TUSM Alumna and Award-Winning Educator New Dean of Admissions
No high school senior ever knows exactly how their career will unfold. But Amy Lee, daughter of parents who traveled to Virginia in 1968 to get married (because Georgia would not yet honor the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize interracial marriage), knew she wanted her career to be about equity. Today, Amy Lee, MD, is not only a practicing family physician and medical educator, but she is also Tufts University School of Medicine’s new dean of admissions for its MD program. Lee, who has spent her career devoted to serving underserved patient communities and teaching future doctors how to do the same, is positioned to be one of the most influential health justice leaders at the medical school.
Her family story is integral to Lee’s commitment to health justice. “My mother’s family were farmers in rural Nebraska and my father immigrated to the U.S. from South Korea,” Lee explains. “Growing up in Nebraska with the combination of two very different sets of family traditions and cultural customs, cultivated my interest in understanding different perspectives and beliefs and led to my undergraduate study of medical anthropology. My background has been an important influence on my approach to both clinical medicine and medical education, and has fueled my motivation to be involved in work that increases health justice.”
Equipped with her medical anthropology degree, Lee, M02, knew TUSM was the medical school for her. “The commitment that TUSM has to educating professionals who are dedicated to civic engagement and social justice was a great fit for me then,” she recounts. “And it’s a great fit for me still as a faculty member who wants to teach the next generation of physicians.”
As a student, Lee was devoted to admissions work early on. She served on the admissions committee and curriculum committee, and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society while studying at TUSM. She trained at the Tufts family medicine residency, serving as chief resident and academic fellow, certain that medical education was a critical aspect of her future career as a physician.
Lee joined the TUSM faculty in 2005, rising to be an associate professor of family medicine, vice chair for academic affairs in the department of family medicine, and director of family medicine student advising. She has received the Dean’s Outstanding Mentor Award, the Milton O., M30, and Natalie V. Zucker Clinical Teaching Prize for Outstanding Innovation in Medical Education, the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, and numerous teaching awards. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, a member and Tufts chapter councilor of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, and a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society.
Lest one assume her only passion is teaching, Lee emphasizes the most fulfilling aspect of her career has been caring for underserved patients and under-resourced populations. “One of the joys of being a family doctor is being able to care for any patient who comes to seek healthcare services, including people of any age or with any concern.”
After providing clinical care to families in Lowell, Massachusetts for 11 years, Lee became an attending physician at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, a federally qualified community health center and Tufts teaching affiliate, where she has practiced medicine and mentored residents and students for the past seven years.
“My goal as dean of admissions for the MD program is to develop equitable and inclusive admissions practices that are guided by our institutional mission, resulting in the recruitment of a broadly diverse body of compassionate and talented students with the personal and professional attributes necessary to become the next generation of Tufts trained physicians,” emphasizes Lee, who will continue to practice medicine and work directly with learners.
"I am excited to share all that we have to offer at TUSM with our applicants. I look forward to welcoming our future students who want to share in our institutional mission, becoming dedicated physicians who will have a sustained positive impact on the health of individuals, communities, and the world."