Pierre: One Vision. One Mission.
Pierre Johnson, M.D.
Undergraduate (Bachelor of Science in Biology): Xavier University of Louisiana
Doctor of Medicine: University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria
Residency: Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
From a young age, God blessed Pierre with a vision for his life—one unwavering with absolute clarity.
Pierre grew up on the South Side of Chicago. His first memory was of he and his mother running down the street away from his violent, drug-addicted father. Witnessing his mother’s abuse, Pierre’s compassion for women found its roots. He decided it was his purpose in life to help others who couldn’t help themselves.
Looking for good influences outside his home life, Pierre found strength in his grandfather, Otis, whose charity and generosity gave Pierre a passion for mentoring youth while love and appreciation from his grandmother, Eva, gave him strong faith in himself.
At an early age, Pierre’s Aunt Aileen helped put him on the path to becoming a doctor. She asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. After refusing to accept pro basketball or baseball player as his only answers, she demanded a Plan B and wouldn’t give up until he thought about another goal.
Several days later, watching The Cosby Show, Pierre found his answer. Inspired by seeing a successful doctor and strong father figure who looked like him, he decided to become a doctor.
When he was nine, Pierre’s mother became pregnant with his brother, Elliot, which fascinated Pierre. His mother’s OB-GYN was a black man, always eager to answer Pierre’s questions. He proved to Pierre that it was possible for someone like him to achieve success as a doctor.
Pierre’s mother struggled with drug addiction, but wanted a better life for her son. She encouraged and nurtured his intellect from a very early age and saw a good education as Pierre’s ticket to a better future.
Pierre’s mother sent him to live with his Aunt Aileen in Glenwood, Ill., where he got his first taste of stability. The academics of the suburban community challenged his mind, while summers in Chicago spent in poverty, playing father to his four siblings, kept Pierre humble and grounded.
Pierre came home to live with his mother after she overcame her drug addiction, but she still struggled to provide for her family financially. That was when Pierre discovered his skill and love for barbering, a job that helped put him through college and made Pierre realize God had gifted him with steady and nimble hands.
Pierre was a good student, but he quickly learned that his education in a segregated, failing high school hadn’t prepared him for life at Xavier University of Louisiana. Blessed to meet Max and Joe his first semester of college, Pierre found brothers who shared a similar background as him and the same commitment to succeed. The three began to study together every day. They’d drill each before tests and if one of them failed, it was seen as a failure for them all.
After graduating from Xavier with a bachelor’s degree in biology, Pierre attended MEDPREP at Southern Illinois University.
Before starting medical school at the University of Illinois, Pierre returned briefly to Chicago where he earned money as a barber and substitute teacher for the public school system. That year, he decided two things. One: He would never compromise who he was or forget where he came from. Two: It is his duty to help change the story for young, black men crushed by the low expectations of society.
Faced with setbacks, personal struggles, discrimination and institutional racism throughout his time in medical school, Pierre refused to give up and completed his internship at Washington Hospital Center in General Surgery and residency at Southern Illinois University in obstetrics/gynecology.
Pierre was certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2015 and, a year later, recognized with the highest accreditation in his field—Fellow of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Today, Pierre practices close to home in the Chicagoland area and is a proud father to his beautiful twins.
Now that Pierre has accomplished his dreams, he wants to help impact underrepresented communities by establishing community outreach clinics (COC) across the country, starting in his hometown. These COC’s will offer refuge to children in need of advice, direction, counseling or medical attention.
Pierre succeeded despite the many obstacles placed before him, and wants his story to serve as a living testimony that circumstance and environment don’t have to dictate your future.