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Dr. Johnson is a Professor in the Department of Medicine and Director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology and Director for the Emory Center for Health in Aging. He is also the Atlanta Site Director and Associate Director of the Birmingham/Atlanta VA Geriatrics Rehabilitation, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC) at the Atlanta Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Dr. Johnson received his MD from Northwestern University Medical School and his MPH from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health in Chapel Hill, NC. He holds additional appointments in Epidemiology (Rollins School of Public Health) and in Urology. He is board certified in internal medicine and geriatric medicine.
Dr. Johnson's research focuses on nocturia and other voiding problems in older adults. He is supported by several federal and VA peer-reviewed grants. Dr. Johnson sees patients needing specialty care for lower urinary tract disorders at the Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur, GA, and at the Wesley Woods Center of Emory University.
As a geriatrician, I am particularly concerned with understanding the functional capacity and quality-of-life experiences of persons as they age. My general research interest since internal medicine residency has been investigation of lower urinary tract dysfunction (urinary incontinence and other voiding symptoms) in older adults.
Over the last several years, I have focused on one particular lower urinary tract symptom, nocturia. Nocturia is defined as waking at night to void. Nocturia is highly prevalent among older adults and associated with risk of accidental falls and nursing home placement. Additionally, nocturia has been linked to reports of fatigue and depressive symptoms, increased days missed at work, and increased emergency room visits. Nocturia among older men predicts higher rates of future prostate surgery, which is concerning as surgery has shown to have less benefit for nocturia compared to other symptoms. Because of the multiplicity of possibly related causes for nocturia (sleep disruption, low bladder capacity, nighttime overproduction of urine), many investigators searching for a single treatment or looking for one specific cause of nocturia have failed and moved on to other topics.
My research focuses on three related questions: 1) how does nocturia affect people?; 2) what causes nocturia?; and 3) how well do treatments for nocturia work? Properly addressing nocturia requires knowledge of endocrinology, urology, nephrology, sleep disorders, aging, and epidemiology.
I attend on the inpatient medicine service at the Atlanta VA Medical Center twice per year. Having contact with trainees helps me provide information about aging and keeps me current on trends in general adult medicine. Additionally, working with learners allows you to think about that question that you never knew you had.
I arrived at Emory University and the Atlanta VA Medical Center in 1997 and have held a variety of administrative and leadership positions. I currently serve as Director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology within the Department of Medicine, Interim Director for the Center for Health in Aging for the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, and as Associate Director and Site Director for the Birmingham/Atlanta VA Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC).