Dr. Keith Johnson covers the business and service side of medicine, its impact on medical professionals, and how it influences the quality of care. Dive behind the scenes with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Keith and the revolutionary way his P.O.W.E.R program is changing patients' lives!

The Revolutionary Way An Orthopedic Surgeon Is Changing Lives

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Dr. Keith Johnson covers the business and service side of medicine, its impact on medical professionals, and how it influences the quality of care. Dive behind the scenes with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Keith and the revolutionary way his P.O.W.E.R program is changing patients’ lives!

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  • Behind the scenes of the meidcal profession
  • The number one issue with the American healthcare system
  • What you need to do for your healthcare providers today
  • How medicine and ministry are related
  • Why some doctors stop working after finishing medical school
  • Problems that medical practitioners face in various aspects of society
  • What is the “P.O.W.E.R Plan” all about?


Dr. Keith Johnson covers the business and service side of medicine, its impact on medical professionals, and how it influences the quality of care. Dive behind the scenes with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Keith and the revolutionary way his P.O.W.E.R program is changing patients' lives!


Dr. Keith R. Johnson is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon whose practice includes both adult and pediatric orthopedic surgery. He specializes in total joint replacements and sports medicine. He has a special interest and extensive training and experience in advanced, cutting-edge medical technologies such as hip arthroscopy, an evolving area of orthopedics designed to treat hip problems before they become arthritis. In addition, Dr. Johnson is highly skilled in MAKOplasty®, a robot-assisted technique for performing minimally invasive hip and/or partial knee replacements for the treatment of arthritis. He is trained in performing the direct anterior approach to hip replacements. This revolutionary technique allows for less pain, less time in the hospital, and a faster time to walk normally.

Dr. Keith Johnson covers the business and service side of medicine, its impact on medical professionals, and how it influences the quality of care. Dive behind the scenes with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Keith and the revolutionary way his P.O.W.E.R program is changing patients' lives!


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My patients cannot exercise because they have severe arthritis, bone disease, joint disease, people focus sometimes too much on what you shouldn’t eat. What I can’t do. I try to tailor what I do to, what do you like to do? Are you a golfer? Are you a swimmer? Let’s figure out how to keep you doing those things.
Welcome to the imperfectly empowered podcast with DIY healthy lifestyle blogger on a former empower you to transform your life. One imperfect day at a time. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the imperfectly empowered podcast. I am your host, Anna Fuller. Today. I am so excited to introduce you to Dr.
Keith Johnson. He is a world renowned orthopedic surgeon and creator of the power plan. It is a physician optimized, wellness, energy and recovery system that has. Hundreds of patients lose weight rapidly and safely without vigorous exercise, passionate about helping people to mend the fracture between body and mind while restoring form function.
Welcome Dr. Keith, we’re rolling right in. Okay. This is Dr. Keith. We’ve been chatting. Back stories. He is married to a pediatrician. They have four children at home. You are a brilliant orthopedic surgeon, rockstar, dad, husband, fill in the blank. Anything else you wanna add to that? Overall Superman? Yeah, you need to be my manager or my, my public.
I, I like how you’re starting off and he has an amazing style. He looks fabulous as well. We’ll just keep going with that. I love when people come on, I love hearing. Back stories. We had connected over a conference that we were both at and a lot in common, a lot of similar passions, and also similar in that our base is in medicine, a more traditional brick and mortar medical.
History. You’re still practicing, but you saw a need in medicine and are filling it. So I’m really excited to dive into that, but until then let’s press rewind and tell me how you even ended up where you’re at right now. Give me a little backstory. Yeah. So as you stated, I’m an orthopedic surgeon and in many ways, I’m just beginning the journey that you were brave enough and brilliant enough to embark upon however many years ago, to expand your audience and to do more than just medicine.
But I’m from El Paso, Texas. And I grew up with pretty severe asthma. So if you can picture El Paso, Texas, the wild wild west. Where it’s probably 1% African American here. , which probably means there’s more tub. In El Paso in El Paso, Texas. Yes. Yeah. Okay. So I grew up with severe asthma. I was that skinny kind of nerdy kid, uh, with an inhaler in his hand and basically was always in the emergency rooms.
And that’s kind of how I got interested in medicine is really just being a, a patient and having good stories, bad stories. And so. I think fairly early on, I decided I was going to be a doctor just to try. Well, at first I thought I was going to be a pediatrician who was gonna specialize in asthma. But as I got further and further along, I realized that surgery was just sort of more up in my wheelhouse and I was a, despite being a skinny nerdy kid I was also a really good athlete.
So orthopedics and sports medicine. Go hand in hand mm-hmm . And so I was attracted to treating sports injuries. In addition to other things, arthritis, joint replacements, all of the things that orthopedic surgeons did, what sports did you do? So I was a soccer athlete early, and then basketball was sort of my main sport that I played.
While what position did you play? I played point guard. I played point guard. I, you know, I had my glory days I played with a, uh, I played with a professional athlete, his name’s mark Lana. He ended up playing baseball for about 20 years. Okay. With the Dodgers and the Cubs. Yeah. But we were really good athlete friends at that time.
And how often do you show up your kids on the basketball court? at what point? At what point were you like kids watch this? Well, I have believe it or not, I don’t relive my glory days in, in sports. I have so many other things that I do. But my son, I have four children and three of them are girls. My oldest three are, are girls.
