DR SAM Johnson grew up surfing on the Mornington Peninsula, and now a position training as a young doctor at Frankston Hospital means he may be able to rekindle his passion for the sport.
The 25-year-old is excited to be back on the peninsula to complete his graduate year in medical training after spending the past few years studying at Melbourne University.
“I used to surf heaps before medicine, then it went on the back burner, but, hopefully, now I’m back down here I’ll be able to go more whenever I’m not working,” Dr Johnson said.
As well as being attracted to the lifestyle offered by working at Peninsula Health, Dr Johnson says he was also impressed by the level of support given to junior doctors. “I’d heard really good things about the hospital,” he said.
“I know quite a few of last year’s interns and they’ve loved it. There’s a lot of support and really good registrars here who are very helpful.”
The former Mentone Grammar student will do five rotations this year, starting in general medicine on ward 5GS at Frankston Hospital before moving on to Rosebud Emergency Department, then general surgery, and a rural placement at Warragul before finishing up in the neurology sector.
On an average day, Dr Johnson and his fellow doctors in his general medicine group look after 15-25 patients.
During his undergraduate degree in bio-medicine, Sam came to be sure he wanted to pursue a career in medicine, although he is still deciding what area to specialise in.
“I’ve always been interested in health, sport and nutrition, the human body and the challenge of constantly learning new things,” he said.
“I like the idea of working in sports medicine, the ED, intensive care unit or general medicine.”
In his first two weeks, Dr Johnson says he has learned a lot: he’s cared for confused and agitated patients, called a code, used a new computer system and gotten his head around the preferred method of communication between medical staff: pagers.
One of the most rewarding experiences of his intern year so far has been helping a patient through a difficult time.
“The patient has been really sick, so just being able to chat to him about stuff outside of medicine, like the cricket and what he used to do for a living, helps take his mind off things and normalises being in hospital,” he said.
Dr Johnson is looking forward to heading to Rosebud for his next rotation – for both the work and, of course, being close to some of the peninsula’s best surf beaches.