Dr. Lisa Hunsicker isn’t your typical plastic surgeon. This Florida native, who has been practicing medicine since 1995, has found an uncommon pastime in competitive race car driving. She bought her first Porsche in 2012, joining the Porsche Club of America, and never looked back. She’s as fearless as they come, and it doesn’t bother her that she’s usually the only woman on the track. Hunsicker is here to tell you that she’s just like every other racer—she just wants to go fast.
Has racing always been a passion?
“Growing up, my dad had a 1972 Corvette and that was my introduction as a kid. It was fast and fantastic. It imprinted on me. He sold the car when I was in high school, and I was so angry. When I finished up my doctorial training, I immediately bought one for myself. I was on the car dealership lot and I called my dad, and he said, ‘Honey, I just can’t hear you. I don’t know where you’re at.’ I kept revving the engine. ‘Oh, that’s the sound of my Corvette that you can’t hear me over,’ I said, laughing.”
Are there any similarities between racing and surgery?
“Yes and no. They are both very similar in that they take a lot of preparation, and safety is obviously top priority. Both require tremendous focus. However, the thing I like about racing is that it’s all about me. You have to be present. When you’re not present in racing, you mess up really bad. It really forces you to focus on the moment. It’s very experiential. You can’t think about the past five minutes or five minutes into the future.”
What’s it like to be a woman in the sport?
“There aren’t very many of us, so it’s always awesome to see another female racer. In my experience, and I can only speak for myself, it’s been great. Everyone goes out and helps everyone, even if you’re racing against each other. It’s never about guys and girls—you’re simply a racer. Gender isn’t an issue. It’s a community, and you become friends with people along the way.”
What do you wish people knew about the sport?
“A lot of people think that racing is only for the extremely wealthy. Depending on the level that you want to compete at, that’s not always true. It’s not as elitist as people think it is. It’s also important to know that it’s accessible for women. Knowing that it’s not just a man’s sport is everything.”