Kaalan E Johnson, MD

Kaalan E Johnson, MD


"I moved from studying engineering to medicine when I realized how unique and truly powerful the interaction is between a patient and a doctor. What a wonderful opportunity we have everyday to make a positive impact on people's lives in such a tangible way. My interest in helping children with complex airway, breathing, and swallowing conditions is one avenue to have that positive impact on some of our most important functions of interactive life. Working in medical simulation has allowed me to find ways to teach others to provide this care in a more effective way. I feel so lucky to be at a place like Seattle Children's where I can work in all those areas in one amazing place."
  • Biography

    Dr. Johnson is the Surgical Director of the Aerodigestive Program, Director of the Voice Program, and practices at Seattle Children's Hospital Campus, North Clinic, and Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center. He is an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is a native of the northwest, but did his medical school in southern California and residency in Virginia before completing a fellowship in pediatric otolaryngology and first faculty position at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in Ohio.

    Dr. Johnson began working at Seattle Children's Hospital in 2013 and started seeing patients with complex airway, breathing, and swallowing problems in the Aerodigestive Clinic in 2014. Additional clinical interests include Tracheostomy / Airway Reconstruction, Voice, Exercise Induced Laryngeal Obstruction, Complex Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Nose & Sinus Surgery, and Ear Surgery. He has a long-term interest in medical simulation, and in addition to 3D Printing and Virtual Surgical Planning projects, he directs multiple simulation-based courses, and collaborates with the WWAMI Institute for Simulation in Healthcare (WISH) at the University of Washington.

    He lives with his wife, three children, and their dog, and enjoys wakeboarding, snowboarding, and any other adventure he can do with his kids, as well as all types of music.

    Board Certification(s)



    Loma Linda University School Of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA


    University of Minnesota, Duluth, MN


    Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH

    Clinical Interests

    Aerodigestive conditions including complex airway, breathing, and swallowing issues, aspiration, laryngeal clefts, airway reconstruction, subglottic stenosis, obstructive sleep apnea, and tracheotomy management. Additional interests include sinusitis and skull base surgery, acute and chronic ear disease, and otolaryngologic manifestations of craniofacial disorders.

  • Patient Testimonials

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  • Awards and Honors

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  • Publications

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