Rebecca L. Johnson, M.D., conducts research in regional anesthesia and acute pain medicine. She is an anesthesiologist with fellowship training in both regional anesthesia and clinical research. Currently, her research focuses on the impact of frailty on surgical and anesthesia-related outcomes after surgery.
- Risk communication and shared decision-making research in anesthesiology. Total hip and total knee replacements are two of the most common major surgical procedures, and their numbers have been growing over recent decades. Unlike major abdominal or cardiac surgeries that require general anesthesia, major lower extremity orthopedic surgeries can be performed with either spinal or general anesthesia and may also include peripheral nerve blocks as pain management strategies. The data generated by Dr. Johnson's systematic review and meta-analyses of surgical-related outcomes provide improved safety information for patients and have been leveraged by clinicians to better guide choices for spinal anesthesia or general anesthesia in patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty (THA) or total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Results from her research may serve as an essential guide for patients and clinicians making informed decisions about including peripheral nerve blockade as an acute pain management option for THA and TKA.
- Comparative effectiveness research among anesthesia interventions for pain management after orthopedic surgery. It remains unclear how the use of peripheral nerve block influences the risks of adverse postoperative outcomes after THA, TKA and total shoulder arthroplasty. The results from Dr. Johnson and colleagues' comparative effectiveness studies in these surgical populations have helped to determine how regional analgesia techniques impact outcomes and whether they are necessary components to include within opioid-sparing clinical pathways for orthopedic surgery.
- Frailty and adverse outcomes after surgery. Dr. Johnson studies associations between frailty and adverse outcomes among patients after THA and TKA. These research advancements are essential for the identification of clinically important frailty among patients and will change how providers manage frailty, estimate perioperative risk, communicate high levels of frailty in the perioperative domain, and tailor perioperative management strategies (such as regional anesthesia techniques) to reduce risks of adverse outcomes after THA or TKA.
Significance to patient care
The long-term goals of Dr. Johnson's research efforts include gathering the evidence on anesthesia interventions for major orthopedic surgery and identifying clinically important frailty among patients presenting for surgery in order to implement ideal processes for anesthesia and surgical health care delivery.
- Associate editor, Faust's Anesthesiology Review, 5th edition, 2020
- Commissioned officer, U.S. Navy Reserve Medical Corps, 2019-present
- Editor, Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine, 2018-present
- Member, Abstract Review Subcommittee on Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain, American Society of Anesthesiologists, 2017-present
- Assistant editor, Anesthesia & Analgesia, 2011-present
- Member, Committee on Scientific Evaluation, Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, 2019
- Councilor, Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties, Officers & Councilors of Staff Services, Mayo Clinic, 2018-2019
- Associate division chair, Community Anesthesiology, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 2018
- Expert, Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Management, Multimodal Library Examinations Committee, American Board of Anesthesiology, 2018
- Reviewer, Ultrasound-Guided Regional Anesthesia Portfolio, American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, 2018
- Certified, Silver Quality Fellow, Mayo Clinic Quality Fellows, 2017
- Kern Health Care Delivery Scholar, Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, 2014-2016