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On July 29th the Diabetes Education Centre at TGH welcomed a delegation of Chinese physicians and endocrinologists. The 33 chief-medical physicians came from various provinces across China with an interest in expanding diabetes awareness, education and early diagnosis in patients. It was the education component — specifically, nutrition, lifestyle, and self-management — that brought the group to TGH.
"TGH has an impressive diabetes education program that catches the interest of physicians from abroad," says Louisa Li, Clinical Dietician, UHN.
The delegation started with a brief tour of the Endocrine Clinic, saw an exhibit about the discovery of insulin and a presentation about the Diabetes Education Program at UHN, highlighting patient self-management education.
"The delegates were impressed with the intra-professional approach to care in Canada," explains Marianne Sigmond, Manager of Endocrine Program, UHN. "This is something that is just beginning to take place in parts of China."
The tour also permitted TGH staff and the visiting physicians to learn about foreign health care practices, allowing room for some healthy discussion.
"China is currently engaged in many research studies and trials aimed at finding a solution to diabetes," says Dr. Ming Cai Qiu, Chair of Endocrinology, Tianjin Medical University Hospital. "This is a great opportunity that allows us to better understand the treatment of diabetic patients all over the world and work towards a common goal."
The delegates noted a New England Journal of Medicine study which estimates that among adults over 20 years old in China, there were 92.4 million persons with diabetes and 148.2 million persons with pre-diabetes. Due to their high volume of patients, the vast majority of education is done in groups and there's very little individual education provided.