Using today’s terminology, Dr. Royal Lee was the healthcare leader of Disruptive Innovation – an innovation that eventually disrupts an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology, thinking, and lifestyle.
The AMA was a phone booth. Royal Lee was a smart phone. Through his Lee Foundation (1940) and doctor’s only nutritional supplement company (1929), Lee became the hub of a wheel that morphed into what we today call alternative medicine, holistic medicine, complementary medicine, integrative medicine, etc. Through his teaching of nutritional biochemistry and developing new technology to deliver the benefits of this knowledge, he united all spokes on the wheel of the healing arts to the fundamental causes of health and disease. His work influenced medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, osteopathy, acupuncture, and naturopathy with a common ground in nutritional therapeutics.
The Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, in its day, the largest nutritional knowledge clearing house in the world, was the door for many doctors, homemakers, and agriculturalists. That’s why the symbol of The Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research was the actual door to the entrance of the building in Milwaukee—a door that Dr. Lee had custom-made. An apt symbol. Standard Process in Palmyra, Wisconsin, still owns the original door.
And today, the Selene River Press Historical Archives are filled with this work, once dismissed by the FDA. May the door to this healthcare disruption be kept forever open.