Dr. James Johnston is a tuberculosis specialist and Head of Respiratory Medicine at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). He has a MPH from Harvard School of Public Health and a Grzybowski Fellowship in TB Research. We asked him to share a little about himself and the decisions involved in his career path.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in London, Ontario but lived across Canada throughout my adult life.

Why did you become a doctor?

While at University, I became increasingly aware of the impact and spread of disease, particularly in marginalized groups. I pursued medical training so I could work on the front line to prevent and treat disease.

Why are you so passionate about TB and its treatment?

TB is both a preventable and curable disease, yet it’s the world’s leading infectious disease killer. It’s easy to be passionate about eliminating this disease.

Who or what inspires you?

There’s a community of TB advocates, survivors, front line health care workers and researchers that are all passionate about TB elimination. We are a small but mighty bunch and it’s impossible not be inspired by them!   

Tell us one thing that we might be surprised to learn.

I once conspired to smuggle a kitten out of Cuba, and failed.

How do you like to spend your down time?

Playing all kinds of sports at a very low skill level and dealing with the inevitable injuries.

Learn more about the work of dedicated physicians like Dr. Johnston who help bring the best in heart and lung health to BC.