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Diabetes Educators in Industry

May 26, 2015

I am writing my final post as an AADE blogger.  The last two and a half years have provided me an opportunity to grow as an educator and to connect with other educators and people with diabetes.  About two months ago, I was presented with a wonderful opportunity to work with a pharmaceutical company as a Diabetes Education Manager.  I did not have intentions to find new employment but when a friend told me about the position, I did not want to miss out on this opportunity.  There was no guarantee I would get the job offer, but I would never know unless I tried.

My new role includes overseeing a group of diabetes educators who provide diabetes education in the community and health care settings.  This will give me an opportunity to share my knowledge and expertise with other educators and health care providers.  There is a move towards quality improvement in primary and acute care settings, especially with the increase in patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organizations.

The company I am currently employed with just went through an expansion and hired diabetes educators to address the needs of a growing population.  Several diabetes educators who were working in primary care settings or outpatient diabetes education centers were seeking positions for the role.  I was curious to know if there will be a shift of educators from these kinds of settings into industry such as pharmaceutical, insulin pump, and meter companies.

What are your thoughts about diabetes educators moving into industry positions?  What are some contributions that we can make to the field of diabetes education?

7 comments

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  1. Sep 11, 2012

    I think this concept holds a great benefit to patients and our field in general. As educators we know the importance and have seen the benefits to our patients as a result of our work. The direction of the field bringing diabetes educators into industry is great! This perhaps will continue to allow the tools and resources our patients use to manage their diabetes become more sensitive and effective. We as educators have a unique way of working with our patients why not help them from this end as well. Having more diabetes educators influence the direction of diabetes management industry holds only a positive effect.
  2. Sep 05, 2012

    I have been concerned about hospital program downsizing/elimination for the past 12 years, and now am concerned re community/federal clinic elimination of CDE positions. With so many other venues for diabetes prevention programs and self management programs available, decision makers are choosing to recommend these programs to patients. It seems like "outsourcing" to me and forces many of us tp become independent self employed educators. However, only RD, CDEs can bill 3rd party insurers such as Medicare/Medicaid/private insurance. People with diabetes do not want to pay cash for DSME. I am really worried for RN,CDEs who are forced into these situations.
  3. Aug 27, 2012

    Iris, congrats on your new position. Your wealth of knowledge and skill set will enhance the services provided by your new employer and I know you will do a great job as mentor to those whom you will work with. I think diabetes educators should consider all opportunities including industry, private practice, etc. The expertise of a CDE will go a long way in helping those who design products or develop medications understand the demands of diabetes self-management.
  4. Aug 26, 2012

    I just completed the "Diabetes and Visual Impairment: A New View for Health Professionals" CEU. This was a very worthwhile endeavor. While taking the course over the last several weeks, I not only learned a lot, but have already used the information several times while working with my patients. On a more personal note, my mom has macular degeneration and as her vision deteriorates, I learned about many wonderful resources that are available! Thanks for offering such a valuable learning opportunity!
  5. Aug 23, 2012

    Iris, I am so happy for you. You have done so much in this arena and have been an inspiration to me. I think that we are going to see the diabetes education expand eventually despite the cut backs that have been made in recent years and that the role for a CDE will expand as well; so it wouldn't surprised me if there was a shift. Good luck to you!
  6. Aug 23, 2012

    Congratulations on your new position, I think being a diabetes educator is a great job and the more situations we can be in the better we can serve our patients. People need to have the opportunity to see diabetes educators and not everyone can go the traditional route of outpatient education.
  7. Aug 23, 2012

    I think that diabetes educators need to move into industry in another way also. Many patients that work in an industry that may have a production line or otherwise makes it difficult for a patient to take time off, could benefit from having education programs that come to them. Many people do not want to take a day or 1/2 day off to attend diabetes education or to see a dietitian, since they need to take time off for doctor visits also. If they could attend diabetes education in small segments as a "lunch & learn" we might have more people getting education. Since educated patients may be healthier, the insurance company of that business would be likely to pay someone to come in to do the education. While there that educator might also set aside some time to see people 1:1. The patient would then only need to miss 1 hour of work.

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