ROANOKE, Va., May 27, 2011 – The International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) has elected Richard C. Vari to its board of directors.
Vari is the associate dean for medical education and chair of the Department of Interprofessionalism at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.
“I am proud and honored to have been nominated and now elected to the board,” said Vari. “Serving on the board at this level will allow me to give back and to share my experience in developing and implementing medical education curricula.” Vari will serve a three-year term, beginning June 1.
Vari has been a member of IAMSE since the organization was founded in 1997. In February, he was featured in an IAMSE webinar series called, “New Places, New Opportunities, New Ideas in Medical Education” where Vari was able to explain the unique curricular elements at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine to hundreds of IAMSE members and guests.
He spoke about the school’s admissions process, which features the multiple mini interview as a method to select students who are team players with critical thinking skills and empathy, and who will be able to rise to the challenge of 21st century medicine. In addition, he explained how problem-based learning is utilized in small groups to increase active learning instead of requiring a large number of lectures. Finally, Vari edified why the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine included a research project as a requirement of the curriculum and how the school is integrating interprofessionalism studies with other health professions across the four year curriculum. (Watch the presentation.)
“Dr. Vari will be a significant contributor to IAMSE’s mission. Rick embodies innovation in medical education. We are extremely fortunate to have him on our team at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. I look forward to seeing the impact that he will make on the IAMSE board. I am confident that it will be far-reaching,” said Dr. Cynda Ann Johnson, founding dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.
Vari became founding associate dean for medical education at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in April 2008. He had most recently served as associate dean for medical education and professor of physiology at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. While there, Vari played a critical role in redirecting the medical curriculum from a traditional didactic-based program to a problem-based learning hybrid model.
He received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees from the University of Kentucky. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Physiology at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia.
Vari also served on the faculty in the Department of Physiology at Tulane University School of Medicine before moving to North Dakota.
The IAMSE was founded in 1997 as a nonprofit professional development society for medical education faculty members. It represents members in over 40 countries.
The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute joins the basic science, life science, bioinformatics, and engineering strengths of Virginia Tech with the medical practice and medical education experience of Carilion Clinic. Virginia Tech Carilion is located in a new biomedical health sciences campus in Roanoke at 2 Riverside Circle.