Laura S. Johnson, MD, FACS, is board certified in both general surgery and surgical critical care and is a member of the surgical team at The Burn Center at Medstar Washington Hospital Center. In addition, she is an attending surgeon in the Burns/Trauma Section of Surgery and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Georgetown University School of Medicine.
Dr. Johnson specializes in burn injury, thermal injury to the skin (inflicted from both heat and cold), chemical damage to the skin, as well as other skin disorders that result in skin loss, such as toxic epidermal necrolysis and Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Her clinical and research interests include burn shock and resuscitation, burn critical care, and ethics in burn treatment.
Dr. Johnson received her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Southern California. She completed her residency training at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and then did her fellowship training at Grady Memorial Hospital, part of the Emory University Department of Surgery, before returning to MWHC.
The multidisciplinary nature of burn care, as well as the broad skill set required to help critically ill patients, is what attracted Dr. Johnson to the field, and the philosophy of the Burn Center matches hers. As the only burn center in the region, MedStar Washington Hospital Center invests in a multidisciplinary approach. The Burn Center and the Center for Wound Healing at MedStar Washington Hospital Center is equipped to handle all facets of burn recuperation including local wound care, acute operative intervention, long-term reconstructive operations for scarring, and advanced critical care management including continuous dialysis and cardiac support.
Additionally, the Burn Center is committed to advancing education and science in burn management. Dr. Johnson is National Faculty for Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS) and a member of the national committee that advises the ABA on the course. She routinely lectures on topics of burn care and education, and is the course director for the many health professional electives the Burn Center sponsors. Dr. Johnson also participates in the research activities of the Firefighters’ Burn and Surgical Research Laboratory, whose goal is to improve the care of burn patients worldwide.
Philosophy of Care
“My team and I offer a cutting edge approach to whole-patient wellness. It takes a team to get patients through burn injuries. Every person matters, including the patient and the patient's family. My goal is to get patients back to their lives and not allow the injury to define any part of their self-identity.
“I approach each patient in a forthright manner, in order to relay information in a very understandable way. My goal is to build trust and confidence between my patients and myself through honest conversations.
“No burn is too small. At the Burn Center and the Center for Wound Healing at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, we’re always available for referrals and more than happy to arrange for transfers or outpatient follow up as necessary.”