Get To Know Pediatrician Expert Dr. Brianna Varas

Dr. Brianna VarasPhoto Credit: Anita AndradeDr. Brianna Varas’ path to becoming one of South Florida’s most renowned pediatricians has been an unconventional one. Born in North Carolina and raised in Miami, Dr. Brianna graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes High School. Attending New York University to major in Art, a career in medicine wasn’t even on Brianna’s radar during her University years. However, one summer Brianna returned to Miami, and her father, who is the Director of Transplant Pathology at Jackson Memorial Hospital, encouraged her to get a job. She recalls, “I was looking for a position in advertising or graphic design, when my dad called me out of the blue one day and said, ‘Why don’t you start working at my lab?’” Brianna took the position and within a short time working at Jackson Memorial Hospital, she was deeply impacted.

Witnessing how the transplants helped transform children’s lives opened Brianna’s eyes to the life-saving miracles these doctors achieved every day. Months later, Brianna traveled to Guatemala with the Emmaus Medical Mission where she had another transformational experience. Performing a variety of tasks, including distributing medications, administering vitamin shots, taking blood pressures, and translating from Spanish to English between patients and physicians, Brianna loved the immediate impact she had on this underserved community in Guatemala. “It’s an amazing feeling knowing that I was able to change someone’s life for the better,” recalls Brianna.

Dr. Brianna VarasPhoto Credit: Anita AndradeFollowing her work in medical missions and the lab, Brianna was captivated by the difference physicians can make in people’s lives. She had a newly found passion for medicine and was compelled to pursue a career in pediatrics at the University of Miami. As a pre-med student Brianna continued to take part in medical missions and traveled to Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador and Haiti. She became the Vice President of Caneshare, a Student Organization for Project Medishare, and assisted in organizing 20 students and faculty volunteers to Haiti after the earthquake disaster. Visiting these countries changed Brianna’s world-view. She realized just how many underserved countries around the world needed people that were willing and eager to make a change.

After completing her residency at Miami Children’s Hospital, Dr. Brianna took her compassion and ambition to one of the most renowned pediatric medical practices in the country, Sunset Pediatrics. She practices alongside Dr. Philip D. Floyd, who is Board Certified in Pediatrics, is a fellow of The American Academy of Pediatrics, and has been elected to "America's Top Pediatricians" for the last 4 years. This was the first time Dr. Floyd took on a partner in the concierge practice. Dr. Brianna mentions, “We want you to feel like you have access to a physician at all times. Not a PA or a nurse.” Their facilities include an on-site laboratory, where most tests are completed during a visit, and a paperless office where all records are kept using the latest electronic medical records system.

Partnering with Sunset Pediatrics, Brianna hopes to alleviate any anxiety parents may have while dealing with their child’s health. She relates, “As a first time mom, even though I’m a Pediatrician, there are so many things you need guidance with.” The holistic service they provide allows a thorough one-on-one time that helps families with anything, “Whether it’s finding therapists, recommending tips, assessing for sensory problems, or even if they aren’t doing well in school, being able to delve into the ‘why?’” Dr. Varas adds. Her compassionate nature strengthens the quality of her services and her instinct to help has already impacted many lives. Brianna emphasizes how Sunset Pediatrics is, “Not only taking care of medical problems, but taking care of families as a whole.” Rather than having to wait an hour and a half for only fifteen minutes of an appointment, Sunset Pediatrics makes use of its comprehensive time for a personal, holistic experience. Their concierge service is typically 45 minutes to an hour. Brianna expresses, “What’s so important is really being able to provide the care that I want to provide for the family and for the patient.” Dr. Brianna reflects, “It’s a new form of medicine, but also its kind of bringing it back to the way medicine was originally done.”

Dr. Brianna VarasPhoto Credit: Anita AndradeToday Dr. Brianna continues to take part in medical missions with the Ecuadorian organization Mindo Futures. Each year, volunteer teams prepare and equip to treat 4,000 to 5,000 patients in the community of Mindo, Ecuador. A temporary clinic is set up with its own doctor and assistant(s) and has the capacity to provide effective, field-based healthcare. Dr. Brianna typically visits an orphanage, and focuses on treating children, along with everyone in the community because, as she says, “Pretty much, for them, it’s the only time they would get to see a doctor all year.” The work she has done has amounted to such a huge difference in those people’s lives, and she hopes to transcend that experience in her every-day career. She wishes to continue her annual visits and believes that her focus will stay in Ecuador.

Although she loves being able to live out her passion as a pediatrician and medical missionary, Dr. Brianna is also the wife of renowned developer Manny Angelo Varas and the mother of two boys Angelo (5 years old) and Nicholas (3 years old) and Dr. Brianna is enjoying every minute of it she says, “Being a pediatrician you would think that you’d have children all figured out, but nothing can really prepare you for the amazing world of parenthood!”