Michael Johns, III

Professor of Clinical Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Division Director, Laryngology Director, USC Voice Center Director, Medical Student Education
Michael Johns, III

Areas of treatment:

Airway stenosis
Awake KTP Laser Laryngeal Surgery
Awake Vocal Cord Injections
Botox (botulinum toxin) therapy for voice disorders
Laryngeal Microsurgery
Laryngeal Videostroboscopy
Swallowing Disorders
Voice disorders


  • Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery


  • Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Michael Johns, III, MD

Professor of Clinical Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Division Director, Laryngology
Director, USC Voice Center
Director, Medical Student Education

Practicing location:

  • USC Healthcare Center 4

About this doctor:

Philosophy of Care

My goal as the director of the USC Voice Center is to improve the quality of life for individuals with voice, swallowing and airway disorders. I strive to achieve this through a true interdisciplinary approach to promoting health, preventing and curing disease, advancing biomedical research and educating those around me.

I received my undergraduate degree in economics at the University of Virginia, but my passion is for medicine. I graduation medical school from the Johns Hopkins University and then pursued training in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Michigan. While there, I did an NIH funded research year and became interested in voice, swallowing and airway disorders. This led me to pursue specialty fellowship training at the Vanderbilt Voice Center. I then founded the Emory Voice Center with Speech Pathologist Dr. Edie Hapner, PhD in Atlanta Georgia, which was among the first interdisciplinary voice centers in the United States. Twelve years later, I was recruited to the University of Southern California to form the USC Voice Center and bring our interdisciplinary model of care to Southern California.

I embrace a caring, patient-centered approach with my patients. At the USC Voice Center, my patients can count on a coordinated, cohesive and unique experience backed by a team of voice and swallowing experts to optimize outcomes and satisfaction.


MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1996
BA in Economics, University of Virginia, 1992


University of Michigan Health Center, Department of Surgery, 1997


University of Michigan Health Center, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, 2002


Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Laryngology and Care of the Professional Voice, 2003
University of Michigan Muscle Mechanics Laboratory, Research fellowship, 2000


American Board of Otolaryngology, 2003, recertified 2010, effective through 2023

Professional society memberships:

American Bronchoesophagological and American Laryngological Society, 2012 - 2013
American Laryngological Association


Atlanta Super Doctors, 2012 - 2014
Atlanta Magazine Top Doctors, 2010 - 2014
Second Place Poster, Voice Outcomes Following Posterior Cordotomy in Patients with Bilateral Vocal Fold Immobility, American Bronchoesophagological Association, 2013
Best Doctors in America, 2007-present.
First Place Poster, Computed Tomography Has Low Yield in the Evaluation of Idiopathic Unilateral True Vocal Fold Paresis, 133rd American Laryngological Association Annual Meeting, 2012.
Emory Voice Center Special Award for Volunteerism, Georgia Speech and Hearing Association, 2007
Emory University Woodruff Leadership Academy, class of 2007.
Dean’s Teaching Award, Emory University School of Medicine for outstanding medical student teaching, 2007
Teacher of the Year, Emory University Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Department for excellence in resident physician teaching, 2007.
Best Poster Honorable Mention, Preliminary comparison of an oropharyngeal aerosolized pH probe and a standard dual pH probe for diagnosis of laryngopharyngeal reflux, the 36th Voice Foundation Symposium, 2007.
National ‘Top 10 Teaching Product’ – The Reynolds Foundation. Awarded for the development of an outstanding teaching tool for Geriatric Dysphagia, 2006.
Jahnigen Career Development Award – The American Geriatrics Society and John A. Hartford Foundation, Awarded for outstanding research proposal in the aging voice, 2005
Fellow, American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, awarded 2003
Merle Lawrence Resident Research Prize, Awarded by the Department of Otolaryngology for outstanding research – Motion specific laryngeal reinnervation, 2001
University of Michigan Plastic Surgery Department Resident Research Prize, Awarded for outstanding research - Muscle-nerve-muscle neurotization in unilateral vocal fold paralysis, 2000
Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society, 1996
Phi Beta Kappa honor fraternity, 1992
Intermediate Honors - Cap and gown procession and honor awarded by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia for high GPA achievement after 4 semesters of study, 1990
Phi Eta Theta honor society – Freshman academic honor, 1989
National Honor Society, 1988
Golden Key Honor Society, 1988