Kyle E. Rarey, PhD, Professor, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and Department of Otolaryngology, Director, Center for Anatomical Sciences Education, University of Florida College of Medicine
From his first teaching position introducing high school students to the wonders of biology to three decades of guiding first-year medical students through their first, sometimes tense, encounters with dissection cadavers, Kyle E. Rarey, PhD, has combined his love of anatomy with his compassionate understanding of the human condition to motivate students to excel in medicine and in life.
Dr. Rarey grew up on a farm in Indiana and was the first person in his family to attend college. These experiences informed Dr. Rarey’s classroom, where, according to his students, he teaches not only grit but empathy. “He guides us along both the scientific and humanistic aspects of medicine,” says current student Wayne Dell.
“Dr. Rarey is a master at motivating students to strive for excellence in all their endeavors, often using stages of a triathlon to emphasize high expectations and the importance of pace and endurance — telling them to stroke, stroke, kick, kick to get around each buoy of life,” says Michael L. Good, MD, former dean of the University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine.
Between his effective motivational tactics and his readiness to adopt newer technologies, including the Sectra Table and 3D learning, Dr. Rarey has connected with thousands of students since arriving at UF in 1984. Students have consistently ranked him “outstanding” on teacher evaluations, hailing him as “an inspirational teacher who makes students love and appreciate the art of medicine through his contagious excitement for the material.”
Course director for clinical human anatomy at UF since 1991 and currently the director of the Center for Anatomical Sciences Education, Dr. Rarey has received 32 awards for excellence in teaching, including the annual UF College of Medicine Exemplary Teacher award, which he earned each year from 2011 through 2014. He received the Golden Apple Teaching Award 11 times and the UF College of Medicine Teacher of the Year award five times. To recognize Dr. Rarey’s positive influence on students over his 49-year career, students from the class of 2020 established the Kyle E. Rarey, PhD, Award for Excellence in Anatomical Sciences in 2017. In March 2018, the Society of Teaching Scholars awarded Dr. Rarey its Lifetime Achievement Award.
He recently co-created three anatomy certificate programs and an MS-PhD program to meet the nation’s urgent need for anatomy teachers.
Dr. Rarey earned his PhD in anatomy from Indiana University. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in inner ear microhomeostasis at the University of Michigan.