Arlan Rosenbloom Lectureship

Following a rotating internship at Los Angeles County General Hospital in 1958-59 and unable to determine which of his broad medical and surgical interests to pursue, Dr. Rosenbloom did a general practice residency at Ventura County General Hospital, in the days when GPs did everything, including obstetrics and surgery. Unwilling to settle down into a lucrative California practice, he joined Tom Dooley’s MEDICO, practicing as physician and surgeon and building a surgical hospital in Cambodia, and developing a regional health center in central Malaya before deciding that cognitive medicine and specifically pediatrics was to be his m├ętier. After 2 years in Asia, he returned to his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, where he immediately came under the influence of the legendary David W. Smith and pursued fellowship with him. Not only was David Smith a phenomenally astute clinician, but among the first of the Wilkins graduates to consider diabetes mellitus to be the responsibility of pediatric endocrinologists.

Fellowship, while only 2 years in those days, was highly productive, generating 10 first or sole author papers, 3 of which were in Journal of Pediatrics, 2 in JAMA, and one each in Diabetes, Pediatrics, New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, and American Journal of Disease in Childhood. Instead of going from fellowship to an academic position, however, Arlan was caught up in the Vietnam War draft. Because he spoke French and had overseas experience, he was able to join the US Public Health Service and be assigned to the CDC, trained as a field epidemiologist, and sent to Cameroon, West Africa as an epidemiologist consultant in the WHO/CDC smallpox eradication and measles control program.

Dr. Rosenbloom came to the University of Florida as the founding pediatric endocrinologist in 1968, where he was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor in 1971, to full professor in 1974, and to distinguished service professor in 1996. The initial promotion from assistant to associate professor in only 3 years, 2 years short of the minimum time required, was made possible because the 2 years in the USPHS as an epidemiologist were documented as academic on the basis of scholarly field reports, a groundbreaking comprehensive country report, and field research with publications. The subsequent promotion to professor after only another 3 years was on the basis of high research productivity, teaching, and service in developing pediatric endocrinology and diabetes programs.

Arlan Rosenbloom is internationally recognized as a pioneer of pediatric endocrinology and diabetology, a prolific educator and mentor, an innovative developer of programs for children with diabetes and other endocrine disorders, and a wide-ranging, highly productive clinical investigator. Not only is he a pioneer, but is also one of the most distinguished, accomplished, and influential pediatric endocrinologists of our time. His research, his teaching and his clinical care are unequaled in quality and in the impact they have had on practice guidelines and standards of care. As reflected in his 400 articles and 80 chapters and books and 13,000 references in the past 55 years, the magnitude of the impact he has had is obvious. He is deeply respected nationally and internationally and remained a most ardent voice in support of the field of pediatric endocrinology and the patients cared for by that specialty. He has brought the University of Florida unequalled fame and is testimony to our preeminence in the medical and health sciences fields.

Dr. Rosenbloom essentially described the clinical phenotype, the biochemical abnormalities, and the long-term outcome of growth hormone (GH) resistant dwarfism due to a GH receptor defect from an Ecuadoran population that he virtually discovered. He committed himself to not just divulging the genetic and biochemical abnormalities, but to improving the overall well-being of this unique population. He is the true scientist, clinician and, most importantly, the tireless humanitarian.

There is not an aspect of pediatric diabetes that Dr. Rosenbloom has not investigated. DKA, cerebral edema, type 1 diabetes natural history identification of type 2 diabetes and its reaching epidemic proportions in youth, his work transformed what we thought about type 2 diabetes in youth, that it is as severe and serious as type 1 diabetes. He founded the Florida Camp for Children and Youth with Diabetes.

With all the scholarship that has been produced by Dr. Rosenbloom over these many years, it is hard to imagine that he has found the time to also be a great mentor. He has been an unwavering champion of the concept of the team in diabetes, realizing the importance of specialty nurses and other care providers to meet the myriad of needs these children and families have. In addition, his commitment to diabetes camps and support groups transformed the lives of thousands of children and families. His service to the American Diabetes Association, the NIH, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, and other international, national, and local associations and organizations is unparalleled. He has been guide, innovator and champion to move the needle forward on the understanding and care of these complex diseases

His awards include the faculty research prize of the University of Florida College of Medicine in 1994; the Distinguished Alumnus Citation of the University Of Wisconsin in 1995; the Florida Blue Key Distinguished Faculty Award in 1995; Honorary Professorship at the Central University of Quito Ecuador 2001; the Distinguished Physician Award of the Endocrine Society for 2003; the Prize for Achievement in Science, Education & Advocacy On Behalf Of Young People with Diabetes, the highest award from the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) in 2004; the Eli Lilly LillyforLife Achievement Award for Professionals in 2006; the University of Florida distinguished achievement award in 2014; the University of Florida College of medicine lifetime achievement award in 2017; and the Van Wyk prize from the Pediatric Endocrine Society, its highest award, in 2017. He has been International Director of the Institute for Endocrinology and Metabolism and Reproduction (IEMYR) in Quito Ecuador since 1989.