November 13, 2013
Brenham Honored as Family Medicine Teacher of the Year
Dr. Careyana Brenham, associate professor of family medicine at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, was honored as the Family Medicine Teacher of the Year by the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians at the group’s annual meeting banquet on November 8 in Lisle.
Brenham is the only person in the history of SIU School of Medicine to receive the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award as both a medical student and an attending physician. After receiving the award as a student, she felt a foundation had been set for her future contributions as a physician.
“I love taking care of patients and cherish the relationships I have established in my clinical practice. Teaching helps me further complete my goals and passion in medicine,” Brenham says. “Working with residents and medical students and seeing the progress they make in their training is inspiring.”
Her approach worked on Dr. Tabatha Wells, now an assistant professor and first-year faculty physician at SIU Family and Community Medicine. “Dr. Brenham’s excellent teaching style and dedication to her students and residents was one of the strongest motivators in my choosing SIU’s Department of Family and Community Medicine for residency training…. While I have only been in this position (faculty) for a year,” said Wells, “she has been a guiding hand in helping me to learn how to be an effective teacher and leader.” Dr. Janet Albers, associate chair of the family and community medicine department at SIU, preceded Brenham as the residency program director and nominated her for the award.
Being a family medicine educator requires additional people skills. “Nothing can compare to the truly personal levels of relationships you develop with entire families when providing them care,” Brenham says.
In addition to her interest in women’s health care, Brenham has a unique and critical role in Springfield and the surrounding communities. She is on call 24/7 for both Springfield hospital emergency rooms to respond for cases of child sexual abuse. She conducts the exam and then provides guidance and counseling for the child and family. She also compiles the evidence and provides expert testimony at trial. This expertise has led to her role as chair of the Children’s Justice Task Force, uniting more than two dozen child advocates and experts from across Illinois to provide better services to children who have been physically or sexually abused. She’s also been able to build this special training in child abuse and child advocacy into the family medicine and pediatrics residency programs at SIU.
Family medicine is a tradition in Brenham’s family. Her father, Dr. Michael Brewer, is a family physician, and her mother, Sandra Hudgins Brewer, is a family nurse practitioner.
Brenham is the residency director for Springfield Family Medicine at SIU. She also is an alumnus of the school, receiving her medical degree in 2000. She completed a fellowship in faculty development (2004) and her residency in family medicine (2003), also at SIU. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1996).
Established in 1970, SIU School of Medicine’s mission is to assist the people of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health-care needs through education, patient care, research and service to the community. Its website is www.siumed.edu and its main number is 217-545-8000.