Gary B. Johnson MD, MPH, FACOEM
Dr. Johnson grew up in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, and did his undergraduate work at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. He attended medical school at the University of Minnesota. Following medical school he completed residency training in both internal medicine and occupational and preventive medicine. He completed board certification in both specialties. He also earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Johnson has been a clinical physician throughout his career. He spent many years providing a full array of occupational medicine services, including serving as a program medical director throughout much of that time. Dr. Johnson joined Physicians’ Diagnostics & Rehabilitation in 2017, which was acquired by iSpine Clinics in 2021.
“I find great satisfaction and fulfillment in helping individuals with spine and other musculoskeletal conditions regain function and parts of their life that have been missing or threatened because of their condition. I love working with an interdisciplinary team to create an environment focused on helping individuals achieve their goals. Every day I see people get better, and get back parts of their lives including work and the ability to participate fully in their home life. It’s really fun. It’s a great gift to be able to work as a physician within a clinic that gets results. I feel like my work has value. I look forward to continuing this work at iSpine Pain Physicians.”
Dr. Johnson has a very active life outside of paid employment. He is a founding board member of Rural Health Care Initiative (rhcimnsl.org), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to rebuild a healthcare system for pregnant women and children under 5 in a rural chiefdom of Sierra Leone, West Africa. He walked away from a busy medical practice to volunteer for a year in 2016/2017, living in a village setting. While there he oversaw the building of a birth waiting home which houses up to 24 pregnant women at a time. The women come from more remote villages, and this allows them to be close to skilled obstetrical care at the time of labor and delivery. He helped establish a farm on the grounds of the birth waiting home, as well as 3 additional cooperative farms. He practiced hospital-based pediatrics, and provided care out of his home. He helped establish permanent relationships with 2 more remote maternal and child health posts. This support continues to this day, along with motorbike clinics to 7 more remote villages. He continues to serve on the board of RHCI, and in particular has helped further programming surrounding malnutrition identification, treatment, and prevention, and has an enduring commitment to elevating the chiefdom’s capacity for food production. This is development work rather than simply providing aide, and it does address food security for subsistence farming families. Under 5 malnutrition rates run at about 25% in this region of Sierra Leone. It’s also one of the most lethal places in the world to birth a child.
Dr. Johnson also enjoys wilderness travel, and is a serious amateur photographer. He has 3 grown children, and 2 granddaughters.