Physician Bio

Dr. John Christein

Dr. John Christein

Dr. Christein on his inspiration for becoming a physician and his motivation to work with patients needing surgery:

“Growing up as a young boy, into a young man, and then into an adult, I always had an affinity for helping those in need.  Whether this was through church work projects or volunteer jobs, this is where I found myself enjoying life.  As I went through school, I was attracted to the sciences and then into the healthcare field.  Becoming a doctor quickly became a dream and goal of mine.  Throughout high school and college I did all I could to visit with physicians in all areas of medicine, ranging from rural clinics to nursing homes, academic teaching hospitals and to psychiatric facilities.  I always enjoyed helping others and this combination of the work, study, and gratification of helping others propelled me onto medical school and towards my goal of becoming a doctor.

During medical school, I rotated through all the medical specialties, many of which I had been exposed to through volunteer opportunities during my younger years.  I immediately fell in love with surgery.  I gravitated to the technical difficulty as well as the endurance and concentration it took to come to being able to help those in need and those that really had nowhere else to turn.  By chance, I ended up taking care of several patients in sequence who were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  This is when I realized my dream of becoming a surgeon and more specifically, a pancreatic surgeon.  Pancreatic and Hepatobiliary surgery is not only a very difficult area to master from a surgeon standpoint but an area in which the ability to help patients is dramatic.  Working toward excellence in this area took me to hospitals where I could learn from the best in my efforts to be the best I could become.

A day at the hospital in which I can talk with patients and their families, help them understand their diagnoses, and how I can work to help them is what makes it easy to come to work.  The joy of helping someone and their loved ones, the ability through God to not only perform the technical aspect of surgery but to bring peace and confidence to families is where I find happiness.  I look forward to challenges and will do whatever I am able to meet that challenge.  I hope that through my efforts I can make a difference through contact with others, whether it be medical or service related.  Helping you would be an honor.”


Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery

Located At


Length of Tenure with Alabama Oncology

Joined in June, 2018

Board Certifications

Diplomat, American Board of Surgery, 2004


Bachelor of Arts, Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois
Doctor of Medicine, Rush Medical College, Chicago, Illinois
Rush University/Cook County Hospital Integrated Surgical Residency, Chicago, Illinois
Advanced Gastrointestinal Surgery Fellowship, Department of Surgery Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota


1994 Augustana College, graduated cum laude
1999 Surgical Intern of the Year, Rush University
2001 Letter of Accommodation for Teaching, Rush University
2003 Surgical Chief Administrative Resident, Rush University
2003 Surgical Chief Resident of the Year, Rush University
2005 American-Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association Poster of Distinction
2005 Fellow Teacher of the Year, Mayo Clinic Department of Surgery
2005 William Albert Maddox, M.D. Cancer Research Award, Alabama Chapter,
American College of Surgeons
2006 Protective Life Clinical Initiative Award, University of Alabama at Birmingham
2007 John W. Kirklin Foundation Research Award, University of Alabama at
2010 Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society
2013 Shipley Award, Southern Surgical Association

Professional Associations

American College of Surgeons, Associate
Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons
Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract
Association for Academic Surgery
International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association
American Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association
The Pancreas Club
The Medical Association of the State of Alabama
The Jefferson County Medical Society
Southeastern Surgical Congress
American College of Surgeons, Fellow
Southern Surgical Association
Society of University Surgeons