My youngest is a son. So he’s really the only serious basketball player Uhhuh. Um, and of course he’s, he’s 11. He doesn’t think I can play. I haven’t showed him quite yet. He’s too young. Oh, you are a nice dad. Just wait. He is gonna be. Shocked. That’s so fun though. yes, but I go with him to all of his trainings.
All of his, yeah. I mean, he’s in a, my son is in a really good baseball and basketball player. So I’m at every practice. Yeah. Um, that’s part of my journey. My first two kids, I was my older children. I was in the work aholic mode working 70, 80 hour weeks. Missing everything missing birthdays and missing recitals.
And mm-hmm fortunately I have, so I have two children in college who are 20 and 19, and then I have two children who are 11 and 12, and I’m fortunate to sort of have a, a younger set to sort of redo some of the things that I learned along the way. So with my younger two I’m at every practice I’m at every.
Everything, you know, I miss nothing. Mm. Um, because I just tell me a little bit about that transition. I love that you shared that because it’s such a real, I mean, as a, so your wife is a physician, you’re a physician. Yes. Surgeon. Yes. You know, and for people who don’t understand, I mean, just give people and understanding how old were you when you finally graduated?
Ultimately. Yeah. So most people don’t understand how, how all encompassing and all consuming medicine is. You really sacrifice your youth, you know, mm-hmm while everyone else is having fun in college, you’re studying hard. And then you go on to medical school. So it’s, it’s roughly 13 years of higher education to be an orthopedic surgeon.
Four years of college, I went to university of Notre Dame, four years of medical school. I attended in Nashville and then five years of orthopedic residency. And that’s assuming you’re, you’re even able to get in uninterrupted. Right? So for me, I was, I had to be, I guess, 30 years old. When I finally exited education and went into the real world, mm-hmm, where it really begins, but I have other colleagues and friends who are my same age and it took them 10 years longer to go through the same journey.
Right. Because they didn’t get into medical school the first attempt and they didn’t get into orthopedic residency, the first attempt and. Before, you know it 10 at 10 extra years pass mm-hmm . So I was 30, 30, 31 when I finished, or my orthopedic training and entered private practice, which is about as young as you can be to do.
Yeah, I was gonna say that is actually. That’s like right on you pretty much. Can’t be any younger than that. Yeah. Unless you, you know, unless you’re Douggie Houser, you start at college, you like skip high school or something. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Um, and traditionally that’s as fast as you can make it. And still, you feel obviously very old starting your career at that point.
And you still have so much to learn about medicine. Yeah. Because medical school classically teaches you about diseases. I’m passionate about the fact that our, you know, American. Medical education focuses on sick care, not healthcare. We call it a, we call it a healthcare system, but you know, as well as I do, it’s really a sick care system.
But you learn very little about health and wellness or nutrition. Mm-hmm you learn everything about sickness and illness and surgery, and then you enter the real world and how to code it correctly and how to code it correctly. Exactly billing. And this is why we talk about diseases, cuz this is where we get paid.
Unfortunately. Yeah. You don’t get paid for health, like, oh, they’re healthy. You get paid. Nothing for that. Yeah. Uh, but if you can list off 20 different comorbidities mm-hmm then you can, and the procedures you had to do in order to. Reverse acute. Yeah, exactly. The, the surgical procedures, the CPT codes, the I C D nine codes, all of that stuff that really doctors shouldn’t even have to worry about, cuz we should be trying to keep people healthy.
But instead we, we get paid by the insurance to intervene in sickness or in disease or injury. Yeah. And that’s, you know, I, I also like to point this out with, for people listening and watching that just don’t understand. I mean, medicine is just such a complicated world. There’s so much bureaucracy and it takes so much fortitude like Dr.
Keith to. Honestly to stay in it and find joy and fulfillment. And we’re gonna talk more about that, but I have so much respect for you and the way that you have added to your career in a way that helps fulfill you and your passion, because in medicine, it is very, very difficult to stay in it and be able to find that balance at times, because everything that he just said is so heavily embedded in our medical culture, that idea of coding things, correct.
All the stuff that we didn’t actually go to school to do. correct. And that’s where I’m sure we’ll get into later. The business of medicine I’ve always had, you know, I grew up a preacher’s kid. My parents are ministers. My grandparents are ministers. So I’ve been in ministry or in one way or another way.
Well, before I ever entered medicine and then I, I see medicine as just an extension of. What I was gonna say is probably the only thing harder than staying in medicine is transitioning beyond it. Like you’ve done. Yes. That is even more difficult, but once you’re ingrained in it, it’s so difficult to transition above it or beyond it as you’ve done.
But for me, the business of medicine and the practice of medicine have always had a little bit of a conflict because it, well, you know, it’s. You want to be able to treat everyone equally? Mm-hmm as a practitioner, I made a habit early on of never looking at the insurance that a patient would have, or, or didn’t have when I would be in residency or in medical school, or even in practice.
Foolishly in practice. I tried my best to not even know if the patient had insurance or not, because that was sort of my ethical way of saying, I don’t want to know how much your insurance can pay me. I wanna offer you the same quality of care. So the business of medicine and the practice of medicine have always been a little bit of a conflict for me.
And so, but once you get out into. Practice of medicine. You realize it doesn’t matter in many ways, how good of a surgeon you are if you don’t know how to code correctly, mm-hmm . If you don’t know how to bill correctly, document correctly. I always tell my medical students and residents being busy, being a busy surgeon, being a good surgeon is not necessarily being.
