Ben Lee is a rising second-year medical student at Rush Medical College. He also serves as the wellness chair on Rush University Student Senate.
Why did you choose Rush for your medical education?
I was one of those kids who always knew I wanted to become a doctor. After my dad passed away from a preventable incident, I hoped to stop anyone else from going through what our family and loved ones endured. Health care should not be a privilege, but a right for everyone.
I feel incredible fulfillment when helping others and hope as a physician to help the most vulnerable populations.
What does wellness mean to you?
As a pre-med student immersed in a highly competitive environment I lived the mantra, “rest is for the weak.” I had three jobs on top of school and extracurricular activities. Over time, this rigorous schedule took a significant toll on my mental and physical health.
After I graduated from my undergraduate program, I started to explore why I did not feel fulfilled. My mentor told me, “The keys to a happy life are to love who you are with and what you do and to always have something to look forward to.” Following his advice, I traveled more, found a job I loved and made meaningful connections. These changes created a cornerstone to my ongoing wellness journey.
Since then, I have set rules on work-life balance, including making time for my many plant babies and other hobbies. Self-care became my lifestyle, not a choice. Overall, I believe wellness means finding a connection between your physical health and happiness.
Why did you want to become a wellness chair?
Wellness has become my passion over the past few years. I thought this position would allow me to share skills I have learned to address academic stress, toxic productivity and self-awareness with the greater Rush community.
What do you hope to accomplish this year in your role?
As wellness chair, I serve as a liaison between the student body, Student Affairs and Rush Wellness to identify and address current issues that impact student wellness.
I plan to become a voice for student wellness. For example, I received suggestions from the student body that plants would benefit their mental health, so I hope to help organize a succulent giveaway during finals. Additionally, I plan to help with the RUSH Mental Health Forums in October.