, 2017 9:02 am

Medical Student James Lee is passionate about improving primary care for patients and increasing the diversity of those who provide that care. His appointment as an American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) student liaison to the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) will allow him to do both.

In the role, Lee will work with family physicians across the country to encourage more minority medical students to go into that specialty. Family medicine specialists can provide care to entire generations of families – from children to the elderly. And as the nation becomes more diverse, the medical field is seeking to provide more diversity in the professionals who provide care.

Lee has been a leader of UCF’s chapter of the SNMA, which represents minority medical students. He said he is eager to representing the College of Medicine in a national position that will increase the diversity of primary care physicians.

“It has been proven that adequate primary care and preventative care saves money and saves patients. Family medicine is where the most talented medical students are needed the most!” Lee said. “It’s my job to get them there.”

In the last two years, only four UCF med students chose to match into family medicine residency programs. One of Lee’s goals is to show fellow students the exciting opportunities in caring for a wide range of patients.

Lee says his passion for family medicine is rooted in his love for caring for people from all ages and backgrounds. “I feel like I can learn from anyone young or old,” he explained. “Kids give me vitality. The elderly give me wisdom. And of course there’s everything in between. I like to meet people from all walks of life and I need the variety of cases to keep me challenged.”

Originally from Jacksonville, Lee did his undergraduate studies at Florida International University. He chose medicine because he feels this career will allow him to use his talents to impact others in a positive manner, while being able to do what he loves.

“As a physician, I think I will have some level of respect in the community to be able to lead, mentor and help mold the next generation,” he said. “It’s not enough for me to just excel at my craft, I want to inspire others.”

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