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Gerald (Jerry) F. Johnson, DVM

Dr. Johnson is widely recognized as the “Father of Veterinary Endoscopy.” He was the first residency‐trained graduate of Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine to become a board-certified diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). He went on to become the first veterinarian in the United States to use flexible endoscopy in dogs and cats, and this pioneering work led to the very first published articles on endoscopy in the veterinary literature.

Dr. Johnson completed his BS (1965) and DVM (1968) at The Ohio State University. Following graduation, he entered an internship (1968‐69) and internal medicine residency (1969‐71) at the Animal Medical Center (AMC) in New York City – one of only a handful of institutions in North America offering formal residency training programs for veterinarians at the time. After his residency, Dr. Johnson joined the staff of the AMC and became Chief of the Gastroenterology Medicine Service. Later in his career he established a private internal medicine specialty practice in New York City.

Dr. Johnson embraced “One Health,” long before anyone called it that, through dual appointments and collaborative research studies with physicians, that culminated in numerous ground‐breaking publications in various respected medical journals as well as the veterinary literature. He systematically developed his skills in gastroenterology by collaborating with physician gastroenterologists, became a Fellow in Gastroenterology at the Manhattan VA Hospital, and had a split appointment with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine as a Principal Associate for several years. Dr. Johnson became the first veterinarian in the United States to perform flexible GI endoscopy in dog and cat patients. His pioneering accomplishments include:

  • First published descriptions of flexible endoscopy in veterinary medicine,
  • First documented endoscopic removal of a gastric foreign body from a dog,
  • First reported case of canine gastrinoma (Zollinger‐Ellison Syndrome),
  • The first veterinarian in the United States to use laparoscopy as a diagnostic tool for evaluating canine liver disease, and
  • Collaborated in the discovery and characterization of the first inherited copper-associated canine liver disease in Bedlington terriers in a series of 5 published articles (1976-81).

Along the way, Dr. Johnson developed many of the techniques still used today, contributed many journal articles and book chapters to the early body of literature in internal medicine and gastroenterology, and was instrumental in training many of the first generation of ACVIM internal medicine residents. Dr. Johnson is a past recipient of the Animal Medical Center Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Veterinary Endoscopy Society Pioneer Award.

 

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