Financially profitable, successful or profitable surgeon, right? You don’t get paid to do the surgery. You get paid to code and document and build the surgery. That’s what you get paid. Exactly. Or you can do as many surgeries as you want. If you don’t bill in code and they all could have phenomenal outcomes.
If you don’t bill in code correctly, you will not get paid. And often, even if you do bill and code correctly, you don’t, you don’t pay. That’s the dirty secret of insurance. Um, everyone thinks they have, you know, people, if you have X, Y, or Z insurance, you think you have good insurance. Well, to you, you may have good insurance because your deductible is low or whatever your copay is low.
But to the surgeon, to the doctor, most insurances. Largely the same. They all make it difficult. Yeah. To get reimbursed. They all make it, make you jump through a crazy amount of hoops to get paid. I, I tell my patients sometimes when they’re waiting longer than I’d like them to wait in the waiting room, I say, you know, I have 10 people on my staff.
More than half of their time is spent chasing the insurance companies. Yes. More payments for P for things we’ve already done. Mm-hmm now imagine if all of those people could spend all of their time caring for patients, including me, medicine would be far better than it is, but because we have to spend more than 50% of our time on non-medical duties.
Whether it be excessive documentation or jumping through hoops for Medicare or coding or you name it, we’re not taking care of patients. That’s even more clear. If you go on the floors with nurses, nurses, now spend more time documenting on a computer. Then attending to their patients in the hospital and they, yeah.
You spend more time dotting your eyes and crossing your Ts in emergency medicine. You know, we are in the unique position. We probably look at insurance, the least mm-hmm of probably any area. I was very. I mean, we did a tiny bit of it in school and as a nurse practitioner too, it wasn’t maybe as heavily focused on, but part of it was the track that I was in.
Yes. And, you know, in emergency medicine, it’s basically, I, I literally don’t have time or didn’t have time if somebody walked in and they’re bleeding out, you know, obviously, right. You have no time to even look at the chart at that point. Right. But it was very eye opening. When I bent back for my second masters in family medicine.
And seeing exactly what you’re talking about now in an office and what every single provider, the hoops that are having to be jumped through. And it’s very deflating. So for people listening, you know, Love on your practitioners, because it is, there’s so much happening behind the scenes that patients don’t get to see.
And it’s just so exhausting too, for providers, because most of us went in with a heart to serve and then we end up getting stuck at a desk. yes. Yes. That’s working paperwork, right? That’s where burnout comes in and just job dissatisfaction, you would think. Medicine would be, well, it should be one of the most rewarding careers to pursue and in its purest form.
As you I’m sure can attest it at 100% is. Yep. But the real practice of medicine is so far from the purest form of, of patient care. If you get to spend 40% of your time on patient care, you’re yeah. Fortunate. It’s eye opening when you go to some other countries and you just see the difference, especially, you know, if you ever take like a medical missions trip and you go overseas, it’s just, Ooh, it’s hard sometimes to be like, oh, okay, here we come back to paperwork.
Right, right. Yeah. That’s. Yeah, my, one of my partners, he goes over El Paso is very close to Mexico, so he crosses the border. He’s a pediatric orthopedic surgeon specialist. So they’ll go and fix the deformities there and the gratitude and the it’s just so refreshing for him to do that. And I’m gonna join him, you know, one of these days, because it just that’s the purest form of medicine is when you’re actually able to just treat people, uh, regardless of their ability to pay and without having to fill out paperwork to get approval, to do the procedure or the insurance to approve it.
It’s yeah, it’s really, and it’s that cycle, you know, it’s crazy how the cycle happens because on what also is so rewarding, especially in more underserved countries is what you just said. The G. The sense from the patients that they’re so grateful for what you’ve done, even the simplest thing, there’s such a sense of gratitude and it’s partly because.
You know, when you have little, you’re thankful for more correct. When you have so much, like we do in our country, we can hardly even understand how much that we actually have. And it’s almost like the more we have the more we want. And so that sense of gratitude and that was so hard as a provider then, cuz it’s like, okay, if I would like to see that more from patients, how can I be implementing that in my own life?
Where I just am living with a greater sense of. Thankfulness and gratitude in the little things. So it’s a societal. It really is. There’s so many layers to it. yeah. I, a hundred percent agree with you a as practitioners, we have to refresh our gratitude as well. You know, I’m grateful for the ability to see these patients and to help people in a special, unique way that.
Really only a crazy person would do when you think about it. Amen. You know, listening to today, I probably have 60 patients. You’re gonna listen to 60 different complaints. you have to do complex processing quickly. It’s almost, I feel like I’m a, a diner chef, you know? Okay. Eggs on two is so true eggs on two bacon on one like pancakes on three they’re waiting, you know, and you try to make, there are so many, so many relationship strings that can.
Pooled between like the restaurant business and medicine. Right. It’s so true. I feel like a short order cook sometimes, but yet you’re, you’re a surgeon and you’re trying to see patients as fast as possible yet, yet give them as much time as they need. Right. It is the most, it is such a complex interplay.
But you have to remind yourself, this is what I love to do. This is what I’m blessed to be good at. And, and then you just hope that the patients have some gratitude and some appreciation, but it it’s so difficult because of just our society. Our microwave society will wait longer for a restaurant reservation.
Without complaining then to wait for a practitioner like yourself to see us in the ER, we feel like 100%, you know, so we have a very similar background so we could talk all day on . Yes. And again, I will say, I, I think I say this every single time a healthcare professional comes on that, please, please, please go out of your way.
