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Douglas Johnston, MD


Douglas Johnston, MD
Department: Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Location: Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code J4-1
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
Type of Doctor:
Adults Only

Biographical Sketch

Douglas Johnston, MD, is a staff cardiac surgeon in the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic. He is board certified by the American Board of Surgery

Specialty interests: Minimally invasive aortic valve surgery, management of patients with bicuspid aortic valve disease, reoperative valve surgery, aortic root surgery, aortic aneurysm surgery, hybrid aortic operations, radiation-induced heart disease, constrictive pericarditis, long-term outcomes after bioprosthetic valve replacement

Number of Procedures Performed: Cleveland Clinic surgeons perform more than 4,000 heart surgeries each year. Of these, Dr. Johnston performs approximately 350 surgeries per year and 20-25 lung transplants per year. Since joining Cleveland Clinic in 2008, he has performed 1,021 valve replacement and repairs and approximately 25 lung transplants.

Success rates: Among top U.S. hospitals for cardiac surgery, Cleveland Clinic’s volume is the highest with the best quality outcomes. You can view success rates for specific procedures at

Education and Training: A native of Connecticut, Dr. Johnston attended Dartmouth College. He was a Presidential Scholar and earned his degree in Anthropology and Classical studies with Honor and Distinction. While studying, he researched tuberculosis in the field at refugee communities in India. Dr. Johnston completed his medical education at Harvard Medical School, where he was a Harvard National Scholar.

Dr. Johnston completed his clinical training as an intern and resident in general surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was awarded the Edward D. Churchill Fellowship, the American College of Surgeons Resident Research Scholarship, and an NIH National Research Service Award for his research in the immunology of heart and lung transplantation. 

Dr. Johnston completed his training in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at Cleveland Clinic, including a focused fellowship in endovascular surgery and additional training in advanced 3-dimensional imaging techniques. He joined the cardiac surgery staff in 2008.

Publications and Speaking: Dr. Johnston has written numerous articles and abstracts published in leading scientific journals. His research interests include minimally invasive aortic valve surgery and interventions, complex valve disease (including radiation heart disease and aortic disease), and transcatheter interventions for valvular heart disease. He is a member of the American College of Surgeons, the International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation, the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery, and the Society of Cardiac Computed Tomography.

About Dr. Johnston: “What I love about heart surgery is that every day we have the ability to make a major difference in people’s lives. Every patient has different needs and wants, and having heart surgery means very different things. For one patient, the goal may be living longer to be around for their grandchildren. For another, it might be feeling healthy enough to get on their mountain bike again. We need to understand what our patients’ needs are and be able to give them the safest, best operation that gets them back to the life THEY want to lead. That’s what keeps me coming to work every morning.”

Leisure time activities: Dr. Johnston is an avid outdoorsman. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and sailing with his family.

Education & Fellowships

Residency - Cleveland Clinic
Cardiothoracic Surgery
Cleveland, OH USA
Residency - Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA USA
Fellowship - Massachusetts General Hospital
Cardiac Transplantation
Boston, MA USA
Internship - Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA USA
Medical School - Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA USA


  • Thoracic & Cardiac Surgery
  • Surgery

Specialty Interests

cardiac surgery, surgery of the aortic valve and root, mitral and aortic valve repair, coronary artery surgery, reoperative cardiac surgery, endovascular cardiac interventions

Awards & Honors

  • 2013, Innovator Award, Cleveland Clinic
  • 2010, 2013 Teacher of the Year Award, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Cleveland Clinic
  • 2011, Early Career Innovation Award
  • 2010, Innovator Award, Cleveland Clinic
  • 2009, J. Maxwell Chamberlain Award, Society of Thoracic Surgeons

Innovations & Patents

  • Innovations & Patents: iVHR, inc: Interactive Visual Health Record - Founder and Chief Medical Officer
  • Intellectual Property: Heart BRACE – Co-inventor, US D552.108 S, Patent, 2006


  • American College of Surgeons
  • International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation
  • Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons

Treatment & Services

Specialty in Diseases and Conditions

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 4/9/2016, Dr. Johnston has reported the financial relationships with the companies listed below. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Consulting and/or Speaking. Dr. Johnston receives fees of $5,000 or more per year as a paid consultant, speaker or member of an advisory committee for the following companies:

  • KEF Healthcare
  • St. Jude Medical, Inc.

Royalty Payments. Dr. Johnston receives or has the right to receive royalty payments for inventions or discoveries commercialized through the companies shown below:

  • iVHR
  • Jace Medical, LLC

Fiduciary Role. Dr. Johnston serves in a fiduciary capacity, such as an elected officer, director or chief medical officer, for the following companies or other entities:

  • iVHR

Right to Future Distribution of Cleveland Clinic Financial Interest. Dr. Johnston may receive future financial benefits from the Cleveland Clinic for inventions or discoveries commercialized through the companies shown below:

  • iVHR
  • Jace Medical, LLC

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers’ discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Languages Spoken

  • English

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