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Susan Johnson, DVM, MS

For her distinguished record of innovative teaching and professional mentorship in the classroom, in association with patient care, and to residents and graduate students, and for her engaged academic leadership, we are pleased to recognize Dr. Susan Johnson as a 2016 Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Susan Johnson completed an internal medicine residency and received her MS (1982) from The Ohio State University. She then joined the faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine and served 33 years, rising through the ranks from assistant, to associate, to professor, and then after retirement has continued to serve as Professor Emeritus.

Susan is respected as one of the college’s most progressive and innovative teachers contributing in both the preclinical and clinical professional curriculum. Her remarkable contributions include leadership of 10 separate courses in the curriculum, 5 of which she initially conceived and developed. As a teacher, Susan is known for her organization and attention to detail, the clarity of her notes and lectures, and her engaging style. She always prioritizes student learning in her courses.

Her influence on veterinary education is also seen in her teaching creativity. Susan has developed and implemented web-based clinical cases that include interpretation of imaging and laboratory diagnostic tests for teaching case problem solving. She also received the Dean’s Award for Creativity in Teaching for a system she developed called LAPDOG which refers to a six-step process that helps students bridge the gap between a traditional problem list and a final diagnosis. 

Susan has a deep commitment to post-DVM training. Her professionalism, dedication, and mentorship provide an unparalleled role model for the 42 internal medicine residents she helped to train over her career at Ohio State.

Throughout her career, Susan has been universally regarded as a premier clinical expert in internal medicine with specific focus in the areas of canine and feline liver diseases and gastroenterology. She has published 48 journal articles and 40 book chapters. She is one of the earliest advocates in the veterinary profession for minimally-invasive diagnostic procedures such as endoscopy and abdominal laparoscopy, and an acknowledged expert gastrointestinal endoscopist with experience and wisdom prized among trainees and peers alike.

In her career at The Ohio State University, Susan has been one of the most active academic leaders in the College of Veterinary Medicine, serving on over 50 departmental and nearly 30 college committees. Most recently, her commitment helped lead the effort to restructure and modernize the college’s veterinary curriculum – the most substantial change in the professional curriculum since the introduction of organ systems teaching.