The next time that you see your provider. To say something very specific about what you’re thankful for that they do, especially if you see somebody on a, on a reoccurring basis, you know, if you have a relationship with an orthopedist or even if you don’t, and this is the only time that you’ve seen them, if there is anything that you especially liked, that they did tell them or write it down because you would be shocked how little positive feedback healthcare providers.
We rarely, rarely get positive feedback from anybody, right. Including even the people we work with. Cause we’re all just exhausted and trying to stay afloat. So take the time I’m telling you, you will make somebody say promise. You will cuz that healthcare provider’s probably not heard it yet. Right. How did you mentioned, I think it’s, is it four generations of pastors?
Is that right? Am I pulling that out of somewhere? Yes, yes. Yes. I said three and then my mother corrected me that it was four generations of, of, of ministers. Um, but, and in that same vein, I, I. Patient care to, as you were saying, gratitude like the, yeah, the, the parable in the Bible of where there were 10 people that were given talents or money by a certain master.
And only one of the, one of the 10 came back to say, thank you. And that’s so similar in, in real life, we get such little positive feedback. Oftentimes. And it’s not so much the patient’s fault. They just, when they’re happy, they don’t, they don’t say they’re happy. Or when you did a phenomenal job, I’ve, I’ve ran run into people in a restaurant or at a, at a store in the mall and they’re like, oh my God, you fixed my shoulder.
Oh, it’s amazing. It’s the best thing ever. And I’m like, they’re never gonna come back and tell you that it’s a exactly right. Yeah. Which is part of why it’s okay. That’s why I went into orthopedics. I love orthopedics because it makes. You can fix a problem and it’s fixed. The bone is healed. The tendon is healed.
And, and really from my perspective, you can forget me. You can forget my name. If I helped you to achieve fulfillment or happiness or, or play sports, then that’s my reward. But the, the downside to that is. The great results often never come back to say thank you. And any minor adverse outcome or complication, you see a thousand times.
But exactly. But back to your question, yes. Four generations. So I guess my great, great, great grandfather was a pastor. My GRA great grandfather was a pastor. My grandfather was a pastor. My father is a pastor minister. My sister’s a minister. My brother’s I’m, I’m sort of the only one. That’s not a minister
And so how did that go? Um, sorry, I’m gonna go fix people’s bones. well, I could sense it, but my parents never limited me, uh, explicitly, but I could, I mean, I’m a musician as well. Mm-hmm uh, so I, when I left for college, I was the main musician for the church. Uh, so that was my ministry. Is music ministry.
And so I, obviously I left a big void when I left, but they let me go to Notre Dame and mm-hmm I ran the gospel choir at Notre Dame and continued to do that type of thing. And then going, getting into medicine. Again, when I came back to El Paso, they, they wanted me to join back in to the, the family business, so to speak of just ministry and church.
And I tried to do that. I actually did it for about six years where I ran the choir. I was doing again, not preaching per se, but just doing music and. Ministry through music. And then eventually after about my second kid, my wife said, okay, I’m tired of sitting in church by myself while you’re on. While you’re on the piano, you’re on the stage.
I need you to be sitting next to me. Feel like we need a song now feel like we need music cue. We’re gonna sing a dot. That’s awesome. I love it. Also huge fan of music. Yeah. So I love. Yeah. So yeah, ministry is a natural extension of medicine, I think. Yeah. Medicine is a powerful ministry. Yeah. Whether you realize it or not.
And so I think that helped make it a, a much more natural extension, my bedside manner and all of that is sort of reflective of, of that background. Yeah. I mean, it’s so beautiful. Again, our stories are so similar. It was very much the same for me and why I ultimately went into medicine as I love the idea of using it to serve at the time.
I thought I would end up as a missionary overseas somewhere, um, and got at other plants here we are, who would’ve guessed, but you know, with that, I think sometimes it can almost be more difficult when you go in with a very ministry mind. Approach. And then you realize the business aspect. When I first went into nursing school, I’m sorry.
When I first went into my job after nursing school, I will never forget my first experience. Like I was so naive to the business side of it. I went in thinking like, oh, everyone’s gracious. I went to a Christian college. There was so much grace shown and kindness and. Standing and compassion. Then I went into the real world and I was like, whoa, hold the phone.
There’s chain of command. People got super offended. If you jumped over the chain of command, I didn’t know what any letters meant. We met the CEO at like the externship graduation. I didn’t know who I was talking to. I was like, Hey, what’s up? You know, , you know what I mean? Like, you don’t understand the chain of command and how your supervisor might get offended.
If you email. This person instead of her first, like, I didn’t know. She told me the CEO told me to email her if I had any questions. So I did and my director was not happy about that. I’m like, okay. I did not even think about it. She said email her. So I did. Yeah. So anyways, all that to say, I think that’s in any.
Business. That is a huge element of it is recognizing, and then reconciling the two it’s like, okay, how can I live in this very demanding, challenging, gritty business world without sacrificing a heart that ultimately wants to serve. And that, that tension is. It’s challenging. Yes. That tension is very real.
You’d get a kick. Well, one story my wife sent me, she’s always trying to encourage me is, uh, there’s a, I guess, an anthropologist named Margaret Mead. You may have seen this story, how she was asked by one of her students about what is the first sign of civilization in a civilized society. And, um, As an anthropologist, they expected her to say maybe tools like fish hooks or, or clay pots, but she answered her student and said, the first sign of a civilized society is when you’re excavating and digging up.
All of these, you know, relics is seeing a healed femur fracture. And the reason for that is she said in the animal kingdom, if you break your bone, you’re dead because no animal is gonna care for you. You’re just gonna be prey. And the first sign of a civilized society is the evidence that somebody took the time.
