Women in Business: Sandy Johnson

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Sandy Johnson
Johnson Dermatology
Fort Smith
Residence: Fort Smith
Education: M.D., Northwest Ohio Medical University; B.S., Youngstown State University
Professional background: After residency at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Johnson served as assistant professor and director of dermatology clinical trials at UAMS (2000 to 2004). She was a physician with Affiliated Dermatology in Ohio before opening her current practice in 2006 in partnership with her husband.

You grew up in Ohio. What brought you to Arkansas? I moved to Little Rock after graduating medical school for my dermatology residency at UAMS. It was here that I met my husband, Brad Johnson, who is from Greenwood.

What prompted you to start your own practice? We followed my husband’s dream to open our practice in his hometown with eight [employees] including us in 2006. We have been very blessed to have grown to more than 50 people including five of the original eight. Now there are three dermatologists, one nurse practitioner, one physician’s assistant and one dermatopathologist.

How has dermatology changed since you started out? We know so much more about skin. We have so many more “toys/tools” in our armamentarium. Technology has improved so much. The biggest change would have to be with lasers. For example, we are now able to permanently dissolve fat with ultrasound, and we are able to stimulate collagen — permanently improve wrinkles — with minimal downtime.

What aspects of your work do you most enjoy? Everyone has skin. Our skin is our window to the world. I think I most love helping people learn to love their skin. Everyone is beautiful. I love helping them feel beautiful.

How does your personal emphasis on physical fitness and health play into your work? I feel so blessed. My world is best when I am able to work my mind, body and soul. Running marathons has taught me perseverance and determination. The toughest part of a marathon is getting to the starting line healthy and prepared.

What has been the biggest challenge of your career? I think there are two big challenges in medicine for me. One is striving to provide the highest level of care while there are increasing demands from the government and insurance companies. The other is that there are so many non-physicians who are attempting to practice medicine, such as aestheticians offering laser surgery, Botox Cosmetic and filler injections.

What is your proudest professional achievement? Recently, my daughter said that she hopes she can be as happy in her work as I am in mine.

What is the bottom-line motivator for you in your career? My parents taught me that “my life is a gift from God, and what I do with it is my gift to God.” That has motivated me to always try to use my God-given gifts to the best of my ability and never take anything for granted.

What are the attributes of a good leader? Lead by example and use words only when necessary.

Best career advice you’ve ever received? “There is no try, only doing and not doing.” — Yoda

What fellow women do you admire? Saint Mother Teresa, who lived a life of “let no one come to you without leaving happier,” and Maya Angelou, who [said] “people will forget what you said and did but will remember how you made them feel.” Less famous people who I try to emulate include my mom, Josephine Marchese, and my mother-in-law, Kay Johnson Headley.

What community activities are you involved with? I am most excited about serving on the Board of Visitors for the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. Our university has grown leaps and bounds in the past few years, all while keeping tuition and fees low. Education is the best way for our community to continue to grow and prosper. I am also involved with the chambers of commerce in Greenwood and Fort Smith. I am involved with the schools, parks and trails in Greenwood.

What was the last book you read? “The Obstacle is the Way,”by Ryan Holiday. It was recommended to me by my husband, and I loved it. Before that, I read and watched the movie “A Man Named Ove” with my daughter.