Professor McGiffin graduated from the University of Queensland Medical School and subsequently interned and trained in General Surgery at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane before going on to train in Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Prince Charles Hospital. In 1982, Professor McGiffin went to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar and undertook a Fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He joined the faculty at the University of Alabama, but returned to Australia in 1986 to work at The Prince Charles Hospital where he did adult and paediatric cardiac surgery and also set up the Queensland Heart Transplant Program. In 1992, Professor McGiffin returned to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. At UAB, his clinic duties included the full range of adult cardiac surgery, adult and paediatric heart transplantation and adult lung transplantation. He commenced a pulmonary endarterectomy program for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary
hypertension. Professor McGiffin’s research interests at UAB were primarily outcomes analysis in cardiac surgery and transplantation. Other areas of interest include homograft aortic valves and research into biomechanics and myocardial oxidative stress associated with chronic mitral regurgitation.
Professor McGiffin returned to Australia to take up a position as Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Alfred Hospital in 2013.