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July 31, 2018

College of Human Medicine professor named Family Medicine Educator of the Year

Henry Barry, a Michigan State University professor in the Department of Family Medicine, has been named the 2018 Michigan Family Medicine Educator of the Year by the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians.

“It’s clearly a great honor,” Barry said, who was honored at the academy’s annual conference on July 14.

 To say that Barry enjoys his job is a bit of an understatement.

“I love taking care of patients,” Barry said, who is also a senior associate dean for faculty affairs and development in the College of Human Medicine. “But the time I get to spend with students, that’s the thing I’m most passionate about. It’s got to be one of the happiest jobs on the planet.”

Barry began teaching at MSU in 1989. In addition to teaching, he sees patients three half days a week, while finding time to mentor young faculty members. He often reminds his students that they’re taking care of an individual, not a disease. 

“I want them to be the best physicians that they can be,” he said.

Neither of Barry’s parents – his mother, a World War II refugee raised on the border of Germany and Poland, and his father, a resident in a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania – had much education, but they instilled in him four principles that have carried him through his career.

  • Learn something new every day.
  • No matter what you do, do the best that you can.
  • Find joy in what you do.
  • And make a difference in the lives of others.

“Those are the things that have guided me,” Barry said. “Ultimately, anybody’s legacy depends on what you do for the next generation.”


By: Geri Kelley