Family, friends gather to honor former family medicine department chair

Department of Family Medicine Chair Laura Mosqueda speaks at a memorial service for Peter V. Lee, held Oct. 3 at Aresty Auditorium.

Department of Family Medicine Chair Laura Mosqueda speaks at a memorial service for Peter V. Lee, held Oct. 3 at Aresty Auditorium.

The Keck School of Medicine of USC recently honored the life and accomplishments of Peter V. Lee, MD, who died July 26 at the age of 93.

The memorial service was held Oct. 3 at Aresty Auditorium on the Health Sciences Campus, where family, friends, students and community members gathered to pay their respects to Lee’s legacy.

Lee was an accomplished physician, educator and leader at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Well-known for his commitment to social justice, person-centered care and interdisciplinary teaching, he oversaw the creation of the Department of Family Medicine in 1983 and became its inaugural chair. He taught students in medicine, pharmacy, geriatrics, physician assistant studies and nursing about pharmacology and family medicine. Additionally, Lee was a national leader in crafting ways to engage medical students in hands-on learning, including conducting research on best practices in medical education in the early 1960s as well as being one of the creators of the Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) program in 1969.

At the celebration of his life, many told stories about Lee as a mentor, boss and role model. Lee’s son Peter V. Lee Jr., spoke on behalf of the family sharing their personal memories. Speakers also included Laura Mosqueda, MD, chair and professor of family medicine; former medical school dean Robert Tranquada, MD; Samuel Matheny, MD; and retired faculty members Peter Katsufrakis, MD, Maureen Strohm, MD, and Allan Abbott, MD — all of whom spoke of Lee as a wonderful teacher, friend and mentor.

“It was lovely to see such an impressive array of people from all stages of Dr. Lee’s life gathered in one spot to remember and pay tribute,” Mosqueda said. “He clearly had a wonderful influence on many people, both personally and professionally. His impact lives on.”

By Claire Norman

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