Edward Y. Lee, MD, is chief of the division of thoracic imaging and associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH). He is the past president of the New England Roentgen Ray Society and Medical Staff Organization at BCH. He is the current president of the International Society of Pediatric Thoracic Imaging. An internationally known educator, author and expert in the field of pediatric radiology, Lee has served as a visiting professor or invited speaker in more than 45 countries across six continents.
How would you describe your training at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology?
As a trainee, you just don’t realize the truly superb radiology education that you are getting at MIR. I am a strong believer that you build your fundamental knowledge — how good you are as a radiologist — during your residency training, and MIR prepares you for that whether you will be in academic or private practice settings.
What makes MIR so special?
“Mentorship” and “recognition” are the two best words to use. First, the connections with mentors and their guidance in terms of an academic career are outstanding. Radiology is a relatively small community; you must be very good, but who you know is also important. Secondly, when you are done training at MIR, you get the recognition from other radiologists that you are the “cream of the crop.” Perception from outside becomes reality, and confidence that MIR helped build inside of you matters in your career.
Who were your mentors?
At MIR, I truly had the best of both worlds. I learned how to do scientific research from two of biggest names in radiology, Drs. Jay Heiken and Marilyn Siegel. Dr. Heiken taught me the importance of accuracy and precision. Dr. Siegel taught me the desire for new advances. And there is Dr. William McAlister, who is the best clinical pediatric radiologist ever.
Why is international outreach so important to you?
I came to the United States from South Korea when I was 16 for education. My master of public health degree is also in the field of international health. So my background and education have prepared me to look at the world with international perspective. Unfortunately — even nowadays — many parts of the world are behind in the area of pediatric radiology, and many sick children are not receiving optimal care. And for training radiologists in other parts of the world, many educational opportunities are not available to them. Some of my past work is related to creating educational resources for them, such as textbooks and international radiology educational conferences.
What ultimately drives you?
To me, how to live starts with focusing on contributing to society and making human connections. And I can do that through my work, so I feel very lucky. In many ways, I can do what I am doing now because I did my radiology residency training at MIR, so I am very grateful and proud that I had MIR training and experience.