Getting to know Dr. Lisa Hatcher

Last Modified: 8/27/2019

Name: Lisa Hatcher, MD


Family Medicine

  • Associate degree in Nursing – Purdue University
  • Bachelor of Science – Manchester College (now University)
  • Master’s Degree – St. Francis University
  • Master of Business Administration – Indiana Wesleyan University
  • Doctor of Medicine – Indiana University
Career Journey

While in college, I worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor to help pay expenses. My first job fresh out of college, in 1975, was teaching health, physical education and biology, and coaching girls’ basketball and tennis.

I started working as a night shift nurse primarily in the obstetrics department. During my years as a nurse, I also had the opportunity to work in the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) and Emergency Room (ER). When I had my second child, I took a job on the day shift as what, at that time, was called in-service director. I taught nursing assistant classes, set up orientation for new nurses and other continuing education programs. I became director of nursing and eventually COO before I went to medical school in 1993. 

The summer before medical school and the summer between first and second year (the only summer you get "off") I did my medical school research project and worked as a nurse for home health care.

Some highlights of jobs before becoming a doctor:

I'll never forget the day I was off as lifeguard and stopped by the pool during swim classes and walked up to the fence and saw a child face down on the bottom of the pool. I shouted to get someone's attention and climbed the fence and helped pull her out and started CPR.  We were able to revive her and she recovered completely. As a high school teacher, winning the girls' basketball sectional the first year the girls had a state tournament (1976) was pretty memorable. In the years since teaching it has been very gratifying to watch former students become dentists, doctors, ministers, teachers and nurses.

What inspired you to pursue a medical degree?

When I was nine, my mother had a baby born prematurely, who died shortly after birth. It affected both of my parents deeply. The moment my dad told us that Ann Marie had died was the first time I remember thinking that I wanted to be a doctor. 

What makes a physician great in your opinion?

As with anything you choose to do, the desire to do the work to the best of your ability makes you great. As does recognizing when an approach or treatment course is not working and the willingness to search for an alternative.

What is a typical day like for you?

Two days are never alike, just like there are no two patients who are alike. I can plan to go to the hospital for rounds at 6:30 or 7 a.m. and try to be at the office by 8:15, and hope to finish by 5:30, at which time I’ll do "paperwork" until 6:30 or 7 p.m., but then there are patients who go into labor, deliveries and patients experiencing complications. There are a number of situations that will require a trip back to the hospital or a run to the nursing home that change up the plan for the day, or extend the day into the night.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Seeing the miracle of birth and getting to hand a newborn to his or her parents makes this the best job in the world!

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Trying to find the right words for delivering bad news to patients.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

Never stop learning.

What's the No. 1 thing people can do to take care of themselves emotionally?

I believe that emotional health starts with spiritual health. People need to nurture their spirit in order to stay emotionally well. So many people don’t have that spiritual foundation to rely on when they hit tough times in their lives.

What's the No. 1 thing people can do to take care of themselves physically?

This is a tough question! There are so many good answers. Three things pop into my head: Stop smoking anything (lungs are not made for smoke), eat foods that aren't processed and move as much as you can every day.

What's your personal motto?

I have two: “Make every day a masterpiece”, which is framed on my office bulletin board, and "Erst die Arbeit, dann das Vergnügen", which is from my dad, and means, “work first, then play”.  

If you could tell people to read one book in their lifetime, which would it be and why?

I would recommend The Bible as the one book everyone should read. It's a guidebook for this life and the next. It's full of history, poetry, intrigue, adventure, broken hearts and of course the greatest love story of all time, God's gift of Jesus Christ for the people he created.

What inspires you?

I find people inspiring. Each one is so unique, whether they’re a patient or staff or community member. My team in our office is the most incredible bunch! Their laughter, tears, creativity and commitment to our patients keeps me going.


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