Pain Management

Benjamin W. Johnson Jr., M.D.

Benjamin W. Johnson, Jr., M.D., MBA, is a former Associate Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and former Director of the Vanderbilt Pain Control Center. Dr. Johnson earned his undergraduate B.S. degree in 1973 at Wheaton College in Illinois and graduated from medical school at University of Illinois in 1980. He launched his medical career with pursuit of further specializations through various internships, residencies and fellowships in general surgery, anesthesiology, regional anesthesiology/pain management and thoracic anesthesiology.

Dr. Johnson came to Vanderbilt in 1991, following four years as Director of the Anesthesiology Pain Clinic at University of Louisville, Kentucky. He was appointed as Director of the Vanderbilt Pain Control Center in 1997 after serving as Assistant Medical Director for six years. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) and also the American Board of Pain Medicine, with a certificate of added qualifications in Pain Management from the ABA.

In 1996, Dr. Johnson was awarded his Executive MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management; and also became re-certified as an Independent Medical Examiner through the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners in 2017. He brings over 25 years of medical practice to his duties as the former head of the chronic pain center at Vanderbilt and a high level of commitment to education excellence. He was accepted as a Harvard Medical School Josiah Macy scholar in the 1998 Physician Educators Program at Harvard Macy Institute, which was designed to explore how curriculum and teaching methodology can be developed to greatly improve physician education into the 21st century.

Dr. Johnson is the current secretary of the Tennessee chapter of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians; and has been active in various professional organizations ranging from local to international, having served on the boards of the Tennessee Pain Society, and the Southern Pain Society, which is a regional arm of the American Pain Society. He also holds memberships in the American Society of Anesthesiology, Tennessee Society of Anesthesiologists, and American Medical Association. In addition to his clinical and teaching responsibilities, he has published over 50 papers, abstracts and several book chapters as well as presenting well over 60 lectures both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Johnson has served as a manuscript reviewer for the Clinical Journal of Pain, the Current Review of Pain, the Journal of Spinal Disorders; and has served as one of the Executive Editors of the Pain Practice, the Official Journal of World Institute of Pain.

In his spare time, Dr. Johnson has served on several missions of mercy for the Operation Smile International organization in third world countries. His special interests include chronic pain management, regional anesthesia, anesthesiology in third world countries, interventional techniques in pain management, and advances in stem therapy. He completed a Stem Cell Fellowship sponsored by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine in 2018.