Dr John Floridis – Is there a (Flinders) doctor in the house?!

If ever you found yourself in a ‘BREAK GLASS’ moment you might hope that Flinders medicine alumnus Dr John Floridis (pictured left) is in shouting distance.

Now working as an Emergency Registrar at Royal Darwin Hospital, John would know whether that strange sensation you experienced after plunging your fingers into a hot toaster to retrieve your breakfast needed first aid or an ambulance.

Winner of five honours and awards on graduation in 2013, he is a dual-registered trainee in emergency medicine and rural general practice. He is also an Associate Lecturer at Flinders Medical School.

“By completing both training programs concurrently, my intention is to become a generalist that can work in acute care, primary care and areas of need. Versatility of skills and cultural awareness are qualities I prioritise, due to the increasingly complex needs of our population,” John said.

Teaching and research form a large component of his practice. Of keen interest to him are medical education, electrolyte disturbances in hospital patients, and renal disorders.

Reflecting on his time as a Flinders medical student John has many happy memories of a course that was “unique compared to other courses in its delivery and structure.”

“It was fantastic. There is a vast amount of knowledge and skill to be acquired in a short space of time, with a mixture of didactic and group peer-to-peer learning.

“I particularly enjoyed the large focus on biomedical science in the first two years of the course. The clinical experience during my third year at the Onkaparinga Clinical Education Program (OCEP) was extremely well organised, and the flexibility of electives in final year enabled me to pursue areas of interest,” he said.

Its personal impact left a lasting legacy on John as he threw himself headlong into the social aspects of university life.

“I remember especially the strong camaraderie between students. The annual Orientation Week and MedCamp were fantastic events where we welcomed our newest students.

“More than that even was the pride of Flinders Medical School competing on a national stage at the Australian Medical Students’ Association Convention, winning the tug-of-war, and being a finalist in the Emergency Medicine Challenge,” he said.

An international elective in rural Thailand also was “fascinating, confronting and widened my perspective on healthcare.”

His advice to those thinking of studying medicine is grounded in what shaped him while at Flinders and it continues to drive his passion for the profession.

“I would highly recommend Flinders University based on my own personal experiences. Remember that any university experience is largely shaped on personal drive and ambition. It is tempting to simply pass and meet minimal expectations to complete your degree.

“However, remember that there is an expectation from your employer, the public and your patients that you are competent, confident, and not merely satisfactory. Flinders University enables you to excel but it requires determination, grit and hard work,” John said.
His counsel to students that they should study diligently is heartfelt. While immersing himself fully in the social life of his alma mater, John focussed equally on his studies. His devotion paid off handsomely with the awarding of several honours:

  • Australian Medical Association Gold Medal (2013)
  • Australian and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators Student Prize (2013)
  • W.A. Crammond Prize in Psychiatry (2013)
  • Jack Alpers Award in Clinical Medicine (2013)
  • Flinders University Staff Prize in Medicine (2013)

“My preceptors and colleagues have definitely shaped the person I am today. It is very easy to become driven and passionate when the right individuals surround you.

“I have been inspired by the careers of so many hard-working clinicians and influential academics. Furthermore, having a large involvement in extra-curricular activities during medical school has ensured I will always make time for helping students.

“Working in the Northern Territory has been a major factor fuelling my ongoing passion for medicine – I have been lucky enough to see and treat rare medical conditions often described in textbooks but not seen anywhere else, work with wonderful people, and be immersed in wide cultural diversity.

“My goal is to become a dual-qualified emergency physician and procedural general practitioner, while maintaining an active role in medical education and research,” he said.

Asked for his advice to current Flinders medical students, John urges them to take full advantage of the opportunity they have been given.

“Make the most of your time at university – take on extracurricular activities, be opportunistic, work hard, but don’t forget to enjoy the incredible social aspect of medical school.

“It is amazing how quickly four years disappears, and the large jump in responsibility that occurs when you begin work as a doctor.

“Travel overseas or into rural Australia during the final year for an elective placement – it will provide a fantastic insight into healthcare outside of your comfort zone.

“Finally, learn your basic science concepts well – these foundational principals are relevant every single day during clinical practice!

“I am extremely proud to be an alumnus of this University. I was provided with an outstanding medical education, unforgettable student experiences and the opportunity to meet wonderful individuals.”

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