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Physician Intro/ Philosophy: Alice Yee, DO

Dr Alice Yee discusses her education and training in family medicine.
Physician Intro/ Philosophy: Alice Yee, DO
Alice Yee, DO
Dr. Alice Yee is board certified in Family Medicine and practices at MarinHealth Primary Care | A UCSF Health Clinic. Dr. Yee is native to the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor’s of Science in Genetics and minors in English and Music. She attended a top rated Osteopathic Medical School graduating in June of 2006, and won a coveted residency spot at UCLA in Southern California. While at UCLA, she demonstrated mature clinical judgment and strong leadership skills that allowed her to both lead and teach at one of UCLA’s very busy clinics.

Dr. Yee's hobbies include playing violin, doing home renovation and being the adventurous sort, trying all types of new cuisines. 

Learn more about Alice Yee, DO

Bill Klaproth (Host):  Understanding a physician’s philosophy is important when choosing whether or not a physician is right for you. So, what are the types of questions you should ask or what should you know about? Well let’s learn more about Dr. Alice Yee, a Family Medicine Physician at MarinHealth Primary Care, a UCSF Health Clinic and find out her physician philosophy.

This is The Healing Podcast, brought to you by MarinHealth. I’m Bill Klaproth. Dr. Yee, thank you so much for your time. It is great to talk to you and we are looking forward to getting to know you a little bit better. So, first off, what made you decide to become a physician?

Alice Yee, DO (Guest):  I think I’ve always wanted to be a physician. From a time when I was young, I remember that when they asked me what I wanted for my birthday or for Christmas, I actually didn’t want a Barbie Doll or anything like that. I wanted a stethoscope and I wanted to look into my little sister’s mouth, and I wanted to listen to her ear – listen to her heart and listen to her ears. I kind of wanted her to be sick a little bit.

Host:  Yeah, so you could take care of her?

Dr. Yee:  Yes. Just a little. But when we played, she was a patient. And I wanted to bandage her a little bit and everything. So, she’s my little victim and so, yeah, that – that’s what I wanted. I liked to do that, and I was always interested in science so, I thought growing up I was always going to do something in science. The more as I was going through my education and every – I was always fond of people and trying to help them and became kind of a natural course for me.

Host:  Wow. That sounds like you’re well matched for your interests, so this started at a young age, you liked the science and you liked to help people. So, it’s perfect. So, then how did you choose Family Medicine as a specialty?

Dr. Yee:  Well I think a lot of it was shaped by our experiences in our past and I actually had personal experiences where I saw my father who had a lot of health problems and he was one of those very upstanding – he was a great father. He worked very hard for the family, but he didn’t understand how to take care of himself. And I remember he would go to his doctor a few times a year. He actually was a veteran, and he would go to the VA system. And he had poorly controlled blood pressure but that was because he worked so hard. He never took time to take care of his body or self-care, he would just care for a family and try to take care of kids and everybody else. And so I saw what happened when they didn’t understand what to do. And it may not have been the doctor’s fault, but you just didn’t understand.

And so, I kept thinking later on I was going through college and volunteering for – in clinics and in the ER, I felt people didn’t understand what the doctor was trying to tell them. How can you get through to them? Explain in a way or try to get them the resources that can maybe teach them what can they change in your life. Little things. And I think that was kind of a natural fit with Primary Care and actually what drawn me to Family Medicine more than anything was the fact that I always thought I was going to be a pediatrician. I love kids. I love babies. I thought I was going to take care of them from the time they were born until they were off to college. But then what happened in medical school was that I started becoming interested in adults. I was like this is great. They answer back to me.

Host:  Right.

Dr. Yee:  So, and it was like wow, I can take care of the whole family. I can see the dynamics. I can see how can I teach mom and dad, how can I teach the kids, everybody help each other. And it can be a generational teaching and go beyond that, go beyond everybody helping each other and going on walks, nutrition, how to cook with each other.

Host:  Right. So, being able to help the whole family.

Dr. Yee:  Hmm, exactly.

Host:  Instead of just the young ones.

Dr. Yee:  Yeah, it’s been an eye opener. There are many challenges and even grandparents involved, all of that. It’s – sometimes it’s cultural, sometimes it’s financial, sometimes it’s communications between husband and wife or even parents and children. But when you make a difference, oh gosh, it’s all worth it. It’s worth it.

Host:  Well thank you for sharing that personal story about your father. Interesting to know how that shaped your interest in medicine. And then you mentioned medical school. Where did you receive your education and training?

