20 Under 40: Patrick Johnston | SteamboatToday.com

20 Under 40: Patrick Johnston

Patrick Johnston (Photo by John F. Russell)

Patients of busy orthopedic surgeon Dr. Patrick Johnston say he possesses incredible skills but more importantly, a kind heart. The energetic surgeon, 37, is the type of doctor who comes into the office for two days during his week off to check on his patients. When he is out of town, he takes calls from patients.

“I love what I do. I like working with patients and teaching them,” Johnston said. “I like knowing I can make someone’s life better using my knowledge and experience. I care so much about every patient who walks through the door.”

By all accounts, Johnston is a caring individual devoted to his patients who is just as proud of his patients’ nonsurgical successes as the positive outcomes from the many, meticulous hand and elbow surgeries he performs. The doctor said his main goal is to be a good educator so patients know what to expect, make good decisions and experience less stress.

Johnston’s packed schedule requires the energy of a man with the endurance of a triathlete, which he was for many years. He trained on the junior elite level for triathlon, which led to the accomplishment of visiting all 50 states in the U.S. by age 30. He still spends time on his road, gravel and mountain bikes.

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Aside from working at the main Steamboat Springs office of Steamboat Orthopaedic & Spine Institute, Johnston also see patients every other week and performs procedures in Craig.

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He also spends two or three days per month independently working for the Colorado-based Rural Partners in Medicine program where he performs surgeries in two smaller hospitals in Nebraska that do not have hand surgeons. Rural Partners in Medicine is an outreach program that brings high-level surgical care to rural communities in 10 states in the Midwest. Johnston recently returned from a trip to Alliance, Nebraska, through the program, where he performed 13 surgeries on 11 patients.

The doctor gives kudos to the medical team at Steamboat Orthopaedic & Spine Institute that assists the hand and elbow patients, including the team’s medical scribe, surgery scheduler, nurse, physician assistant and certified hand occupational therapist.

“I value my team so much. There are a lot of patients that need care for their hands in this region, especially with all the sports and hard work people do here,” Johnston said.

Maddie Labor, who works as a medical scribe, nominated Johnston for this year’s 20 Under 40 recognition. Labor calls the doctor a compassionate and humorous educator who is “genuine and never fabricated.” She appreciates his ability to help keep patients calm through humor and his cooperative decision-making style.

Labor noted that Steamboat Orthopaedic & Spine Institute, where Johnston is one of five physician owners, is a significant contributor to multiple community organizations. Johnston also is passionate about the Yampa Valley Autism Program that serves people in the community including his 15-year-old stepson. Johnston and his wife, Ginger, have three children.

The board-certified and fellowship-trained surgeon works with medical prep students from Steamboat Springs High School where students intern at medical facilities to see if a career in medicine is right for them. Such a class provided Johnston’s early exposure to medicine. Johnston said he was drawn to hand surgery because it incorporates aspects of orthopedic, vascular, plastic and neuro surgeries.

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