Dr. Donald Johnston

Learn why Dr. Johnston became a doctor, why he decided to practice in the Metro East, and what he likes most about orthopedics.


Meet Dr. Donald Johnston of Orthopedics.

Why did you decide to become a doctor?

I think it was during biology class in high school. I really had an interest for it, and my mom thought that would be something I would do well at. After going through medical school and becoming a doctor, I can't imagine doing anything else. 

Why did you choose to practice in the Metro East? 

I grew up in Wichita, Kansas, and went to school in Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Ironically enough, about 50 percent of people in the school were from the St. Louis area. I played basketball in college, so we had times when I came to St. Louis. It's always been an area where I saw myself being long term. My granddad was always a Cardinals fan, even before the Kansas City teams, they had the Cardinals. So he became a Cardinals fan, and obviously he's a huge Cardinals fan now. 

Why did you decide to specialize in orthopedics?

I was always interested in athletics and very athletic. I played multiple sports in high school growing up, and that was just a natural lead-in to be able to take the musculoskeletal system and how to assist people that have injuries get back to health. And going through my career, I also recognize athletes as we age. To keep people active and maintain active lifestyles, orthopedics really is good for overall health and function.

What do you enjoy most about being a doctor?

I really like taking care of people and patient interactions. And really it's fun when you see somebody that comes in hurting and in pain and after injections or medications, they come back later saying, "You know what, I'm very happy and getting better." For the ones that after a while are like, "I need to do something different. I need to have surgery," and then they come back one month, two months later, and they're starting to say, "Wow, this is feeling good, and I'm glad I had the surgery," and that's very rewarding.

What do you like to do outside of the office? 

I like to play golf. I don't play as much as I like to, and unfortunately, I wish I was more like the stereotype, but I have children. One's a junior in college at Illinois, and one's a junior in high school. I like working on the yard and seeing things grow.