To care for someone else and to heal, get them to heal and take care of them and nurture them. And, and for someone like you at the, and myself, that’s like, wow, that’s what we do. And that’s what we set out to do is, you know, we are best when we were in the service of others, but then you get to the business side and you realize it’s that in medicine, in particular, everyone is interested in money except.
Yep. Well, everyone is, is entitled and has permission. To be interested in money except for the provider. You’re the only one that’s supposed to just be completely operating out of the goodness of your heart and, and not really focusing on any sort of money, but yet you’re held to the standard of having to code and bill and generate money.
For your boss for your corporation, for your job, you know, or even in my case, I’m in private practice in order for me to pay my staff, I have to generate a necessary amount to pay. So learning, and obviously in medicine, they specifically omit, there are no business classes in medical school, not a single one.
Oh, I could do an entire podcast on. Alone. Yes, we could do it as, as could I and leadership leadership is the other one I throw in there. There’s no leadership classes. There’s no practice management course. There’s not a single applicable, practical, real life course to help you to transition into medical practice.
And that’s why the statistics show that I wanna say 40%. Of female doctors, uh, within five or six years of practice, either go part-time or stop practicing altogether over 50% of positions change jobs or, or quit the practice that they joined. And. Go to another practice within the first three years.
Mm-hmm because you come out of education completely naive and medicine is very predatory. They want you to be naive and green. And then as, as in my case, I. I think I changed groups three times in five years and finally, or I, I should say I changed practices and ultimately just went out on my own and had to figure out everything on my own.
Mm-hmm from getting credentialed with the insurances to hiring the office manager. If you had told me when I started medicine, my, my journey towards medicine, 15 years of prior that you’re gonna spend 15 years. Becoming the world’s expert on orthopedics, right? As educated as anyone could ever be only to come back to your hometown and turn over your practice to an office manager who no offense just graduated.
High school has very little experience. And yet she is your essentially your interface. The business world. There’s no schools for office managers. Like if you just try to look up a degree to get a good practice manager office manager, there is not one. And so you’re stuck hiring someone who either your old partner recommended or he retired and left her with you, or just, they just hiring someone who you hope is good at it.
And here you are. PhD MD the, the highest educated, uh, practitioner that you can be only to turn your practice over to someone who maybe went to a two week course mm-hmm um, on running, uh, uh, how to bill and how to run a practice. Yep. I would’ve told you. You’re absolutely insane. That’s crazy. There’s no way it works like that.
And yet it happens absolutely time and time and time again. Exactly. Yeah. Well, I feel like we should do a whole nother podcast on our recommendations for the medical community. Here’s what needs to happen. We’ll get our list and then we’ll send it out to all who knows, you know, this is always the question, of course.
Well then what do you do? What is the answer? What is the next step to help improve this? And it’s. As much as I like to come up with solutions, it is such a multi-layer complex that . Yeah. And unfortunately, I don’t think politically there will certainly be some influence, but it is so complex. Right? It’s that there are times that it’s like, who you put into office is not necessarily the answer alone.
No, there needs to be so many . I do believe it has to, it does start with conversations. Like they have to start with conversations, particularly amongst practitioners. That’s what I, I tell I, and you’re, I’m sure you could witness medicine. So business as you, you know, you have, you have two business is very collegial.
It’s about networking and marketing and, and collegiality, helping each other. Medicine is the exact opposite from day one. It’s so true. I’ve majored in biochemistry. I remember specifically my professor, my molecular biology professor saying, look to your left and look to your right. One of you won’t be here next semester.
So right away, you established the cutthroat, non collegial, non networking mentality in doctors, you watch out for yourself, you have to protect, especially as a provider. I did not feel that way as a nurse. Right. And then when I became a nurse practitioner, I entered this provider world. I quickly felt like I had no support and I had great relat.
With my colleagues. It wasn’t even that there was tension between, but as a provider, I suddenly felt like I now had no body of support as a nurse. I did not feel that way. I felt like I had a much bigger body of support that’s around me and behind me. Yeah. But not as a provider, it felt very much like you were having to just watch out for yes, it’s cut through.
You’re taught very unfortunate. Absolutely. You’re taught to compete against your colleague. Don’t help him or her don’t network hide everything. And God forbid your colleague made a mistake. Right. Which all happens, you know? And now there’s some sort of red check mark on their file. And then it’s like, now you just are ultimately told don’t do that.
Right. So now that person is now being seen in the light of. Do that when instead to your point, it’s like, look at all the amazing things that person has done. Right? And then that plays into your mental health. You know, not only absolutely as time goes on, you become a physician, you have no collegiality.
So your mental health, like doctors will not ever admit to being depressed. They will never admit to anything anxiety, because you’re afraid that it’ll go on your file. So doctors are loathed to see a psychologist or anybody for mental health. Or practitioners nurses because you’re deathly afraid. Well, if I say I’m sad today, or if I say I’m having a bad day, or if I have anxiety or depression, like now that’s gonna go on my file.
And later on, somebody might look at it and say, mm-hmm oh, well you made this medical error because you were depressed. Right. Or you, you did. And it’s just such a toxic thing. It’s it’s yeah, we could talk all day about that. I know it needs it. It needs to change. We need a meeting of minds. Anyway, I do like to use this space to help because medicine affects all of us.
