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Walter (Pete) Peterson is Professor of Medicine at The University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center at Dallas.
He was born in 1943 in Abilene, Texas. The son of an Army surgeon, he spent the first twelve years of his life moving from station to station until his parents retired to San Antonio, Texas. He graduated from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, in 1964 and received his medical degree in 1968 from UTSW. His internal medicine training was taken at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas, followed by a gastroenterology fellowship at UTSW from 1971-1973. After a two-year stint at Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco, he joined the faculty of UTSW in 1975 and has spent his entire academic career there.
Pete Peterson's areas of interest have been the esophagus, stomach and duodenum with research covering suppression of acid secretion, treatment of peptic ulcer, and Helicobacter pylori. His current interest is in evidence-based medicine.
Dr Peterson is co-editor of Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics and an executive editor of GastroHep.com.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
- I chose gastroenterology in large part because of John Fordtran. This superb and innovative clinical investigator was a master at taking physiologic principles to the bedside.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- John Fordtran.
- Which research papers influenced you the most?
- The paper on measuring hydrogen ion concentration by Moore and Scarlata (Gastroenterology 1965; 49: 178-9); in vivo titration of gastric acid secretion by Fordtran & Walsh (J. Clin Invest 1973; 52: 645-57); Warren and Marshall's original description of what we now call H. pylori (Lancet June 4, 1983); and 'The Users Guides to the Medical Literature' by the evidence based medicine working group at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada.
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- My most important observation was that high dose antacids promoted the healing of duodenal ulcer (N Engl J Med 1977; 297: 341-5). This was the first endoscopically controlled, randomised trial to prove that decrease of gastric acidity would promote the healing of duodenal ulcers.
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
- Failing to discover H. pylori in 1976 (Gastroenterology 1979 Jun;76(6):1449-57). A number of our research subjects became acutely hypochlorhydric, a result of what we now know was acute H. pylori infection.
- What is your unfulfilled ambition?
- To disseminate the concepts of evidence based medicine to all gastroenterologists.
- How do you relax?
- Listening to classical music with a glass of fine red wine in hand.
- What is your favourite sport?
- Automobile racing.
- What is your best place in the world?
- Breckenridge, Colorado.
- What is your favourite film?
- What car do you drive?
- A BMW M3.
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- High Speed Internet, both at work and at home.
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- "Saturday" by Ian McEwan.
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- My involvement with GastroHep.com provides a wonderful opportunity to interact with the best and brightest in the world of gastroenterology, hepatology and endoscopy, using cutting-edge technology.
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