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LISTEN: For Mark Johnson, neurological surgery is never ‘routine, mundane and inconsequential’

By Sarah Willey

UMass Medical School Communications

September 22, 2020

Mark Johnson, MD/PhD, grew up in Memphis, Tenn., with visions of becoming a race car driver. His road to medicine took several incremental steps as he explains in a new Voices of UMassMed podcast.

“When I was a kid, I dreamed of doing something really significant,” said Dr. Johnson, the Maroun Semaan Chair in Neurosurgery, and chair and professor of neurological surgery. “I always wanted to have an impact on the world. I actually wanted to be president of the United States.”

Johnson discussed how his passion for research was ignited in college while taking biology, chemistry and physics, and why he ended up focusing on neurosurgery.

“I often say to people I’m a scientist in a neurosurgeon’s body,” he said. “There are very few things that we do that are routine, mundane and inconsequential.”

He also explained the new residency training program he started two years after joining UMMS in 2016, and what he’s looking for in the next generation of neurosurgical leaders.

To listen, visit: umassmed.edu/news/voices. To be notified when a new episode of the podcast is available, subscribe on SoundCloud or iTunes.