The MGSD Story

The MGSD is a specifically Mediterranean organization.

The Mediterranean Group for the Study of Diabetes was set up in 1985 on the initiative of Prof Molinatti (Turin) to meet the unrequited needs of all those health professionals in the Mediterranean area involved in the delivery of diabetes care. Although legendary for its blue sky, warm sea, hospitality, generosity, and gastronomy, the Mediterranean basin has not been spared the harsh realities of diabetes: the epidemiologic evidence shows increases in both the incidence of the disease and its complications.

Two other considerations also inspired the founders of the MGSD: the underrepresentation of the Mediterranean basin in the major international diabetology associations, whether with a research or clinical basis, and linguistic specificity, French still being a lingua franca for many of the region’s specialists.

Although this was sufficient justification in itself for setting up the MGSD, the founders felt duty bound to develop their aims and working practices along similarly original lines. It soon became apparent that on top of conventional meetings bringing health professionals together and keeping them abreast of the latest key developments in the specialty, there was little point, given the absence of adequate training and resources, in trying to set up topic-based study groups to produce clinical or epidemiologic studies. For this reason, thanks to the unflagging commitment of its successive presidents – Profs Molinatti (Italy), Alivisatos (Greece), Serrano Rios (Spain), Crepaldi (Italy), Drouin (France), Kadiri (Morocco), Charbonnel (France), Duran-Garcia (Spain) and Marre (France) – the MGSD sought to establish training programs empowering those entering the specialty with the requisite technical skills to conduct broad national studies. Postgraduate courses and fellowships are now offered in two languages to supplement the training of young specialists.

The Mediterranean is nothing if not welcoming, of course, and the major MGSD meeting, held every 2 years in mediterranean cities (Nice, Madrid, Tunis, Rome…), provides the perfect forum for scientific exchange, most notably in the fascinating poster sessions. Members mingle, meet and talk, applaud the winners of the Hippocrates and Averroes prizes awarded for the best two posters, and conduct MGSD official business, electing the board and appointing the president. The last meeting was held in Barcelona from 4th to 7th April.

To round off these activities the MGSD also offers a website (www.mgsd.org) wich represents an efficient method for sharing information and tools within the entire MGSD membership.A Web presence is obviously a mark of modernity but also, and above all, it is a rapid and reliable method of communicating with the entire MGSD membership: in addition to ME.DI@.NEWS, the MGSD will be offering abstracts and full-text articles over the web, slide packages on specific topics.

Beyond its status of International Diabetes Federation member since 1995, the MGSD fulfills its founders’ purpose in focusing on specifically Mediterranean issues in diabetes and the delivery of diabetes care. For its part too, SERVIER has been committed to providing financial support to the project since its inception.

Each MGSD member is being invited to inject their own input into supporting, expanding, and advertising the activities of not just another group, but a group which was set up to cater for the specific needs of a region and a disease.

Crédits : Mastino et W Seltzer