Lee Beecher, MD
Psychiatrist, Advocate for Patient Care
“I am concerned that modern medical practice is moving from a physician-patient relationship to a patient-Electronic Health Record (EHR) relationship, from the tender hands of a physician touching the heart of an individual patient, to the calloused hands of a data entry clerk ensuring that all the boxes required by regulators and third party payers have been checked,” Dr. Beecher wrote in his new book, Passion for Patients.
Lee Beecher, MD, is a board certified psychiatrist, whose active practice spanned more than four decades. A graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School, Dr. Beecher did his residency at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago.
After a stint in the Navy, Dr. Beecher returned to Minnesota and began his clinical practice, culminating in his retirement in 2014.
He served as a delegate to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and on the Board of the Minnesota Psychiatric Society, where he also served as President. During this time, he lobbied Congress and the Minnesota Legislature as an advocate for his profession, psychiatric patients and their families.
Dr. Beecher served as an associate medical director at PreferredOne, a managed care company in Minnesota, for a period of years. Always, however, he maintained a private independent practice.
About half of his practice dealt with addiction. He was certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine and had special qualifications in Addiction Psychiatry from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He also continued to practice general psychiatry treating the wide range of mental disorders.
All through his 42 years of practice, Dr. Beecher maintained his strong conviction that the focus of medical care must always be the patient.
In 2005, and until his retirement in 2014, he changed his business model from one of previous dependency on government and insurance company third party payments to a Direct Pay Independent Practice model. For ten years he received payments for all of his professional services directly from his patients.
Dr. Beecher began working with Dave Racer on medical and mental health care reform concepts and ideas the the Fall of 2015. The two men talked regularly, gathering an immense amount of data which eventually resulted in this book.