Select Page

Michael Varenbut

Healthcare & Mental Health


For Michael Varenbut, the best part about working in healthcare is getting to see his patients improve and regain their health stability, a journey that affects the individual patient, but also everyone else in their life. From the onset of his career, Michael has enjoyed being able to help others and create clinics and other operations that can help provide treatments to  under-serviced communities, especially when it comes to those dealing with mental health and addiction issues.

Michael Varenbut’s career in healthcare began in 1985 when he started at the University of Toronto to study Biology. He graduated two years later in 1987 with honors and his Bachelor of Science in Biology. Immediately after earning his undergraduate degree, Michael returned to the University of Toronto where he earned his Doctor of Medicine with Honours in 1991. From there, Michael’s educational career continued throughout most of his life. He underwent Sleep Medicine Specialty training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York & at the Stanford University School of Sleep Medicine in 2000. In 2002 he was certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine in addiction medicine, which he recertified in 2012. Throughout the years, he’s earned numerous certifications and fellowships, as he’s worked to expand his expertise and stay up to date with everything that’s happening in the healthcare sector.

Michael Varenbut has contributed to a significant body of scholarly work in three primary areas: Addiction Medicine, Sleep Medicine, and Primary Care. He has more than 29 publications to his name placed in journals and periodicals like The Canadian Journal of Addiction and The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. As well, Michael was the founding editor for the Canadian Journal of Addiction (CJA).  He has also held a number of leadership roles in the community as well, serving on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine, as well as a chair on the membership committee and the opiate agonist committee. Michael has also served as a chair on a research committee and as Executive Clinical Director for Ontario Addiction Treatment Centres.

Alongside his career as a medical professional, Michael Varenbut has contributed greatly in an academic sense to the community as well. He’s taught in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto for 13 years, where he also worked as a mentor in the Family Medicine Mentorship Program. Michael has received great acclaim for his work in academia, receiving the Teaching Award from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine for the Peters-Boyd Academy in 2003 and 2010 and being nominated in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011.

Michael’s vision of the future of healthcare is simple: He hopes for a world where we ensure unencumbered access to everyone, regardless of financial ability, race, or health, to world-class, best in practice healthcare services. He also hopes to see a push towards preventative medicine as a standard, where instead of treating diseases after they arise, we strive to avoid the disease altogether in the first place by promoting an overall healthy lifestyle.

Certifications & Memberships

  • Certified in Family & Community Medicine
  • Fellow of the Canadian College of Family Physicians
  • Diplomat of the American Board of Sleep Medicine
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
  • Certified in Addiction Medicine by the Canadian & American Societies of Addiction Medicine
  • Medical Review Officer
  • Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine
  • Certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM)
  • Fellow of the International Society of Addiction Medicine (FISAM)

Recent Blogs

The Neuroscience of Borderline Personality Disorder

The Neuroscience of Borderline Personality Disorder

Being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can be overwhelming. Not many people really understand what it means at first or why it can be perhaps an untreatable condition of irregular moods, difficulty with interpersonal relationships, and identity...

Creativity and Incident in Modern Medicine

Creativity and Incident in Modern Medicine

So often, the humanities are positioned on the opposite side of the spectrum as medicine. The two are thought to be entirely separate disciplines, with creativity aligning with humanities and arts, and rationality and structure aligning with medicine. This is far from...

Past Positions

University of Toronto

Faculty of Medicine, Assistant Professor
July 2005 – June 2013

From July 2015 to June 2013, Michael Varenbut served in a part time educational capacity at the University of Toronto where he instructed formative medical students during their early years.

University of Toronto

Faculty of Medicine, Lecturer
July 2000 – June 2005

Michael Varenbut served as a lecturer for the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto from July 2000 to June 2005.

Southlake Regional Health Centre

Active Staff, Family Medicine
1993 – 2007
Active Staff, Emergency Medicine
1993 – 1997
Community / Courtesy Staff
1997 – 2014

Michael Varenbut worked at Southlake Regional Health Centre, also known as York County Hospital, where he served on the staff for Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine as well as Community/Courtesy. Michael was also a past consultant for the addiction & Methadone maintenance treatment team.


  • Teaching Award recipient – University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, Peters-Boyd Academy: 2003 & 2010
  • Nominated for teaching award – Peters-Boyd Academy: 2004, 2007-2008, 2011
  • More than 29 peer-reviewed publications from 2002 – 2015


University of Toronto
Bachelor of Science, Biology 1987
Doctor of Medicine, 1991

Michael Varenbut attended the University of Toronto from 1985 to 1987 where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology with honors. After completing his undergraduate degree, he immediately returned to school to earn his Doctor of Medicine, also with honors.

Ivey Business School at Western University
Master of Business Administration, 2018

From 2016 to 2018, Michael Varenbut attended the Ivey Business School at Western University in London, Ontario to pursue another of his passions in a more official capacity: business. He earned his Master of Business Administration in 2018 and graduated with distinction.