Dr Wayne Lee, the latest GP to join Ochre Medical Centre Maleny, is a man of many talents. As well as a doctor, Dr Lee is a musician who’s seen recent success as a vocalist.
“It started in medical school,” he says. “Music used to be my stress buster. I ended up entering a few competitions.”
Dr Lee went on to compete as North Queensland State Champion at the Karaoke World Championship, represent Australia at the international ‘Water Cube Cup’ competition, and win Brisbane’s Cloud 8 Singing Competition.
Since then, Dr Lee has been lucky enough to have many opportunities to perform around the Brisbane area.
“Music is such good therapy,” Dr Lee smiles. “It’s medicine for the soul and it connects people. Music and medicine have always been a big part of my life.”
The meaning of life, according to Dr Lee, lies in helping other people. “It’s about connection. I enjoy seeing people, learning about their journey, and hearing their stories. What better place to do that than as a GP?”
“As a hospital specialist, you’re asking what’s your problem today, and how can I fix it? But as a GP, you don’t just see your patients as a medical transaction. You really have to get to know that person and take a holistic approach to care.
“It’s about the patient’s mind, body and soul. It’s the best field of medicine to practice our humanity.”
Dr Lee combines two days a week at Ochre Medical Centre Maleny with two days at the Maleny Soldiers Memorial Hospital, working with Queensland Health.
Born in Taiwan, he grew up in the Philippines before studying in Canberra and Brisbane. Practicing medicine in Maleny since 2018, Dr Lee has chosen to work in the area for its community spirit, something he says he hasn’t found elsewhere.
His special interest is mental health. “Sometimes all it takes is simple genuine care and connection for someone to turn around and live a different life.
“I myself am a survivor of domestic violence, so that gives me a bit more understanding as to how someone can suffer and not show it and be afraid to seek help.
“I think it’s so important that as GPs we provide that open non-judgmental space for people who need it.
“I have my own GP and I do value a personal approach to healthcare. That’s what makes me thrive as a doctor and I believe my patients value that sort of friendly professional relationship.”
Dr Lee speaks in awe of one of his first patients, who was struggling with relationship and mental health issues.
“In the span of four years, we have formed a very good therapeutic alliance. I worked with her and referred her to the right specialists and group therapy. Now she’s like a different person.
“That was something that blew me away. This is the power of General Practice when it’s done right – the patient trusts you enough to involve you in the different aspects of their life where they need a bit of support and help.
“Sometimes it’s all there, we just need the right people on side, checking in and showing our patients that we do care – it makes a big difference.”