You’ve heard of Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, now meet, Dr. Lisa Masterson, specialist in obstetrics, gynecology, infertility, adolescent gynecology and family planning. Currently starring as the only female doctor on the hit spin-off show, The Doctors, Dr. Lisa Masterson is anything but your typical OB/GYN.
Lisa’s interests and talents have stretched globally to bring awareness to women of all walks of life. She credits her mother and her grandmother as her inspiration. Her grandmother, Mattie Ruth Smith, is a native of Louisiana and was the eldest of twelve children. Her grandmother’s passion for education led her to become a schoolteacher in black schools throughout the state. Lisa’s mother, La V’onne Smith, also had a passion for education and began her career as a professor at the University of Washington. It’s no surprise that her passion for education soon developed into a passion for working with the community. She served in the Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and eventually went on to become director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) office in San Diego. It was then that Lisa’s education began to take off. She attended The Bishop’s School, a well-respected private school in La Jolla, CA known for it’s rigorous academic curriculum.
Upon graduating from The Bishop’s School, Lisa went on to attend Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. After graduating she moved back to CA to attend Medical School at the University of Southern California. Tragedy struck during Lisa’s first year as an Obstetrics and Gynecology intern at USC/County Hospital in 1993. Lisa’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Only a year later, Ms. La V’onne Smith passed away having left an indelible imprint on her daughter’s life and the communities she served.
Lisa says of her mother, “Because of [her] strength and independence as a woman, she was, and is, my governing inspiration. As a private person, she gave us all the encouragement and nourishment a mother could give. As a public figure, she was a major participant in the equal rights movement which has always been foremost in my life.”
It is likely the legacy of her mother that has propelled Lisa to excel in her field. She has appeared on such shows as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN Headline News, Anderson Copper 360 and The Tyra Banks Show to name a few. Currently she can be seen co-hosting the new syndicated series “The Doctors”, the runaway hit spin-off from Dr. Phil McGraw and Jay McGraw. On the show Lisa and her co-hosts investigate and discuss controversial medical topics, busts medical myths and answer burning questions from viewers who are too afraid to ask their own doctors.
Apart from being on staff at Cedars-Sinai, St. John’s and UCLA/Santa Monica and running her own unconventional practice in Santa Monica , it is Dr. Masterson’s work abroad that is most remarkable. Her passion to provide global medical relief to underdeveloped regions led her to create the Maternal Fetal Care International (MFCI), a charitable organization dedicated to helping mothers and their children. MFCI brings volunteer physicians, medical supplies, equipment and training to enhance the level of medical care decrease the mother-child transmission of HIV/AIDS. She is currently creating the first OB/GYN residency program in Eritrea, Africa, and has started birthing clinics in Kenya and India. Dr. Lisa Masterson may not be a household name yet, but she is certainly well on her way.