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Sharon Lee

When we met Dr. Sharon Lee, she was busting her ass on a mountain of paperwork in her cramped office, Southwest Boulevard Family Health Care, about three hours after every other doctor in the metro had hung up the white coat. For Lee, donning her hospital scrubs well into the evening while calling patients and filing medical charts is all in a long day's work. While many well-intentioned doctors criticize the nation's broken health care system, Lee is one of the few who's trying to fix it by doing things differently. At her clinic, she sees patients regardless of their ability to pay. She pays herself the same salary the janitor and receptionist earn. That's right: an MD who makes $12 an hour. That frees up more funds to provide a variety of in-house services, including X-rays and minor surgery, to residents who would be pummeled by the cost of such procedures at a hospital. Thankfully, Lee is now corrupting young doctors to her way of thinking. When a group of KU Med students were looking for a space to open a free clinic, she threw open her doors. She even sets aside the sweets that pharmaceutical reps bring to her office to keep the students — and her — going strong long after the normal business day is done.

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