You know, this is not a niched down, you know, we’re not talking about. Car mechanics, if you will, like these are human bodies and this type of dissatisfaction has a trickle down effect on everybody that was not to put down car mechanics, by the way. I love my mechanic, but it is different. You know, this culture of toxicity is ultimately negatively impacting.
Everyone’s ability to thrive across the entire health spectrum, which is not just physical, right? So something does need to change if you’re listening and you have the power to help make some of that change. This was not just meant to be a we’re complaining about medicine, but I think it is essential for people to understand the culture that exists in medicine and hopefully, well that empower somebody.
What you just said is, is so critical because I tell my colleagues, like no one wants to hear a doctor complain about anything. You know, the, the classic answer is, well, that’s why you get paid the big bucks. Right. You know, that that’s, which is not, yeah. Particularly true, but that’s what they say. Well, you Cho, or, or you chose this well, you chose no, you didn’t choose this.
When you started out with the idealistic night and naivete night, night, this is not what I chose. Yeah. This is not what you chose. Uh, it’s like telling a fireman who has to run into a burning building and dies of smoke inhalation. Well, you chose this, you you, no, he, he didn’t choose. To die of, of he, of heat or smoke inhalation.
He wanted to rescue people and help people and put out fires. Same thing with medical providers. We have no clue what, what we really are getting into until you get there. And, and, and you find out all of the, the different layers. And so. No one we’re not complaining. We’re just enlightening and discussing some of the issues that are part of medicine that need to be discussed, need to be illuminated, need to be sorted out and improved, but it’s a blessing for the benefit of everyone, for the health of your children, for your own health, for generations to come, the medical culture right now needs to change.
We’ll take a break here shortly, but I, I even just wanna say one of the reasons that I like to give a space for medical providers to share like you are, is I would argue that even a fireman knows that he is what he is doing will probably involve. Fires and the risk and the danger. Unfortunately, for so many of us medical providers, we don’t even realize it.
It’s like when we sign up, we don’t even realize those fires exist. Right. You know, unlike the firefighter who understands that he’s gonna go fight fires, we come into it, not even realizing those fires are there. So I want people to understand those fires exist. What can we collectively do to help. Put them out without getting significantly burned.
We are gonna take a quick break, but when we come back, stay tuned for speed round of this or that with Dr. Keith. And we’re gonna hear more of his expert advice on restoring form and function to thrive. Right? When we come back, you have tried it all worried. He will never lose the extra weight or reclaim the energy you once enjoyed.
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Accelerator course today and start your own transformation story. We are back here for a speed round of this or that with Dr. Keith two options. You don’t have to overthink it. Whatever first comes to mind, would you rather chocolate ice cream or vanilla ice cream? I would have to say vanilla, although, because I have asthma, I have a dairy allergy, so I, I don’t get to partake.
Oh yeah. I don’t get to partake in, in ice cream very often. Uh, but I like, what’s your dessert of choice. Let’s ask that then. Hmm. Wow, that would, I would have to say my mother’s red velvet cake. Ooh. Would be my disorder of choice. mama, Keith mama, Dr. Keith, that was my birthday present every year. She would ask me, what do you want for your birthday?
I wanted a new basketball cuz I would wear out my old one. Yeah. And, and a red velvet cake every year. That was all I wanted for my birthday. That’s so sweet. Aw. sounds like a good mom right there. Absolutely. Would you rather a Kindle or an old fashioned book? Um, I’m probably revealing my age, but I’d much rather an old fashioned book.
I mean, texture, texture, the texture of the pages, the, they look so pretty on the shelf. Yeah. They’re beautiful. And spot inspirational. They’re artwork, your fingers, your how you fold it, how you interact with the medium, how it smells, how it smells. Exactly. Mm-hmm I agree. You can highlight and take notes.
I’m sorry. I’m showing my age, but. No, I’m the same way I do. Actually. I have fall in love with the Kindle, cuz if it’s ease, right? Like I can speed read through books. But if I see an old antique looking book, especially if it’s like a British classic. Yes, yes. I’m a nerd for British classics. Love it. would you rather be a ninja or a pirate?
Hmm. I’d have to say a ninja. I, I don’t know that I would like to be a pirate, um, out, out at sea for months a time. I think a ninja that’s fair. Yeah. Where you get in and get out and accomplish whatever you need to do under it’s efficient obscurity efficient conditions. Yes. That’s that’s more me. that’s that’s a surgeon right there.
That’s a conditions. Exactly. Um, would you rather drive a convertible or a truck? Hmm. So if you asked me when I was younger, I would probably say a convertible. And now with four kids, I have to have a truck. I do have a truck. I have to have a truck for baseball. Just throw them all in the back. Exactly.
Baseball, golf, whatever the kids are into. It has to fit in the truck. yeah, it’s actually my dream car. I would love a really nice truck one day. And then Texas trucks are everywhere, Texas. That’s true. I keep forgetting you’re in Texas. That is true. Yes. Oh my goodness. Okay, last question. Would you rather repair a knee or a hip?
That’s a great question. I, I would say, I would say a hip. I actually recently I actually replaced my father’s knee and my father-in-law’s knee, and I just recently found out, you know, my mother is gonna, I’m gonna end up having to replace her hip. A hip is a little bit more. Challenging, but the hip pain involves the back, the knee, the hip mm-hmm
And so when you relieve someone’s hip pain, it’s, you know, when you talk about core, we’re generally talking about abdomen, pelvis, hips, lower back muscles, and the hip is an integral part of that. So someone who has a really frozen pain for arthritic hip, it, it really affects them in ways they don’t even realize you can deal with a knee, cuz if you’re sitting down.
