The patient who changed the way I think about diabetes
That patients should play a central role in managing their condition is now a generally acknowledged truism of diabetes care – at least in theory. What’s less widely spoken of are the many ways in which individual patients’ experiences help to shape a clinician’s vision and understanding of diabetes. In our new series of podcasts we aim to put those experiences at the centre of the discussion – building up a gallery of ‘patients who changed the way we think about diabetes’.
Each podcast focuses on an individual case, related by a leading diabetes expert, which had a profound effect on their practice – some new revelation about type 1 or type 2 diabetes; a lesson learned about modes of treatment or diagnosis, or the vagaries of patient-clinician communication (or miscommunication).
The project started almost by accident, as a byproduct of the process of filming modules for the EASD e-Learning platform. Dr Eleanor Kennedy, e-Learning’s Programme Manager, explains: “As we finished filming I would often ask our authors to tell me about their most challenging cases, and leave the camera rolling. The stories were amazing and it wasn’t long before we’d begun to build up this incredible set of cases, full of insights into people’s experiences of diabetes – their trials and tribulations – and the lessons they’ve taught clinicians about diabetes and its management.”
Listening to some of these podcasts provides something of the pleasure of detective stories – short puzzles where you piece together unexpected clues to reveal a better path of treatment or more accurate diagnosis. Others pack a more emotional punch, giving moving testament to the challenges many have to confront living with diabetes. All of them offer valuable insights any one of us can learn from as we strive to provide better diabetes care.