Portrait of a Graduate

John Turner

Tell us a little about yourself. (hobbies, interests, education, family, fun facts)
I am a proud 2003 graduate of HCES and practicing family physician here in Tallahassee. I have been happily married to my wife Rachel for 3.5 years and have a wonderful two-year-old son and am expecting a girl in December. I have several interests outside of work including painting, playing the piano, and travelling. With regards to the latter, I have had several unique opportunities to travel over the past year as I have served on medical mission trips to East Africa and Nicaragua, and just recently returned from a month-long trip across China and southeast Asia.

Tell us about your career path and journey along the way.
After graduating high school, I attended Florida State University where I double majored in Geography and Environmental Studies. I then continued my education there at the College of Medicine where I received my medical degree. Following this, Rachel and I decided to stay in Tallahassee for my residency, which I completed with the Family Medicine Program at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare. It was certainly a long and trying path and I could likely fill a book with all the unexpected twists and turns along the way, but I am just so thankful to be on to the next chapter of life!

Tell us about your job and your responsibilities.
I recently joined Tallahassee Primary Care Associates and am a practicing Family Physician sharing a practice along with doctors Hempel and Groll.

What are you most excited about as you've started this new adventure?
I would say that I’m most excited to really get to know my patients over the years and to be able to develop those relationships and to care for them throughout life’s ups and downs.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully at the same place! I absolutely love my office and all the nurses and front office staff. I am thrilled to be a member of TPCA and am hoping to practice with them into the distant future. Besides, Rachel and I love it here in Tallahassee, so we definitely aren’t planning on leaving!

What would you say to the students, today, that are planning for careers that don’t yet exist in this ever-changing world?
I would advise to identify your dreams early, but to always keep an open mind and to be prepared for change, both in yourself and in the world around you. In my case, I knew that I wanted to be a physician from as early as I can remember, but the journey to that goal was anything but predictable. For starters, I never saw myself with degrees in Geography and Environmental Studies, but in hindsight, I had a blast!

How did HCES play a role in your journey?
Holy Comforter played a pivotal role in my decades-long journey to where I am now. In fact, you could say that it was the catalyst to the eventual path I ended up on. Besides the excellent education I received there (I would single out science, except truthfully I received a wonderful education in not only that but language arts, the social studies, and Spanish), I also competed in my first ever science fair while at HCES. That project ended up getting me to the state science fair which in turn got me hooked. This eventually led to four more science projects, four more state science fairs, three international science fairs, and accolades and research opportunities which I am convinced are a major reason why I was accepted into medical school. Without that foundation in middle school, I’m not certain any of that happens and therefore I am extremely grateful.

Do you have a favorite HCES memory you would like to share?
Honestly, I can’t single out just one memory. From learning about the regions of Spain in Mrs. Pobjecky’s Spanish class to performing in the 6th grade rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to all the various fun experiments and projects we had in Physical Science; really I had a wonderful time while I was there.

Who is your mentor and how did they inspire you?
This is a difficult question to answer, as I feel like I’ve had several mentors throughout my life. First off, my parents have by far been the biggest role models in my life and have supported me in ways that I feel I will never be able to repay. Academically, Mr. McCaw at HCES was probably one of my biggest inspirations in the sciences. I would also like to credit Mr. Williams at Lincoln High School who really inspired me to remain interested in writing as well as my grandmother who encouraged my love of the arts. With regards to medicine, all of the staff at the FSU College of Medicine and the attendings with TMH Family Practice have each had a great impact on who I am today