Tributes have been paid to one of Australia’s leading endocrinologists, Dr Hal Breidahl, who died January 28th, at the age of 93.
Described as “a towering figure in the Australian diabetes movement” by Diabetes Australia, Dr Breidahl played a key role in the establishment of a national diabetes organisation in the 1950s, the Diabetes Federation of Australia, which later became Diabetes Australia.
Dr Harald Breidahl graduated in medicine from the University of Melbourne in 1948 and spent time at The Mayo Clinic in the US and at Hammersmith and King’s College Hospital in London, where he pursued his research interests of diabetes in pregnancy and insulin bioassays.
On his return to Australia, Dr Breidahl worked as an endocrinologist at the Queen Victoria Hospital, Melbourne and Monash Medical Centre, where he continued to pursue his research interests.
In 1974, in conjunction with John Turtle, he established the Australian Diabetes Society, becoming Foundation President (1974-76). In 1977 he became president of Diabetes Australia, and he was also a life member of the Endocrinology Society of Australia.
DrBreidahl retired from hospital positions in 1984 and began a practice in Frankston until his retirement in 1993.
“His passion, energy and good humour has helped improve the quality of life for all Australians with diabetes. Dr Breidahl we thank you and salute you,” a tribute from Diabetes Australia stated.
And former colleague wrote: “Many members of the staff of the Queen Victoria Medical Centre and the Monash Medical Centre remember with affection and gratitude a great and very supportive endocrinologist and colleague. A consultant par excellence and Mentor to following generations of young Physicians following in his footsteps.