It doesn’t hurt that much. Right. But your hip hurts. If your hip will hurt all the time, sleeping, sitting, standing, walking. So it, for me, it’s a little bit more gratifying. You do more good when you do a hip. And if I have someone who has both knee arthritis and hip arthritis, I typically recommend replacing the hip first mm-hmm because it’s gonna give you the biggest bang for the, for the surgery.
And often it’ll take away a lot of the knee pain, back pain, hip pain, all at the same time. That’s a great. It would restore more function. Yes. Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, one. So we we’ve been talking a lot about medicine, but you. Have also created something called the power plan. You saw a need here in medicine.
Yes. And one of the things that is a really challenging aspect for a lot of orthopedic patients is weight loss. I think it’s often a chicken and egg type of conversation, you know, is being significantly overweight and literally compressing the joints in a way they weren’t meant to be compressed affecting, you know, their.
Function or is it that they have some sort of genetic issue with their joint function that decreases mobility. And that’s why they’re gaining weight because they can’t chicken and egg, et cetera. Yes. But tell me a little bit about the power plan and your passion for looking beyond just. The physical restoration of joints.
Yeah. So as I’m sure you can attest anyone who’s provided medicine realizes that the obesity epidemic is such, uh, just, it it’s really at the core of everything with women’s health, heart disease, cancer, all stroke. A lot of it comes down to diet, exercise, and basically not understanding. Our bodies and our interaction with food and what is a carb and what is a protein and what is a vegetable and what is a good fat and what is a bad fat again, we talked about how poorly medical school does at teaching us about business.
Well, we could talk forever about how poorly. Our classic education system, our American education system does on teaching us about our bodies and basic nutrition and health. Our patients just don’t know about it. So particularly with orthopedics, many of my patients cannot exercise just because they have severe arthritis.
They have severe bone disease, joint disease. So it just became really imperative. That I address the elephant in the room, so to speak, which is we gotta do something about your weight and your overall health mm-hmm . And so power plan, you know, I’m sort of big on acronyms because that they help you to remember and learn, but it’s physician optimized, wellness, energy, and recovery, and I intentionally sort of.
Don’t just focus just on weight loss, cuz that’s what people, people focus sometimes too much on mm-hmm what you shouldn’t eat. What I can’t do, what I can’t be what I, instead of saying, well, how do I get to my goal? And so my passion really is the intersection of health and wellness with your fulfillment and your function restoring form and, and function because people don’t realize how your health, your wellness, your vitality, or lack thereof.
Limits your goals and your dreams and your aspirations and, and sabotages them in ways that you just don’t appreciate. So when I look at orthopedics and my job as a doctor, I try to tailor what I do to what, what do you like to do? Are you a golfer? Are you a swimmer? Are, do you like to run? Are you, you passionate about singing?
Like let’s figure out how to keep you doing those things, but time and time again. A lot of doctors you’ll say, well, it hurts when I do this and the doctor will reply. Well, then don’t do that. You know, Hey Dr. Johnson, it hurts when I bend my elbow or raise my arm like this. And so many doctors will say, well, then don’t do that.
Just stop doing that. I’m gonna write you a note, you know, don’t do that anymore. Well, no, my perspective is, well, let me figure out how to get you back to doing that. You know, why do you have to do that and et cetera. So with, with power plan, my wife and I actually started. What was really a began as a no, a no exercise, weight loss program, because most people who come to see me who are overweight, they say, well, Dr.
Johnson, I used to run and now I can’t run anymore. And that’s why my weight has ballooned. Well, people don’t realize, obviously exercise is vitally important. I’m a huge advocate of exercise, but you don’t have to exercise to lose. It’s beneficial, but there are plenty of ways through diet and just eating nutritious foods and understanding what you’re putting in your mouth to, to eat that will help you to have better energy, better vitality, sleep better, have all of the things that you want and lose weight.
So it became, it started off as just a rapid weight loss program. That was where no exercise was required. Cuz I, I needed to remove that excuse and that mental block to, I cannot lose weight because I have arthritis of my knee. I cannot lose weight because I tore my meniscus. And so that’s where it started.
My wife helped me and it was extremely successful. It almost. Started to take over my orthopedic practice. Mm-hmm I had to kind of TA it back, cuz I still have to do surgery, but it was just focusing on really a step by step way of teaching people about their bodies and about how to eat. I have this new sort of thing I’m working on called broccoli for breakfast, which is, which is obviously it’s more of a metaphor for life, but just focusing on getting in the good stuff first, I think too many diet.
Focus on what you can’t eat, what you shouldn’t eat. Instead of saying let’s pick up the 10, most nutritious foods and figure out how we can, you can eat those on a regular basis. Mm-hmm and not worry so much about not eating stuff as opposed to let me eat the good stuff first. Let me get the protein, the vegetables, the healthy fats in first.
And then, you know, if you later on, if you mess up or, or have a craving or eat something, that’s supposedly not healthy, it’s gonna have less impact once you get the nutritious foods in. But I think sometimes so many diets are about what you can’t eat and shouldn’t eat that. People just get paralyzed. And then they starve themselves and then they just eat the first thing that comes across their table.
Cuz they’re so they’re starving. Right? So that’s just a little bit about what the power plan is, but I focus on sleep, stress management. Is it a virtual program? So like somebody signs. Yes. So, well, when I have done it in the past, it’s been in person. It was a very hands on mm-hmm . But right now I’m in light of this podcast and in light of what I’m trying to do to impact more people, I’m turning into it, turning it into a virtual program where people will be able to go online and, and download it and get it.
