A member of the founding leadership team at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and a pioneer in the field of interprofessionalism in medical education has been promoted. Richard Vari, the school’s associate dean for medical education, has been named senior dean for academic affairs.

“Dr. Vari was chief designer of our medical education program,” said Cynda Johnson, founding dean of the school. “Under his direction, we have an exciting and innovative curriculum that helped us prepare and graduate our first class last spring and will graduate our second class this May. The strength of this curriculum is reflected in the tremendous success of our students.”

Before joining the school in 2008, Vari served as associate dean for medical education and professor of physiology at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences for 15 years. Prior to that, he was on the faculty in the Department of Physiology at the Tulane University School of Medicine.

Vari has been heavily involved in curriculum design, management, and student assessment during his 29-year career in medical education.

“Dr. Vari’s record of accomplishments, enthusiasm, and dedication to faculty, staff, and students made him the perfect fit for the project of designing the educational curriculum of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine,” Johnson said.

Vari has received numerous teaching awards at each of the schools he has worked, including the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. He has also been recognized nationally for contributions to both education programs and faculty development and has served on several national and international education committees.

While at the University of North Dakota, Vari was instrumental in developing an interprofessional health care education course, the first of its kind at the school. He brought that leadership experience to the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, where he helped direct the development of a four-year curriculum in interprofessional health care education.

Vari has received funding for research in renal physiology and medical education initiatives, published dozens of peer-reviewed manuscripts, and been an invited speaker at national and international conferences.

Vari earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the University of Kentucky.

Written by Catherine Doss

Share this story