Dr. Mark Handy is not a typical physician. For starters…he plays the banjo.
Dr. Handy is known throughout the region of Southwest Virginia, East Tennessee, and Western North Carolina as an accomplished musician, a fine flat-footer, and he was even in a music video with Zach Galifianakis.
It’s enough to make you forget that he is also a beloved physician, a decorated medical school educator, and a tireless volunteer for emergency services.
In 2019, Dr. Handy was honored by being named the 2019 Volunteer Clinical Faculty Awardee by UVA’s Alpha Omega Alpha. It is given annually to a volunteer clinical faculty member for excellence in clinical mentorship.
The nomination for Dr. Handy might just be the best description of this unconventional doctor that can be assembled:
“Dr. Handy embodies the commitment to education, compassion and service that Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) society strives for its members to embody. I spent one month working with Dr. Handy during my family medicine rotation caring for the under-served patients of Abingdon in rural Southwest Virginia. Despite a busy practice where we saw 30+ patients everyday in addition to numerous house visits, Dr. Handy provided me the platform to develop my critical thinking skills by giving me the independence to create plans for patients. At end of every shift, he would assess gaps in my knowledge with the simple statement “tell me about x,” and would spend the next hour filling in the gaps. Furthermore, in a primary care climate where every clinic visit is scheduled to be ten minutes long; he emphasized the importance of compassion by giving me the flexibility in the amount of time I spent with patients listening to fascinating stories about their lives and their lost loved ones. Dr. Handy also ensured that patients treated me with respect. I distinctly remember an occasion when he was quick to provide education to a patient who made a racially insensitive comment in reference to me. Unsurprisingly, the utmost respect in which I hold Dr. Handy is shared by all students that I have encountered who have worked with him. As such, I strongly believe he is a deserving candidate of the AOA Volunteer faculty award.”
Dr. Handy is also a 2014 winner of the Carl and Ruth Looney Humanitarian Award granted by the Emory & Henry Alumni Association.
Mark finished at Emory & Henry with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and graduated from East Carolina School of Medicine and the ETSU Family Residency Program. He is a family medicine practitioner in Abingdon, Virginia. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, the ISHN Board of Quality Assurance, is Medical Director of Hometown Hospice, and is Medical Director for Intrepid Home Health. He received the Board of Governors for East Carolina University School of Medicine. He is President and CEO of Abingdon Medical Arts, President and CEO of Triple H Farms of Alleghany, President and CEO of William M. Handy, MD, PC, and Associate Professor of Medicine at University of Virginia. He is a past winner of the Teacher of the Year Award at UVA, the Resident Teacher Award, and was named Medical Director of the Year for Emergency Medical Services. He is an accomplished banjo player and champion clogger, and is a member of Mountain Park Old Time Band and Tune Town Band, which won Vocal Group of the Year at Blue Ridge Acoustic Uprising in 2014.