Founding Dean of the School Fox Wetle and Professor Richard Besdine: Italy


Founding Dean of the School Fox Wetle and Professor Richard Besdine have been doing teaching and research with Italian collaborators at the University of Padova Medical School (20 miles West of Venice) since the late 1990s. 

Professors Gaetano Crepaldi and Stefania Maggi have been warm and generous colleagues, and research productivity and friendship have flourished. Work has included establishment of a national hip fracture registry for Italy and several papers on the topic; an examination of predictors of outcomes has spurred implementation of clinical guidelines. Reports on variation on re-hospitalization rates resulted in interventions that reduced this important clinical outcome. In 2011,  Besdine was awarded a grant from the University to develop a 1-month course in geriatric medicine for advanced physician fellows and junior faculty. He also was invited to deliver a Morgagni Lecture, as part of the 250th Anniversary Celebration of the publication in 1761 of Giovanni Battista Morgagni’s seminal book “De Sedibus et Causis Morborum per Anatomen Indagatis“ (On the Locus and Cause of Disease, Investigated Anatomically). This astounding work detailed more than 700 autopsies he conducted personally, and firmly established for the first time the relationship of specific anatomical findings post-mortem to disease conditions in life, as well as the foundation and credibility of modern anatomic pathology. 

Current collaborations focus on documentation and dissemination of health benefits of a Mediterranean diet. Wetle and Besdine have been appointed to the Scientific Advisory Board of the Mediterranean Diet Foundation, in Ostuni, Italy. They helped to organize and will participate in an international conference “Mediterranean Diet and Health: A Lifelong Approach" in Ostuni March 2017.