When Dane Johnson, MD, joined the Division of Urologic Surgery in 2017, he brought an essential and substantive level of expertise in men’s health conditions to Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. As a men’s health expert, Dr. Johnson hopes to provide comfort and improve the quality of life for patients experiencing problems such as sexual dysfunction and infertility.
Dr. Johnson was raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he attended both undergraduate and medical school at the University of Minnesota. He completed urology training at the Medical College of Wisconsin and stayed for fellowship training in male infertility, andrology and sexual health.
Dr. Johnson was initially drawn to medicine because he wanted to not only help people, but also teach them about their own health and what they can do to help make decisions that better their lives. Being able to empower patients through teaching is what led him to the field of urology.
“Urology stood out to me because, as a practitioner, on one day you might have a patient with a kidney stone that requires an urgent surgery or procedure. But the very next clinic visit, you can empower this same patient to make a difference in their own quality of life; by investigating their specific risk factors and then teaching them the steps to take to avoid future kidney stones,” he says.
One topic he often discusses with patients is how to improve their chances of pregnancy. As an expert in male factor infertility, Dr. Johnson has helped many couples start or grow their families.
“Infertility is a unique field of urology because it allows providers to interact with relatively young, healthy people who have not expected to have any issues at this point in their life,” he explains. When complications with pregnancy conception arise, it can cause a lot of stress for these couples.
“Early in my surgical training, I had some family members who were going through their own infertility hardship, and this kind of drew my attention to the stress our patients can go through,” Dr. Johnson says. “I felt I could connect to people and help; whether it’s teaching them about the process of achieving pregnancies, or steps that they could try to improve their chances of pregnancy.”
In addition to the personal connection to people experiencing infertility, Dr. Johnson enjoys this subspecialty of urology because he has the opportunity to greatly improve the quality of life of his patients. Having a child is a significant milestone in a person’s life, and being a part of that journey is incredibly rewarding for him.
“There’s something unique about helping a couple achieve a pregnancy. When you help a couple get pregnant and you find out news that they recently had their baby, that is the ultimate happy feeling to get as a doctor.”
The Department of Surgery recruited Dr. Johnson specifically to fill this role as a men’s health, sexual dysfunction and infertility specialist. By being an institution that recruits nationally for specialists in this field, it allows him to bring this unique skill set to the St. Louis metropolitan area, where he can provide world class care for patients.
As a faculty member in the Division of Urologic Surgery, Dr. Johnson is surrounded by other physicians who are also experts in their own subspecialties. He enjoys collaborating with them and discussing how they would approach certain cases. From cancer surgeons to reconstructive specialists, the division achieves excellence in patient care, research and education.
“You’re not going to be around that level of expertise anywhere else,” he states.
Dr. Johnson takes pride in being able to provide comprehensive care for patients experiencing men’s health issues. As both a urologic surgeon and men’s health specialist, Dr. Johnson can not only perform surgeries but also advise patients about possible outcomes. For example, if somebody is seeing Dr. Johnson for a vasectomy, the patients can be reassured that they’re going to be counseled on all aspects of the procedure.
Sexual health can be uncomfortable for people to discuss with their health care provider. Patients might be hesitant about getting the care they need. For this reason, Washington University Physicians has made scheduling vasectomy appointments even easier and more convenient. Patients can now schedule an office visit to discuss the possibility of a vasectomy or schedule the procedure itself online.
“With online vasectomy scheduling, there is one less hurdle to patients getting the care they need,” says Dr Johnson. “This new web-based approach to scheduling vasectomies really highlights the importance that Washington University places on access for patients.”
To schedule an office visit with Dr. Johnson to discuss the possibility of a vasectomy or to schedule the procedure, visit this webpage.