Dr. Steven Johnson was born into a medical family, the third of four boys. His father was an Orthopedic Surgeon and his mother a nurse. When he was 6 months old, the family moved overseas to Zaire, Africa (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) where his father served as one of only a few orthopedists in the capital city of Kinshasa. After this amazing 10-year stay, they moved back to the United State to Johnson City, Tennessee.
From a very young age Dr. Johnson was fascinated by his father’s job and felt a strong desire to follow in his footsteps. This desire continued from high school until he attended college at North Park College in Chicago, where his father had also attended. While pursuing his goal to enter medical school and a degree in Chemistry, Dr. Johnson was fortunate to have the opportunity to play collegiate soccer for North Park while also pursuing music and other interests. After graduating, Dr. Johnson chose to defer medical school entrance to work with children in a church program outside of Seattle, Washington.
In 1990, Dr. Johnson began medical school at the University of Tennessee, intending to pursue a surgical specialty. However, he soon became drawn to Primary Care and Family Medicine after several significant experiences during training thanks to the influence of several key mentors. He learned the importance of caring for the whole patient, and enjoyed the relationships he built with patients, experiencing the power of the doctor-patient relationship. During this time, Dr. Johnson was able to work alongside faculty and students in several capacities, including his role as Class President and student faculty positions.
It was during these years of medical school that Dr. Johnson eventually met his wife, Trudy, who was pursuing her physical therapy degree. The couple married upon graduating and subsequently moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, where Dr. Johnson continued his training at the University of Virginia (UVA). The UVA Family Medicine Residency Program gave him exposure to incredible mentors and educators that further deepened his love for medicine and patient care. In particular Dr. Lewis Barnett, Chairman of Family Medicine, demonstrated all of the wonderful possibilities of what a physician can do as they care for patients. Dr. Johnson was honored to serve as Chief Resident in his final year before completing training and moving back to Tennessee.
In 1997, the Johnsons moved to Nashville and Dr. Johnson joined Family Practice Associates of Southern Hills, a large and growing group of like-minded providers. He served this community doing inpatient and outpatient medicine, taking care of newborns to seniors and everything in between. As the group grew, they expanded in the community, and in 2011 the Brentwood East Family Medicine location opened. Dr. Johnson had the privilege of working with numerous dedicated and committed healthcare providers and many amazing patients and individuals.
Dr. Johnson served in several capacities over the years including Medical Director at the Brentwood office, a member of the Tristar Southern Hills Executive Board and the Tennessee Medical Association Education Committee. He has enjoyed teaching and mentoring younger physicians through Meharry Medical College, UT, and others institutions. Dr. Johnson is board certified in Family Medicine and a member of the AMA, TAFP, TMF and AAFP.
Over the years, much has changed in medicine. While identification and treatment of disease has advanced, there are mounting barriers to forming healthy doctor-patient relationships and addressing what it means to be well and become healthier. Dr. Johnson has felt an increasing desire to make changes in medicine that would allow him to return to what is most important to him. He’s very excited to be able to pursue his dream at Engage Health using a concierge/membership-style practice model.
Outside of work Dr. Johnson enjoys spending time with his family. Trudy and their children are the most important relationships in his life. They are a close knit family, and feel blessed for all that they have. They also have many incredible friends and enjoy their church and all of the opportunities it provides. They love enjoying the Tennessee outdoors and like to hike, mountain bike, and enjoy nature. They also love that Middle Tennessee is packed with both city and country experiences, such as sports, music, and entertainment.
Dr. Johnson truly loves what he gets to do each day. As a personal physician, caring for people is what he loves. Helping them understand about health and wellness is rewarding. He loves to see his patients understand the connection between their physical and emotional health as well as the impact that lifestyle choices have on overall thriving. Dr. Johnson believes primary care should be about equipping and engaging people in the pursuit of health and full living, not just about identifying and treating illnesses. Dr. Johnson is excited to pursue this endeavor as the founder of Engage Health.