She went into medicine in part because she started life as a patient. Amy Johnson grew up near Columbus, Ohio, and was born with both a cleft lip and a cleft palate. She had her first surgery at three months old and 13 surgeries by the time she entered high school. Those early experiences taught her much about the importance of a doctor’s bedside manner.
After majoring in Spanish in college, she got interested in working with Latinos and spent a month treating migrant workers during her last year of med school at Ohio State. Johnson took a job with Pardee’s Mills River Family Health Center last summer and is reaching out to WNC’s Hispanic population. “It’s so nice to communicate directly with patients and not just through a translator,” she says.