You may know Dr. Cameron Johnson as a board-certified ophthalmologist who specializes in cataract surgery, LASIK, and corneal transplants. What you may not know is that he’s also a history buff. In fact, he majored in history as an undergraduate and it wasn’t until late in his college career when he began to recognize medicine as his calling.
When asked what sparked his interest in medicine, he attributed the shift in his career path to a biology class he took as an undergraduate at Birmingham-Southern College, followed by a summer rotational program at a local hospital.
“I had to take a biology class as part of my requirements and it was a really cool class,” he said. “We read a lot of different books, like The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, which is about neurological problems and about working with patients. That was enough to get me interested in science again, and then after that it caused me to think of medicine.”
After taking that class, he was inspired to participate in a summer rotational program at a local hospital and through that experience, he quickly discovered that a career in medicine would be a good fit.
After graduating from college, Dr. Johnson started medical school at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee as one of four students to receive the prestigious full-tuition Canby Robinson Scholarship.
Initially, he thought he wanted to go into internal medicine. However, he changed his mind during clinical rotations.
When asked what drew him to ophthalmology, he said, “I really liked ophthalmology because you could usually see directly what the problem was and you had a way to fix a lot of the problems, whereas I felt like in some specialties it was difficult to fix anything or cure anything.”
After medical school, Dr. Johnson remained in Nashville to complete a residency in ophthalmology at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute. He then completed a fellowship in cornea, external disease, and refractive surgery at the University of Florida. After two years of private practice in Phoenix, Arizona, he returned to the University of Florida as Director of Refractive Surgery. He also spent time at the Veterans Affairs Hospital where he taught resident physicians cataract and corneal surgeries.
Throughout his career, Dr. Johnson has always enjoyed teaching.
“We had an optometry student earlier this year, and I really enjoyed working with him,” he said. “That’s probably the thing I miss most about academics, the one-on-one teaching.”
Dr. Johnson said his favorite part about being an ophthalmologist is performing cataract surgery. He enjoys performing the surgery itself, and then afterward, he likes seeing how happy his patients are. He said that when he calls to check up on them after surgery, many patients tell them how excited they are by the bright colors they are now able to see.
Outside of work, Dr. Johnson still pursues his passion for history. He loves watching historical documentaries and mini-series. He also loves spending time with his three kids and spending time outdoors. He especially enjoys hiking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and participating in the occasional cornhole tournament.
To learn more about the physicians at Milan Eye Center, please visit milaneyecenter.com or call 678-681-9834.