Lighter completed his M.D. at St. Louis University and is board certified in pediatrics. He completed his MBA degree at The University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and presently serves as a Professor on the Physician Executive MBA faculty. Lighter also is on staff at The University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, and serves as Director of The Institute for Healthcare Quality Research and Education, as well as Associate Medical Director for Clinical Outcomes Programs for Shriners Hospitals for Children. He is involved with a number of community and civic activities and recently completed a book Principles and Methods of Quality Improvement in Health Care.