Member of the Month: Gregory Johnson, M.D.
Hospitalist raised attending TAFP meetings with father
A veteran in the hospitalist world, Houstonian Gregory Johnson, M.D., is board certified in both family and internal medicine. He is currently the chief medical officer for the central and southeast regions of Sound Physicians, a hospitalist organization founded and led by physicians.
Johnson’s father, Glen Johnson, M.D., is a former TAFP president, AAFP vice president, and TAFP’s 2009 Physician Emeritus. Johnson says that his father began taking him to TAFP meetings over 20 years ago and is a big inspiration in his own medical career.
Why did you choose family medicine, and what’s your favorite aspect of it? Were you inspired by anyone?
I chose family medicine because it allows me to see a wide variety of patients. As a hospitalist, my family medicine background increased my comfort in evaluating obstetric patients with medical complications and, at least early in my career, in seeing hospitalized children. I was most clearly inspired by my father, Glen Johnson, M.D. He was and remains the professional and personal standard for me.
What is the most interesting/memorable experience you have had when dealing with a patient?
I’m not sure there is a single moment that I would label most interesting. I think most recently I remember sitting at a patient’s bedside and his being thankful that someone was there in the hospital to address his immediate medical concern. He appreciated that my group and I listened to him, reassured him, and kept him informed.
What advice would you offer to medical students discerning their specialty?
I would recommend that you don’t enter your clerkships prejudiced for or against any particular specialty and make sure to immerse yourself in the work. That's when you find out whether that specialty is for you.
What has your experience as a TAFP member been like?
I’ve grown up in TAFP since my dad brought me to meetings well over two decades ago. It’s been wonderful watching the organization morph over the years without losing its commitment to its membership and our patients.
What is the most important quality a family physician should have?
Passion for the work and compassion for our patients. That’s two qualities but I can’t imagine leaving either out!
What is something the “real world” has taught you about being a family physician that medical school didn’t teach you?
There are harsh financial realities out there but if acknowledged and approached properly, they are surmountable.
If you could time travel, where/to when would you go?
I’d go back to Trinidad and make sure I had the opportunity to meet and speak with my grandfathers when they were in their respective primes.
If you weren’t a doctor what would you be doing with your career?
I can’t imagine doing anything else!
TAFP’s Member of the Month program highlights Texas family physicians in TAFP News Now and on the TAFP website. We feature a biography and a Q&A with a different TAFP member each month and his or her unique approach to family medicine. If you know an outstanding family physician colleague who you think should be featured as a Member of the Month or if you’d like to tell your own story, nominate yourself or your colleague by contacting TAFP by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (512) 329-8666. View past Members of the Month here.