Satcher earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1986 and a Doctorate degree in Chemical Engineering in 1993 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He went on to earn a Doctorate of Medicine degree from Harvard Medical School in 1994.
From 1994 to 2000, he did his internship, residency, and postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of California and an orthopedic oncology fellowship at the University of Florida from 2000 to 2001. In 2004, Satcher was selected for the NASA program and he completed his training in 2006.
In November, 2009, Satcher became the first orthopedic surgeon in space, logging over 259 hours.