We are honored to have surgeon Karen Hanna, MD as part of the Tri-City community. We sat down with Dr. Hanna and asked a few questions to see why she became a doctor and what the community means to her.

Q. What inspired you to become a physician?

I first set my sights on becoming a physician in 8th grade when a teacher/mentor suggested it. I was fascinated by the intellectual challenge of the idea. Later in high school I was a hospital volunteer and found providing comfort and care to people who were ill and in need was immensely rewarding. Being of service to individuals and to my country is important to me and resulted in my becoming both a physician and serving in the military.

Q. What’s your favorite part about living in our community?

I moved from South County to North County after retiring from the military 2 years ago. I love North County. It is so much more unique, eclectic, with great individually owned restaurants, etc. I find the people warmer, more down to earth, real. And you can live in a rural environment and still be conveniently located to the highway and city.

Q. What is the focus of your practice? Do you specialize in a certain aspect or take a special interest in a service line?

Yes, while a general surgeon I take care of hernias, gallbladders, reflux disease and all the basics but my specialization is in weight loss and bariatric surgery. Helping people lose weight, become healthier and live longer is very rewarding.

Q. Why did you choose to be affiliated with a community hospital like Tri-City Medical Center?

There is a gap in services in this area for bariatric surgery, prior to my coming here people had to drive 40 minutes or more to get this very necessary care. I also like that Tri-City Medical Center is truly a community hospital servicing the needs of this community closer to home and is independent from the larger organizations.

Q. What would you say to encourage patients across our community to do to improve their health?

Keep in mind that obesity is a disease, not a character flaw. Empower yourself to seek the care you need without fear of failure.

Q. What would people be surprised to know about you? Hidden hobby/talent?

I love to cook, not necessarily a good thing for a weight loss specialist! But because my life has been an ongoing battle between my love of food and my weight I am very empathetic about the challenges people trying to lose weight face.