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  • Dr. Prem Sahasranam, M.D.

How My Diabetes Tutor Improved the Treatment Experience for One Patient AND Their Doctor

Diabetes is complex and often overwhelming. However, when patients are given the education and support they need to manage their condition independently, they increase their health literacy, show greater enthusiasm, engagement, and agency in their care, and ultimately experience better health outcomes.

My Diabetes Tutor (MDT) recently discussed the relationship between more informed patients and better health with Dr. Gregory Williams, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of United Health Centers in California, through a lens of a real-life experience he had with a patient.

A New Patient Arrives

Dr. Williams met a new patient in early 2023 with a complicated medical history. “Diabetes, as it turns out, is probably one of the easier things she has to manage because she has many other health issues,” says Dr. Williams. “Her A1C at that time was 11.3, so her diabetes was obviously not being managed very well.”

Although she had diabetes for over five years, she had never been given the opportunity to learn how to self-manage the important lifestyle aspects of her condition, such as nutrition. “When we checked her A1C, and it was above 11, her response to me was, ‘Oh well, that’s good because my last one was 13, right?”’ So, from her standpoint, it was an improvement, and she was happy with that.”

Dr. Williams tried to put her numbers in context and explain the dangers of an elevated A1C, but she wasn’t able to see the urgency of her situation. “The potential outcomes and long-term complications of diabetes were not registering” for her.

Getting to the Root of the Problem

Dr. Williams prescribed the appropriate medications, and he also referred her to the My Diabetes Tutor (MDT) diabetes education program. After attending her first MDT diabetes education session, she started taking a more active interest in her diabetes management and her overall health. From then onward, “she would come to my office visits really excited, recite some of the things that she was being taught through the MDT educational sessions, and tell me how much she was learning from them.” The patient also started to ask questions and seek more lifestyle changes she could make to get her A1C down even more.

Increased Health Literacy Leads to Better Patient Engagement and Better Outcomes

The information that Dr. Williams’ patient was getting from her MDT sessions significantly empowered her to manage her diabetes on her own and helped her lower her A1C by nearly half. “Her A1C is (now) 6.2. So, we have seen significant improvement,” says Dr. Williams. “As much as I would like to attribute her improvement to medication, I recognize that a significant portion of her progress in terms of her A1C and overall clinical outcomes was due to what she learned in these educational sessions.”

The combination of quality treatment and the education and support she received from MDT allowed the patient to get her A1C under control in less than a year. In the process, it helped her increase her engagement, which was a key change agent. “I think (MDT) made it personal for her, so she realized she had a lot to do with how her A1C would improve. She took ownership of that, making my job a lot easier.” Since getting her diabetes under control and becoming a more active agent in her own health, she has experienced fewer complications. She has even started working on some of her other health issues.

One of Many Patients Helped By MDT

There are many patients like this one and many more who need help. As doctors, you probably see situations like this quite often, and you know how important it is that patients are informed and engaged with their own care. Unfortunately, many either don’t know about or have been unable to access the support and education they need to navigate the complexity of their life with diabetes.

My Diabetes Tutor is continuing its mission of expanding access to diabetes education and support resources through innovative telehealth programs. Thousands of patients have been referred by their doctors to our program and have been sharing stories like these. We’re committed to partnering with even more doctors to close the diabetes education gap, improve their patients’ health outcomes, and help them focus more on in-depth care and less on basic education. Contact us today to learn more. 

Call 844-623-0999 or email today to discover what we can do for your patients.


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