But it, it basically tries to one of the biggest problems with Google medicine, Google MD. Everybody’s a Google doc now. Mm. There’s so much information that why did I go to school for a gazillion years guys? When Google just gave you the answer, Google, I just go, you know how many patients, I try to explain to them something.
And they’re like, I already Googled it. Dr. Johnson. I already Googled it so true. Oh, okay. Well then let me just leave. Okay. But so, but people get paralyzed with information. They don’t know. What’s good. What’s bad. What study to read this study says coffee’s bad. This study says coffee’s good. This study says water’s bad.
And so I tried. To sort of curate the science for my patients, sort out the science behind stress management and how it affects your weight, sleep, quality sleep, and how it affects your glucose, metabolism and your weight. So things that people don’t normally think about stress sleep mm-hmm obviously exercise.
What foods you eat and how they impact your health. And of course, ultimately exercise as well. Just sort of a holistic as holistic as I can be with regards to wellness and energy. Mm-hmm I love that. I mean, it is such a challenge in our society and we could clearly Dr. Keith and I could talk for a long time about a lot of things, but it is that sense of we’re set up for failure.
We’re also in a very technological age where people just simply don’t move. Like they used to so many jobs require less movement than ever before because of the digital aspect to the workforce now. And you think about even a couple decades ago, how much simply how many more steps somebody took in a. Um, which is of course burning energy and contributing to that non-exercise activity thermogenesis.
So the reality is we simply don’t move and ironically, it is contributing to even more joint problems because the joints were meant to move. Literally they were designed to move. So I love the way that you have kind of filled in the gap for your patients, which I also think is an incredible application for any of us.
What are we doing? You know, what professional, or maybe it’s personal at, at home or at your kid’s school or whatever. And you see a need, something that you’re frustrated by, or that you are complaining about because it’s exhausting. Is there a way that you can step in and help fill the gap, which is exactly what you have done in the medical world.
And. I think that is, that is amazing. Yes. Well, you’re what your imperfectly empowered podcast is perfectly titled because I really do believe that a lot of times, our imperfections that we try to hide is actually where our power is. Like amen. The things that bother us or the things that bother us about ourselves, the things that bother bother us about the world are imperfection.
Sometimes our shortcomings are also where our power lies and recognizing a need, seeing a need that you, that continues to bother you or disturb you or hits you in the heart. Like that’s a clue to where you should be the solution. . Um, and in my case, of course, that’s how I went into, into medicine in the first place, having asthma, seeing the best and the worst of medicine in the ER, and then deciding, okay, I think I can, might be able to help do this better, or at least my perspective on it.
And, and then it it’s extension into weight loss and wellness. You realize anybody who’s practicing medicine or wellness, or you have to address what, what you just stated, which. It all begins with our diet exercise. Yeah. Mental regimen, our overall wellbeing, and any pursuit of fulfillment or happiness is gonna be limited by.
I’m a hundred pounds overweight, or I have no energy or I can’t sleep or I’m stressed. And so I can fix your femur. That’s actually the easy part. Yeah. But if your cholesterols are literally so clogged, right? I mean, did I say your cholesterols? If you’re Arteri are literally, so I need more coffee, so clogged.
It is not gonna matter. Right. Exactly. Your hip works well. You’re gonna be dead. Yeah, exactly. yeah. What, so if somebody’s interested at, you know, non-exercise weight loss, people are like, um, yes, please. . If somebody is interested in learning more about what you offer, um, the process, where can they find you?
What is the best way to get a hold of you or your team? Where can they learn more? Yes, what you do. Thanks for asking. So my website is my name, Dr. Keith R johnson.com and it’ll have links to all of that, how to get in contact with me and my wife, my wife is actually a vegan, which whew. That’s a whole nother.
Yeah, I haven’t crossed over it to that, but plat based eating of course is a huge part of it. But my wife is the far extreme of that. And so she and I like it. When we were doing the program, she addressed mostly, mostly the women. Although I did a lot of that, I would address a lot of the men. We did both, but obviously women have very unique issues with hormones and sure.
Menopause, and, and we studied all of that to try to address each of those. But yes, Dr. Keith R johnson.com is where I can be, uh, looked up and you can contact me or find out. And I, I just wanna say thank you. And I appreciate this opportunity to just speak to you and speak to your audience. It was an honor.
You all wanna go check out Dr. Keith R johnson.com. All those links will certainly be in the show notes and everyone here knows how passionate I am about science based evidence. Not emotionally fueled societal influence. Highly highly recommend. Dr. Keith R. Johnson and his amazing wife, Tiffany, and we’ll have all those links available for you.
I pray God’s richest blessing over your home, your wife, your four kids. It was so fun having you here. We’ll have to chat again. Yes. Clearly so much. Yes, you you’re amazing. I just wanna say, I, I mean, you’re inspirational. You’re amazing. Uh, so keep doing what you’re doing again, oftentimes we don’t get the positive feedback often, but if I can give you some, I, I listen to your podcast.
I listen to it this morning. Bless you. It was so helpful. That’s so and beneficial. Thank you so much. Thank you. I appreciate it. thanks for listening to this episode of the imperfectly empowered podcast. I would love to hear your thoughts from today. Head to your preferred podcasting platform and give the show an honest review and let me know what you think.
Remember, you cannot be redefined only redeveloped one imperfect day at a time. Your story matters and you are loved.

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