Dr. Dimitrios Baltzis, an consultant internist-diabetologist, that currently serves as the head of the Diabetes-Diabetic Foot Clinic in Mouwasat Hospital in Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was born on 1976 in a small town called Ierissos, near to Mount Athos, Greece. He finished the Medical School of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2003 and he started his residency as an internist in the 3rd department of internal medicine in the General Hospital Papageorgiou of Thessaloniki in 2007. Meanwhile he served the Greek army as a Medical Doctor where he was awarded for saving a soldier’s life. Also he worked as a rural doctor. After his training as an internist, he continued been training in Diabetes and Diabetic Foot at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, which is the primary teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, USA. He was trained as a Clinical Research Fellow at Microcirculation Lab and Joslin-Beth Israel Deaconess Foot Center, Harvard Medical School. As diabetes is a world epidemic and obesity is the driving force behind, he tried to gain additional theoretical and practical experience by getting a Master Degree in Nutrition. He also completed his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Harvard Medical School dealing with diabetic neuropathy, myocardial ischemia and diabetic wound healing. For his PhD he was awarded twice from European Study for Diabetes Association (EASD) and the Hellenic Association for the Study and Education of Diabetes (HASD). In addition, he focused on diabetic complication, especially macro- and microcirculation, diabetic neuropathy and wound healing. The main reason for this is his interest in diabetic foot problems, the main cause for non-traumatic lower extremity amputation. His current work mainly focuses on diabetes treatment, prevention of developing complications of diabetes and when they are established the goal is to offer the best treatment. During his fellowship in Harvard Medical School, he was interested in the interaction between neuropathy and microvascular disease in the development of diabetic foot ulceration and the subsequent wound healing impairment. He was mainly involved in bench to bedside research regarding diabetes complications, which includes collaborations from various departments of this institution and other institutions. He was also working with clinical doctors in their routine clinical practice and he was participating in their evaluations and discussions regarding the patient’s progress and treatment. As a result, he is very familiar with the treatment of diabetic patients with complications, especially patients with diabetic neuropathy and diabetic foot ulcers according to most accurate guidelines.
Another special interest of him is the effect of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) on cardiovascular function in diabetic and non-diabetic subjects, as the two diseases very often coexist. He currently participates in translational and clinical studies that evaluate the interaction of diabetes and OSA and the effect of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy in improving cardiovascular function in diabetic patients. He also participates in studies that investigate the role of sleep deficit on endothelial function.
Additionally, he participates in clinical trials that evaluate the efficacy of various new therapeutic approaches. This has provided him with considerable experience in organizing or participating in clinical trials that can lead to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicine Agency (EMA) approval of the tested products.
Dr. Dimitrios Baltzis, beside his position as the head of the Diabetes-Diabetic Foot Clinic in the Interbalkan Medical Center (address: Asklipiou 10, Thessaloniki 555 35), which is one of the most prestigious hospitals in Greece, he is practicing in his private office which is located in his hometown, Ierissos Chalkikidis (address: Aristotelous 14, 63075).
Finally it is very interesting that when he was asked why he came back from USA to his country he said: “ This job offer is the best opportunity for me to transfer the knowledge and the experience I got from Harvard to the Greek and Balkanian patients. Patients in USA have already medical treatment in a very high level, it will be a bless to provide this treatment to our patients”.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
HONORS AND AWARDS