Meet Med-Peds Chief Resident

Jenny Lee, M.D.

Jenny Lee, MD

Hometown: Troy, MI (originally Seoul, South Korea)
Medical School: Wayne State University School of Medicine
Professional Interest: Allergy/Immunology, global health, medical education

Residency Experiences

The most important thing I learned when I was a resident was: that anyone and everyone can be your teacher. I have learned a lot of things not only from my attendings and fellows, but also from other residents, medical students, patients, their families, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, etc. Another important thing I learned, that goes along with this, is that humility is a good posture for learning.

Most impactful physician I have worked with is: I have a few! Personally, I consider my mother to be my role model. She is a general pediatrician who is a great, compassionate clinician, and her example was one of the reasons why I chose to go into Med-PEDS. In medical school, I worked with Dr. Richard Bryce through Street Medicine Detroit (a student organization that ran a homeless mobile clinic). His dedication to serve the underserved population and instill that passion in medical students really challenged me. In residency, working with Dr. Elizabeth Brooks was such an incredible experience. She deeply cares about her patients, and they AND all the other doctors who are involved in her patients care know it.

I can't live without: Trader Joe’s. I LOVE TJ’s!

On my bucket list: Getting certified as a scuba diver

Hidden talent: This is really random, but I am pretty good at reading maps and committing them to my memory. It comes in handy when I travel because I don’t have to keep looking at my phone to know where I am going.

Bad habit: I tend to spend a lot of money at Trader Joe’s because I love trying their seasonal items (ALL OF THEM if possible!)

Guilty pleasure: Eating dessert before meals

Glad it's ahead of me: Having even more time dedicated to teaching and working with learners of varying levels

Glad it's behind me: USMLE Step 1, 2, and 3!

Best advice you’ve been given: Treat others how you want to be treated

Would pay good money for: Snowboarding at a nice ski resort (where there are actually mountains)

Wouldn't take even if free: Almond Joy. I love chocolate, but I just can’t tolerate Almond Joy!

When I'm not on call, you can find me: Spending time with friends, traveling, and Netflix-and-chilling

Residency Program Experience

What is the key to being a good patient advocate? Someone told me I should treat my patients as if I am treating my grandparents or parents, but I want to take it one step further. It is so easy to see patients only as people with diseases and abnormal lab/imaging findings that you have to treat. I am not immune to feeling that way about my patients, but the challenge I have for myself is to constantly put myself in my patients’ shoes. It is impossible to fully know what our patients are feeling, but you can advocate for your patients better when you understand what their values and feelings are.

In the moments of self-doubt, how do you build yourself back up? There are a few support systems I go to. I sometimes journal and try to reflect on what happened and why I feel the way I feel. I have also taken things to our amazing program director, Nate, who listened to what I had to say and was there to encourage me. I also have amazing family and friends with whom I can be honest with my feelings. They support me with prayers and encouragements.

What is the best way to find a good mentor? For a mentor, find someone whose style and accomplishments you want to mirror and just ask them outright about what you should be doing better to get to a strong spot and if they will sign on to continually help you. For a "coach," find the person whose way of thinking syncs with your own but who has better insight and wisdom and can push you (this answer was borrowed from the previous chief resident, Keith Torrey).

What should new interns look forward to when starting the program? Getting to know their co-residents, helping each other out, riding and dying (not literally) together, learning how to take care of sick patients and provide the care their patients need, exploring Cleveland, and being a house doc at Cleveland orchestra!

The biggest misconception about the intern year is... You won’t have time to do anything. I still did quite a bit outside of work!

The one thing you absolutely should do during your intern year is... Taking ownership of your patients. They are YOUR patients, not your attending or senior’s patients. You are NEVER just an intern to your patients.

The one thing you should avoid during your intern year is… Dumping on other interns. Before you sign out to the long-call intern or night-float, make sure you completed all the major tasks that day-team is expected to do. Again, take ownership of your patients!

Favorite residency event? The first med-peds retreat we had last year (on Match Day!). We called all the incoming interns as a group to welcome them. :)

What's the best advice you have been given? In residency? Don’t let mistakes and bad evaluations paralyze you. Use them to learn and be a better doctor!

A Few Words About Cleveland, Ohio

How would you describe Cleveland to somebody who has never been here? Cleveland is a major city in the US with a population of 381,000, making it the 52nd-largest city in the US and the second-largest city in Ohio (from Wikipedia). Just kidding! I would say CLE is a moderate-sized city on the Great Lakes that has many pro sports teams, great architecture, and midwest-hearted nice people!

What neighborhood do you live in? Cleveland Heights, Cedar Fairmount specifically.

What are some of the spots that capture the essence of Cleveland? My three favorite places in Cleveland that represent the city well are: 1. Cleveland Art Museum (free entrance!) 2. Edgewater Park or Lakefront Nature Preserve 3. Holden Arboretum; but there are also many other great places like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, West Side Market, Playhouse Square, and Progressive Field!

Your favorite spot for a coffee: Don’t judge me. I’m a regular at Starbucks on Cedar

A quick bite around the hospital: Einstein day and night (open till 2AM!)

Brunch after a long call: Luna Bakery is in walking distance from where I live and has amazing croissants <3

A night on the town: Watching a Broadway show at Playhouse Square


Recover after a long call: If it’s a day call, hitting the bed right away. If it’s an overnight call, napping post-call for no more than 3-4 hours, then staying up running errands until 9 pm to go to bed.

Stay on top of discharge summaries: Keeping it updated in discharge profile so I can just replace progress note with a discharge summary on the day of discharge

Avoid burn out: Residency training is not easy, and I don’t think burnouts are something you can just avoid with our own will. Personally what helped me feel refreshed or rejuvenated was having some friends outside of medicine who I could talk to and share my struggles with.

Get on the Chief Residents' good sides: What kind of question is this?! I should be thinking about how I can get on my residents’ good sides :)

It's a Toss-Up

UH or VA: VA! I love interacting with the VA patients. Ask them to share their stories with you! A lot of the vets have incredible stories to share. :D

East Side or West Side: East Side. I stayed in the Cedar-Fairmount area during all four years of residency, and I love it here! Good restaurants, cafes, and a grocery store all in walking distance!

Staying in or going out: Staying in. I have become a homebody during the Covid era.

Grand Rounds or M&M: Grand Rounds!

Pizza or Tacos: Pizza! Hospital pizza is pretty good!

Scrubs or White Coat: Scrubs all the way with my UH Patagonia :)

Lease or buy a car in Cleveland: I bought my car 2 years ago!

Own or rent a house in Cleveland: Renting an apartment