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Pharmacy & Health Sciences Building
PA Program

Preceptor Profile: Ian Johnston, MD


Bachelor of Arts in Zoology from Indiana University
Bachelor of Science in Aviation Administration and Professional Flight from Indiana State University
Doctor of Medicine from Indiana University Medical School

Q: What is your favorite part of interacting with students as a preceptor?

Several things. I enjoy having young people around because it keeps me on my toes. I have been doing this for so long and I feel it is good to be asked “the why” behind what I am doing. In addition, I feel, as health care providers, we have a responsibility to share our knowledge.

Q:  What is the biggest challenge students encounter in your field of medicine?  

Probably medicine in general and specifically obstetrics (OB)…nothing is ever the same. The more you learn about OB the more you do not know. It is not one plus one equals two, it is a puzzle and you have to put together the pieces. I can have ten different patients at term, and none of them are the same. So many factors come into play such as their medical history, social history….you have to have an individual plan for the patient.

Q: What does precepting offer you?

I have all this knowledge in my head, and I want to share it. Students need a way to apply what they have learned and gain practical experience. It is not just mastering whether or not the lab values, vital signs, etc. are normal/abnormal. It is realizing if something does not look right. I tell students to “look at the patient” and tell me what you see. This skill can’t be practiced in the classroom.

Dr. Johnston is married and lives in Avon, IN.  He has been in practice for 26 years and currently practices at Avon OB/GYN. He has 6 children (ages 19-40), 7 grandchildren, enjoys reading, and on the rare occasion that he can get away, he prefers traveling to the beach.