Leadville’s Own Country Doc
Dr. Lisa Zwerdlinger is a board-certified, bilingual family practice physician with deep roots in Leadville and Lake County with her more than 20 years of service. She’s the owner/provider of Rocky Mountain Family Practice, public health officer for Lake County, and chief medical officer and hospitalist for St. Vincent Health. She also holds privileges at St. Anthony’s Summit Medical Center in Frisco.
Dr. Zwerdlinger grew up in Conifer, Colorado and attended the University of Colorado for her undergraduate degree, medical school and residency. Now, she serves as academic and clinical faculty as a full professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine, teaching medical students about family medicine in their rural rotations.
As a generalist, Dr. Lisa cares for patients of all ages and genders. “My practice is all-spectrum, birth to death and everything in between, from preventive care to chronic and emergent conditions,” she says. Her patient care philosophy is similarly strong and straightforward. “I have a very clear sense in my soul of what is right and what is wrong. If you do the right thing you never go wrong. It’s something that guides me all the time.”
Her passion for living and playing in the mountains brought her to Leadville. She is an avid mountain biker, rock climber, ice climber, and backcountry skier. Dr. Lisa has co-authored many articles and studies on high altitude physiology. She is the physician advisor for the local search and rescue group and High Mountain Institute, and she assists Outward Bound with backcountry medical advice.
Dr. Zwerdlinger has a lengthy list of awards and recognitions, including being the recipient of the Patients’ Choice award through the Vitals Patients Choice and Vitals Compassionate Doctor awards for the past few years, which recognizes top doctors and those that provide exemplary care. She’s been voted the Herald Democrat’s “Best Provider” on numerous occasions, and recently received the Superhero Award from the Colorado Hospital Association for going above and beyond during COVID, exhibiting traits like courage, a strong moral code, a fighting spirit and mental toughness.
What makes her leap out of bed every day? “The rooster crows and I’m awake, it’s how I’m wired. And I have two roosters,” she says with a laugh. “I’m a farmer and I own a cattle ranch. There’s always work to do.” (And yes, this country doctor has made a house call or two on a horse.)
Dr. Lisa and her husband Jeff are parents to two teens, Yakov and Layah, and the whole family shares her work ethic and love of the outdoors. “It’s a gift to be able to raise children on a ranch to be productive and good members of the planet,” she says. “We work side by side and it’s gratifying.”