Dr. Albert Varon Honored for Faculty Mentoring

The Association of University Anesthesiologists bestowed its 2024 Mentoring Award on the anesthesiologist who has devoted his 43-year career to helping colleagues.

One name everyone at Ryder Trauma Center knows is Albert Varon.

With a career spanning more than 43 years, the famed anesthesiologist has mentored innumerable trainees and faculty anesthesiologists. His efforts earned him the 2024 Mentoring Award from the Association of University Anesthesiologists (AUA).

The Leadership Advisory Board of the AUA recognizes honorees for their commitment to mentorship and sponsorship of faculty members in anesthesiology. The board assesses mentees’ achievements in scholarship, grant funding, promotions and leadership roles, domains where Dr. Varon’s mentees have excelled.

Dr. Varon (right), in the operating room with two colleagues.

“Being recognized among such a talented group of academic anesthesiology mentors is undoubtedly a highlight of my career as both a clinician and a mentor,” said Dr. Varon, also professor and vice chair for faculty development in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and chief of anesthesiology at Ryder Trauma Center. “This award holds significant meaning for me. It validates my efforts and inspires me to continue to help others along the way to reach their professional goals.”

Mentoring Built on Trust and Support

For Dr. Varon, mentorship is based on the belief that promoting meaningful relationships built on trust, guidance and support is essential for nurturing growth. His professional success has allowed him to reach his goals with an instilled sense of gratitude and purpose.

During Dr. Varon’s early days as a physician, Horacio Jinch, M.D., sharpened Dr. Varon’s ability to think and reason. More importantly, he taught Dr. Varon how to care for patients compassionately. Joseph M. Civetta, M.D., a renowned University of Miami surgical critical care intensivist, shaped Dr. Varon’s end-of-life-care principles. Ilene Harris, Ph.D., who led the Department of Medical Education at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, helped Dr. Varon improve his teaching skills.

“Mentorship plays a vital role in medicine, serving as a cornerstone for the development and success of health care professionals,” Dr. Varon said. “I have been fortunate to have had many influential mentors in my professional life and I am now committed to empowering the next generation of anesthesiologists to thrive in their careers and make a meaningful impact in the lives of others.”

Dr. Varon credits his tenure as a successful educator as a distinguishing factor for the award. He has been a faculty member, fellowship program director and vice chair for education for one of the nation’s largest anesthesiology training programs. In 2020, he was honored with the Excellence in Education Award from the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

“Dr. Varon’s receipt of this award is a well-deserved honor and serves as a testament to his exceptional skills as a mentor and educator,” said Keith A. Candiotti, M.D., Emanuel M. Papper professor and chair of the Department of Anesthesiology. “His unwavering dedication to advancing the field of anesthesiology sets a remarkable example for all of us to follow.”

Guiding the Next Generation of Anesthesiologists

Even with his many accolades, Dr. Varon is still learning and being mentored, this time by his young colleagues.

“Now, my junior colleagues have also become a source of inspiration and mentorship for me,” Dr. Varon said. “I find myself learning from their experiences, ideas and dedication to excellence, just as I once learned from my senior mentors. It’s a reciprocal relationship where we all support and uplift each other.”

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine anesthesiologist Dr. Albert Varon
Dr. Varon said the guidance he received from mentors early in his career had a profound effect on his mentoring philosophy.

One of these colleagues is Christian Diez, M.D., M.B.A., professor and vice chair for clinical affairs in the Department of Anesthesiology at the Miller School, who nominated Dr. Varon for the award.

“Dr. Varon emphasizes the importance of personal wellness and having a thorough understanding as key successes to advance patient care,” said Dr. Diez, who earned his undergraduate, Doctor of Medicine and master of business administration degrees at the University of Miami. “His mentorship inspires us to innovate and elevate health care for future generations of anesthesiologists to have even greater successes in the field.”

“At this stage of my career, my greatest satisfaction comes from witnessing the success of those I mentor,” Dr. Varon said. “I wish to continue my service and mentoring endeavors not only to provide guidance and support to aspiring professionals but also as payback for the countless opportunities I’ve been afforded throughout my tenure at the University.”

Tags: Department of Anesthesiology, Dr. Albert Varon, Dr. Christian Diez, Dr. Keith Candiotti, mentoring