Basil J. Zitelli

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Basil J. Zitelli
Basil Zitelli, MD.jpg Basil Zitelli, MD.jpg
BornBasil John Zitelli
June 21, 1946
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
🏳️ NationalityAmerican
🏫 EducationBS, University of Pittsburgh, 1967 MD, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 1971
💼 Occupation
📆 Years active  1971–present
Care of the medically complex child Education of medical students and residents

Basil J. Zitelli (born June 21, 1946) is an American physician, educator, and author. He is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the former division chief of the Paul C. Gaffney Diagnostic Service at the UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. He is the senior editor of the Zitelli and Davis' Atlas of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis.

Early years[edit]

Zitelli was born on June 21, 1946, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Hannah (née Larson), a homemaker, and Pasquale "Patsy" Zitelli, a professor of physics at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He graduated from Gateway High School in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, in 1964. Zitelli's father, "Patsy," served as an early influence on the junior Zitelli's lifelong passion for education, having published a paper on the benefits of interdisciplinary teaching methods in the physical sciences.[1]

Education & military service[edit]

Zitelli attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in biophysics cum laude.[2] He then continued his education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where in 1971 he earned a M.D. cum laude.[3] After obtaining his medical degree, Zitelli completed a residency in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.[4]

Following his residency training, Zitelli served as an active duty officer in the United States Naval Reserve from 1974–1976, at the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He was stationed at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital and on the USS Austin (LPD-4). During his time in active military service, he also held an academic position of clinical instructor of pediatrics at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

After two years of military service, Zitelli returned to Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1976–1978, where he served as chief resident in pediatrics.[4]


Zitelli joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in 1978 as an assistant professor of pediatrics. He was promoted to the position of associate professor in 1985, and to professor of pediatrics by 1992. He was named the Edmund R. McCluskey Chair in Pediatric Medical Education in 2007.

He served as the division chief of the Paul C. Gaffney Diagnostic Service at the UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh from 2002–2017. During that time, he oversaw an expansion of the division and a dramatic increase in the use of its hospitalist and other services offered to patients and community physicians throughout the Pittsburgh region.

Zitelli's clinical and research interests have involved issues related to pediatric liver transplantation, and he worked closely with Thomas Starzl. He has worked as an advisor to Project HOPE and a consultant to the American International Health Alliance.

Zitelli is the senior editor of the Zitelli and Davis' Atlas of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis, now in its 7th edition, and known as the "gold standard atlas of pediatric diagnosis.[5] Zitelli has authored over 130 published journal articles, books, book chapters, reviews, and other publications.[6]

Marriage and children[edit]

Zitelli married Suzanne Mary (née Drake) on July 8, 1972. They have four children:

  • Matthew (1973)
  • Daniel (1976)
  • Benjamin (1977)
  • Anne (1979)


  1. Zitelli, P.A. (1961). "An Evaluation of a Cooperative Teaching Method in Basic Physical Science as Required of Non-Science Majors". Sci. Ed. 51 (3): 295-298. doi:10.1002/sce.3730510324.
  2. University of Pittsburgh. The Owl, 1967. Archives, University of Pittsburgh Library. Search this book on Logo.png
  3. "University of Pittsburgh Commencement, 1971". Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Basil J. Zitelli, MD". UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Archived from the original on 2015-11-24. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
  5. "Zitelli and Davi's Atlas of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis". Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  6. "Basil J. Zitelli, MD". Retrieved 7 September 2017.

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