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Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center Welcome New Provider

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Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center Welcome New Provider

Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center is pleased to welcome Dr. Francis Lee, MD, MBBS, ABSM, ABIM (Pulmonary & Internal Medicine), FAASM, FCCP to its medical staff. Dr. Lee specializes in Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine and will serve as the hospital’s Medical Director for Pulmonary and Sleep Services. His clinical practice is located at 3 Lyon Place, Suite 100, Ogdensburg, and is presently accepting new patients in both specialties by calling 315-713-6778.

Dr. Lee has a strong background in pulmonary and sleep medicine practice. Before joining Claxton-Hepburn, Dr. Lee held the position of Chief Medical Officer and Medical Director of both Pulmonary and Sleep Departments at Calais Regional Hospital in Calais, ME.

Dr. Lee earned his MB and BS degrees from the King Edward VII College of Medicine (presently renamed Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine), and the National University of Singapore in Singapore. He attended the School of Postgraduate Medicine, NUS, earning his Master of Medicine (Internal Medicine) degree. Dr. Lee completed advanced training at the Department of Respiratory Medicine at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore. He then completed his Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, at the Department of Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care. There, Dr. Lee subspecialized in Therapeutic and Diagnostic Bronchology, with a particular interest in tracheobronchial diagnostic techniques.

Dr. Lee is a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians, a Fellow of the American Association of Sleep Medicine, and a Fellow of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore, with specialist certification in Respiratory Medicine. Dr. Lee is triple board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Disease and the American Board of Sleep Medicine.

Dr. Lee also holds Fellowship positions in professional organizations, including the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Association of Sleep Medicine.

Dr. Lee is credited with setting up Singapore’s original Lung Cancer Program, developing the country’s first Interventional Bronchoscopy service, being a member of the Board of Examiners for Internal Medicine (Master of Medicine degree) at the National University of Singapore, and serving as a Clinical Tutor at the same time. He has taught courses, provided lectures, and hands-on interventional bronchoscopy training internationally in countries like Japan, India, Thailand, and the United States. He has held international appointments serving on the International Advisory Committee for Laser Surgery and published the Book of Proceedings for an International Cancer conference held in Indonesia.

Dr. Lee has an extensive bibliography with over 30 publications, including book chapters, monographs, original investigations, and editorials. His fields of significant interest include fiberoptic bronchoscopy, electromagnetic GPS guided navigational bronchoscopy (ENB), endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) guided needle biopsies of mediastinal lymph nodes, use of lasers in pulmonary medicine, endobronchial radiation therapy, and transbronchial needle aspiration of central and peripheral lung lesions, protected specimen brushing and bronchoalveolar lavage, airway stenting, care and maintenance of the flexible fiberoptic bronchoscope, and sleep polysomnography.

Dr. Lee’s practice philosophy is a simple one. When asked, he replied, “to never forget the human side of medicine.” He went on to suggest that “if healing is the beating heart of medicine, then empathy is the lifeblood that circulates to give oxygen and fuel to a great practice.”

When asked about who should be referred to see him, he added that for patients with lung problems, anyone with unresolved or worsening shortness of breath, cough, wheezing or pleurisy (chest pain while breathing in), weak or worsening lung function testing or need for supplemental oxygen, worrisome spots (nodules) on chest X-ray or CT scan of the chest, should be considered for a pulmonary consult with him. Patients who are coughing up blood in the phlegm, should be seen quickly, especially if they are smokers or at risk for lung cancer.

With regards to patients with Sleep issues, Dr. Lee will also be addressing complaints such as excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), snoring, interrupted sleep, restless sleep, unexplained fatigue, difficulty in waking up in the morning. He also expressed an interest in circadian rhythm disorders (e.g., a tendency to fall asleep early in the evening and wake up in the early morning hours), restless legs syndrome, and a condition called REM behavior disorder (RBD) where some patients tend to act out their dreams.

Sleep Apnea is a specific and common diagnosis Dr. Lee is very concerned about. He says that this condition is a significant health issue for the United States, with an estimated 22 million Americans suffering from it, and surprisingly, with 80% of moderate to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) victims undiagnosed. OSA, when untreated, can lead to an increased cardiovascular risk for hypertension, unexplained atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), chronic heart failure, heart attacks, and strokes. Additionally, it may also be associated with depression and diabetes. The persistent and often untimely sleepiness these patients experience may contribute to inadvertent and potentially avoidable road accidents as well as accidents at work involving heavy machinery.

For more information about Dr. Francis Lee, visit us on the web at, or visit us on Facebook. Your tomorrow is worth defending.