Dr Scott Lee to lead Murdoch Community Hospice

With dual specialty training in Palliative and Geriatric medicine, Dr Lee is a familiar face at St John of God Murdoch Hospital, having worked in our hospital and hospice for the past seven years. Dr Scott Lee will be Acting Director of Hospice and Palliative Care Services, taking on a maternity cover role for Dr Alison White for 12 months.

9 Jul 2020

Dr Lee said he was excited to take on the role and was keen to have a smooth transition between leadership. He studied locally at UWA and has worked in all the tertiary hospitals in Perth.Dr Scott Lee

“I stumbled across Palliative Care as a junior medical registrar when I was asked to cover a colleague who went on leave for a few weeks. I was very impressed with the care provided by the Palliative Care Team and how they worked together,” he said.

“Essentially they operated as a cohesive collaborative unit and the impact of that on the quality of care provided was apparent. I was impressed by both the care provided for the patients and their families, and the support and respect that each team member had for each other.   

“I realised that there is so much more to medicine than just giving drugs and ordering tests, it is providing holistic and comprehensive care for the patient, as well as maintaining great working relationships.”

Dr Lee said despite what the general public may know about palliative care, it was an area that can provide hope to patients and families when they may feel there is no hope left.

“There are patients who may have been suffering from their physical or psychological symptoms unnecessarily for way too long. This can lead to people feeling helpless and hopeless. When no further interventions can be offered by their usual treating teams, they may also feel a sense of abandonment and loss of support,” he said.

“When we can care for the patient holistically, alleviate their suffering and support their psycho-social and spiritual needs, it can provide hope to the patient and their families with the realisation that they can still enjoy life and have something to live for with the remaining time they have left.

“We let them know that they are not alone and they have help and support from our team.  We are here for the long haul. You can definitely see a positive change in the patients and their families, and I find it immensely rewarding.”

Dr Lee said working in Palliative Care meant there were often some tricky conversations to be had. He said good teamwork and communication were incredibly important.

“We need to have empathy and compassion in the way we communicate with the patient and their family,” Dr Lee said.

“We facilitate discussions that allow them to understand their illness and situation, and to discuss their wishes regarding all aspects of their care. Good communication is just as important as providing good clinical care in this setting.”

“The environment in our Hospital and Hospice is refreshing and I really enjoy working here. I like to say it feels like being in a small country hospital, with all the familiar and friendly faces and great staff morale, but with the resources and clinical expertise of a tertiary hospital.”

Dr Lee enjoys spending time with his wife and two energetic young sons, staying physically active and catching up with friends.

Visit St of God Murdoch Community Hospice.