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Portrait of Andrew Varney

October 31, 2011

SIU Internal Medicine Residency Director Receives National Award

Dr. Andrew Varney, professor of internal medicine at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, has been selected to receive the Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award from the American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).  Varney is program director of the SIU School of Medicine internal medicine residency program.  He was one of 10 program directors to receive the annual award.  The ACGME accredited 8814 programs in 2010.

The award is given to program directors who embody Parker J. Palmer’s “courage to teach” philosophy, bringing both intellect and heart to the dual vocations of being a teacher and physician.  Palmer, an author, educator and activist, is senior associate of the American Association for Higher Education and senior adviser to the Fetzer Institute.  According to the ACGME, the award honors program directors who find “innovative ways to teach residents and who provide quality health care while remaining connected to the initial impulse to care for others.” 

Varney was nominated by SIU residents and faculty in recognition of his commitment to teaching and his work to develop innovative and effective residency education.  He was noted for his national leadership role in the Educational Innovation Project, which is designed to allow forward-thinking residency programs develop new curricula for internal medicine residents.  His residents wrote, “As young physicians, we are so fortunate to have a mentor who actively demonstrates the principles of the physician-patient relationship.  This is something that cannot be learned from a book."  He has been program director since 1997.

Varney joined the SIU faculty in 1992.  He completed his residency in internal medicine and earned his medical degree at SIU (1992, 1988).  He earned his bachelor’s degree at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. (1983).  Varney is board certified in internal medicine.