Lindsay Johnston, MD, is a neonatologist who treats critically ill infants in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. Her patients, many of whom are born prematurely or have congenital anomalies, are incredibly fragile.
“It’s extremely rewarding to be able to help these babies when they are so ill, and send them home doing very, very well,” says Dr. Johnston, who knew she wanted to be a doctor since she was 4 years old. “I thought I would be a general pediatrician, but when I went through residency training, I was just drawn to the NICU, the practice of medicine that goes on there, and the impact it has.”
Dr. Johnston says she also enjoys guiding families through difficult times. “We can never make promises to families about how things are going to go, but we are honest and hold their hands as they’re going through really difficult times,” she says. “I assure them that we’re doing everything we possibly can to get their baby better and home with them.”
As an associate professor of pediatrics (neonatology) and director of Yale Medicine’s training program in neonatal-perinatal medicine, Dr. Johnston is also involved in the education of trainees and medical staff, often through simulation-based sessions. She is particularly interested in training related to Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), a specialized machine that acts as an artificial heart and lung for a prolonged period of time.