Dr. Yee:  I went to Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine in Glendale, Arizona. And then that was for my medical school training. Then I did my residency at UCLA for Family Medicine. And it was great. Great, hard training. We saw everything. But it really gave you a great foundation for the rest of my career.

Host:  Right. That’s a great school. So, then what is your philosophy of care? How do you approach the care of your patients?

Dr. Yee:  I try to look at the whole picture. How they live their life, not just treating with medications but in terms of nutrition, how are they sleeping, are they exercising, how are they dealing with their mental as well as physical stressors. Because it’s all about the whole picture here. You can’t just give medication and not treat everything else. It’s a combination. Their mental health it goes hand in hand with their physical health.

Host:  Right. That holistic model of care.

Dr. Yee:  Exactly.

Host:  Yeah. So, that’s good to know. So, then you went to school at UCLA and what brought you to the Bay area?

Dr. Yee:  I’m actually a San Francisco native, born and raised here. And I came back here because I always knew I was going to stay in the Bay area. My whole family is here scattered throughout. My mother still lives in San Francisco. You appreciate what you have once you move away for school or for whatever and you’re always like my gosh, everywhere else is flat. And it’s very hot and humid in other places and we’re very, very cold and there’s areas that’s colder than 45 degrees, my goodness and there’s – yes.

Host:  What’s going on there, right?

Dr. Yee:  Yeah and I remember in Arizona, when I first went to medical school there it was in the end of August. My gosh. It was 105 degrees, and it was at 12 midnight.

Host:  Yeah, that’s hot.

Dr. Yee:  And my sister who – yeah and my sister who drove down with me and she looked at me, are you out of your mind? What made you decide to come here for medical school? So, but I always you know would come back to the Bay area because this is really home, and Marin is a beautiful area. So – it is –

Host:  That it is. Well we’re glad you’re home.

Dr. Yee:  Yeah, exactly.

Host:  So, then why did you choose MarinHealth?

Dr. Yee:  Well I feel this is the best of everything here. It’s right next to San Francisco. It is at the cutting edge of medical research with San Francisco with UCSF. We have a great medical community here. we have great medical access. It really is as if we’re in a big city healthcare but not quite in the big city setting. It is with a beautiful environment; people are interested in their health. We have great colleagues to work with. We have an excellent hospital to work with. I am very confident that my patients will get the best care. We have great other hospital systems to work with. I tell my patients all the time, yes, this is a more costly place to live in but look at what we have. We have such great access. No where else in the world. Very, very few places.

Host:  So, even though you’re near a major urban center, one of the great cities in America, it probably still has that small community you know feel, right?

Dr. Yee:  Exactly and the patients here are great. I work with great people in my office. And MarinHealth really has patients’ and the doctors’ best interests. It hasn’t let me down yet.

Host:  And that’s what we want to know and love to hear. So, Dr. Yee, thank you for your time. Last question, anything else you’d like your patients to know about you?

Dr. Yee:  Oh boy. I’m still trying to get to know Marin. I’m one of those San Francisco natives. It’s taken me all these years to go out and look at all the native landmarks and places that people come and visit. It’s like people come here to go look at touristy places. I’m still discovering it. All these years. I have not gone to Stenson Beach yet.

Host:  Well that is on your to do list.

Dr. Yee:  I know, I know.

Host:  This weekend.

Dr. Yee:  It’s been on my to do list. It has been.

Host:  Make it happen. We’re going to check back with you to see if you’ve done that.

Dr. Yee:  All right. Thank you.

Host:  We’re going to do a second podcast to see if you’ve done that.

Dr. Yee:  Yes. Yes but I was guilty of that living in San Francisco as well.

Host:  All right. Well good luck with that. You’re – you’re going to enjoy the tour of your home town. I’m confident of that.

Dr. Yee:  I know. Exactly. Exactly.

Host:  Oh my. Well Dr. Yee, this has been a real pleasure. Thank you so much for talking with us. We appreciate it and it’s been great to get to know you a little bit better and thank you so much for your service at MarinHealth. Thank you again, Dr. Yee.

Dr. Yee:  Thank you so much.

Host:  That’s Dr. Alice Yee and to learn more, please visit And if you found this podcast helpful, please share it on your social channels and check out the full podcast library for topics of interest to you. This is The Healing Podcast brought to you by MarinHealth. I’m Bill Klaproth. Thanks for listening.