Has taught at SUNY Upstate for 18 years

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2008 Healthcare Hero
Honorable Mention
Corliss Varnum, MD

In Varnum's practice, education is a top priority.

Varnum has spent the last 18 years as a clinical assistant professor at SUNY Upstate Medical University. He has also worked at Port City Family Medicine in Oswego since 1986. "Dr. Varnum has donated his time to mentor 12 doctoral students, all of whom have gone on to become doctors," said Eli Rapaport of Port City Family Medicine.

"By serving as an associate professor at SUNY Upstate, I serve as preceptor to young doctors who will go on to serve in a much-needed medical setting," Varnum said. Varnum has been elected as delegate to the American Medical Association and was elected president of the Oswego County Chapter, Medical Society, for the State of New York. He is also immediate past president of the Oswego Hospital medical staff.

"He practices his art in an outstanding manner," said one of his patients, Robert Vaughn. "He is a good man and has great concern for his patients." Vaughn added: "Hippocrates, the father of medicine, would be proud to call Dr. Varnum a son of medicine."

Varnum was named "Doctor of the Year" in 2007 by readers of The Palladium-Times, Oswego's daily newspaper. Varnum said the most rewarding aspects of his career are the personal relationships that have been built up over the years with his patients and colleagues.

But with ups, there also come downs. "In our profession, we inevitably lose patients to age or disease. Each time we lose a patient, we must mourn them and move on," Varnum said. "This is the hardest part of my practice."

A graduate of SUNY Oswego, Varnum went on to earn his medical degree at New York Medical College and finished his post-graduate medical training in Lancaster, Pa. Originally from Catskill, he has three children, Erik, Ryan and Kelly.