Who's Who Top Educators

Arben Santo, MD, PhD

Title: Chairperson of Pathology Department
Company: Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
Location: Blacksburg, Virginia, United States

Arben Santo, MD, PhD, and chairperson of the pathology department at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM), has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in education, cardiovascular pathology, and research publications.

A winner of the Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching and leadership, Dr. Santo is most noted in academia for creating  190 chapters for the VCOM pathology textbook, which, he said, previously included inappropriate and microscopic pathology information and illustrations using digital images purchased from the internet instead of authentic, clear traditional slides. As a result of his effort and the highly-effective curriculum he developed, the students in his department performed exceptionally well on required board exams, consistently scoring 30 to 40 points higher than the national average in pathology each year. 

Before immigrating to the United States in 1995 to embark on an accomplished career in research and education, Dr. Santo earned a Doctor of Medicine and a Doctor of Philosophy from the School of Medicine at the University of Tirana in his home country of Albania, where became a physician at the University Hospital. He grew disenchanted in this role, he said, because of the challenges he faced with getting the full scope of patient symptoms, which requires a physical examination before diagnoses through testing. After developing a passion for pathology and preferring its more scientific nature, Dr. Santo left clinical practice and became a faculty member and chair of the pathology department at his medical school alma mater. He also worked as a research associate professor at the Institute of Clinical Physiology in Pisa, Italy, a laboratory specialist in the biology department at Virginia Tech, and a research assistant professor in the biomedical and pathobiology department at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. A member of the International Academy of Pathology and the Medical Society of Virginia, Dr. Santo has contributed his research to more than 60 publications, including articles, textbooks, and monographs written in English and Albanian. He plans to add to his works and continue getting published in the years to come.

Dr. Santo credits much of his success to his intense early medical training in Albania, where he said autopsies were mandated for patients who died in hospitals. This law gave him extensive experience in performing about 1,500 postmortem dissections, which allowed him to acquire vast knowledge in preparation for his years in medicine and pathology. Married for more than 45 years with two children, Dr. Santo enjoys reading, classical music, going to the opera, and traveling.

For more information, please visit:
Research Gate
VCOM Profile

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