Talking with the International Diabetes Federation



This month I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). IDF is a global advocacy organization representing more than 200 diabetes organizations around the world.

IDF’s mission is to increase public awareness of diabetes and encourage prevention and better care for people with diabetes. You may notice this November some buildings will be lit in blue. Blue is the global color for diabetes and this blue circle above is the global symbol. It was created by the IDF.

Every two years IDF holds a conference, called the World Congress, where scientists, researchers, medical professionals, industry people and representatives from around the world come together to learn and share. 

Last year it was in Dubai, where diabetes is rampant – 1 in 4 have diabetes – and I had the pleasure of being invited as media from the Huffington Post. Now that was a trip – in every sense of the word!  

I also had the distinct pleasure of getting to know several of the hard-working folk from IDF and hope to join them again December 2013 when the World Congress moves to Melbourne, Australia.

But for now, have a read. 7 brilliant answers to 7 interesting questions.

What does it take to help patients change behavior?

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I haven’t said much about it over the past few months but I’ve been working with QuantiaMD — a web site for health care providers — to answer provider’s questions about how to work better with diabetes patients. As you might imagine most of the questions had to do with behavior change: “How do I help my patient eat healthier?”; “Why does my patient start doing better, like taking their medicine and exercising and then just stop?”

So I’ve been teaching some basic principles of behavior change and coaching in three presentations, with four more to come, and I thought it time to share. 

1. “Rapport before report”: This first presentation is about seeing the patient in front of you, not just their numbers.

2. “Why patients don’t change behavior and what you can do” : In my second presentation I discuss whether patients have the correct information? Do they understand what to do? Do they have the skills they need? And does fear stop them?

3. “Three more reasons why patients don’t change behavior and what you can do”: In this presentation I talk about the importance of patients choosing the behavior they’ll change, whether their motivation not to change is greater than their motivation to change and does their environment support the change? And there’s a last reason: Do you as a health care provider model the change?  

Unfortunately we know most doctors today will treat more patients with chronic illness than acute, and most doctors are not trained how to do so. I’m honored to have the opportunity to address all those who help to keep us well. 

To view the presentations, you’ll be prompted to register on QuantiaMD, but it’s free and the presentations are each about six minutes long.

So pour yourself a cup of tea, pull up a chair and open your mind to the possibilities of doing a few little things that can deliver powerful results. 

American Diabetes Association conference highlights


I want to tip my hat tonight to my colleague Amy Tenderich over at for her reporting on the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) annual conference that just ended today. 

Once a year the best and the brightest get together to report out new scientific research discoveries, this year as you might imagine there was a lot of discussion about the artificial pancreas closed loop system. It’s also the best place to roam through the exhibition hall and see what new devices are coming to market, and I hear there are also now presentations on the behavioral aspect of managing diabetes.

Amy wrote two posts on what she found there which I encourage you to take a look at. It’s an easy way to get yourself up to date pretty quickly on what’s going on in diabetes research and products and catch some of the highlights of the conference:

What’s Hot from ADA 2012

ADA 2012: Diabetes Company Updates from the Expo Floor