The American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) presented the 2011 Physician of the Year Award to State Rep. Terry A. Johnson, DO, at a special ceremony, October 29, at Disney’s Epcot World ShowPlace in Orlando, Florida.

The award was given in recognition of Dr. Johnson’s dedication to patients, medicine, and the osteopathic profession. When presenting the honor, AOF President James M. Lally, DO, said Dr. Johnson exemplifies the best of what osteopathic medicine is all about. “A forceful advocate for his patients, a passionate public servant, and a committed educator, Dr. Johnson believes tough decisions often come down to one simple matter: What is truly best for the health and well-being of the patient,” Dr. Lally said. “This ‘service above self’ philosophy is one that Dr. Johnson has lived by in his many roles.”

This national award follows a string of other recognitions that Dr. Johnson has received. In 2010, his Ohio University medical students selected him as the “Outstanding Family Medicine Physician” at Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC). In 2011, he was selected as the state “Family Physician of the Year” by the Ohio State Society of the American College of Osteopathic Physicians. He was also selected in 2011 as the Columbus Osteopathic Association William I. Linder, DO, Advocate Award.

“I am humbled,” Johnson said. “I have never set out to receive awards. I only want to do what is best for those I serve. I am so grateful to all of those who support me, who make my success possible—especially my friends and family.”

Dr. Johnson is the first osteopathic physician (DO) to ever serve in the Ohio General Assembly and believed to be the first physician to be elected to a state office since the 1930s.

In addition to serving in the Ohio House of Representatives, Dr. Johnson practices family medicine in Lucasville and is the director of the Family Practice Residency program at SOMC and assistant dean at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, his alma mater.

He is a colonel in the Ohio Army National Guard, currently serving as state surgeon, and a former commander of the National Guard Medical Detachment. A veteran of the Global War on Terror, he has completed three tours of duty. Dr. Johnson was also Scioto County coroner and has led humanitarian medical missions to Panama and Ecuador.

Dr. Johnson represents the 89th House District, which includes Scioto County and parts of Lawrence and Adams counties.

The AOF Physician of the Year Award, established in 2009, honors the extraordinary accomplishments of an osteopathic physician, who through his or her service brings a sense of pride to the profession, and whose actions promote the science of medicine and the betterment of public health. It honors those who achieve greatness through integrity, commitment to service, and community involvement.

The AOF, established more than 60 years ago, is the philanthropic arm of the American Osteopathic Association and supports activities that improve people's health and enhance the osteopathic profession.

There are two complete schools of medicine in the United States. Osteopathic colleges award the DO degree, while allopathic colleges award the MD degree. Both DOs and MDs are fully licensed to practice medicine and surgery and both obtain licenses under the same procedure as administered by the Ohio State Medical Board. Osteopathic physicians utilize all scientifically accepted methods of diagnosis and treatment, including drugs and surgery, and have additional training in recognizing the relationship of body structure (the musculoskeletal system) to body function.


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