Newport Orthopedic Institute
(949) 722-7038
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Richard S. Lee, MD

A southern California native, Richard Lee, M.D., is board certified in orthopedic surgery specializing in minimally invasive surgery of the spine. He treats the entire spectrum of spinal conditions including cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine pathologies. Employing the most current and advanced operative techniques, Dr. Lee performs surgical procedures of the spine with the goal of returning patients to function as quickly as possible.

Dr. Lee’s interest in spinal surgery is a combination of several academic interests during his schooling. In college, he studied neurobiology and was intrigued by the complexity of the human nervous system. His laboratory research included work on the effects of microgravity on gene expression in bone and muscle cells in outer space. These early experiences as an undergraduate student and NASA researcher primed his interest in orthopedic and spinal surgery as a medical student.

“What I enjoy most about spinal surgery is the opportunity to combine science and art to help patients rehab from physically debilitating conditions.”

Dr. Lee attended the University of California at Berkeley for his undergraduate degree in molecular biology. He went on to attend medical school at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He completed his surgical internship and orthopedic surgery residency at the Yale School of Medicine, followed by a combined orthopedic and neurosurgical spinal surgery fellowship at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Lee resides in Newport Beach and enjoys running and cycling in his spare time. 

Dr. Lee’s Team

Appointment Scheduler – Noelle Hand

Phone: (949) 722-5071
Fax: (949) 630-4935

Noelle is the appointment scheduler for Dr. Lee.  She is responsible for scheduling office appointments for the doctor. If you have a question about your visit to the office or new-patient paperwork, please contact Noelle directly.

Triage Medical Department

If you have a clinical question about your care, medication, or follow-up needs, please contact the Triage Medical Department.

Phone: (949) 722-5035
Fax: (949) 630-4931

*Please note that due to HIPAA Regulations, we cannot respond to you via email. Once your email is received, you will receive a call from one of our staff members. If you wish to communicate via email only, please log-in to your secure NextMD account here. If you would like to create a NextMD account, please contact our office. 

Surgery Scheduler – Kim Donaldson

Phone: (949) 722-7038 x3585
Fax: (949) 630-4933

Kim is the Surgery Scheduler for Dr. Lee. She is responsible for coordinating and scheduling all surgery for the doctor. If you have any questions about your surgery, please contact Kim directly.

Primary Specialty

  • Orthopedic Surgery

Other Specialties

  • Spine Surgery

Undergraduate Education

  • University of California, Berkeley : 1998
    B.A. Molecular Biology

Medical Education

  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY : 2003


  • Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT : 2004
    General Surgery


  • Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT : 2008
    Orthopedic Surgery


  • Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA : 2009
    Spinal Surgery Fellowship

Board Certification

  • American Board of Orthopedic Surgery

Honors and Awards

  • Doctorate of Medicine with Distinction : 2003
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Alpha Omega Alpha : 2003
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • B.A. Molecular Biology with Honors : 1998
  • University of California, Berkeley