To understand how much was spent on diabetes education during Diabetes Awareness Month over the last five years. Additionally, for physicians (primary, cardiologist, nurse practitioner, and endocrinologist), understand their beliefs, behaviors, and values regarding diabetes; their communication preferences, including social media; their pain points and frustrations when treating diabetic patients; and where they get their general practice information, as well as information specific to diabetes.

Early Findings


  • November is Diabetes Awareness Month.
  • In 2018, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation spent $56 million on public education. The annual report did not break out what portion of this was for Diabetes Awareness Month. A further examination of the organization's mandatory 990 filing also did not provide a breakdown of how the money spent on education was distributed.
  • The JDRF did launch a campaign in November 2018, to coincide with Daibetes Awareness Month, titled I'm the Type. The goal of the campaign was to spread awareness of Type 1 diabetes while also celebrating the people who live with the disease. A video created for the campaign can be found on the JDRF website.
  • In 2016, the American Diabetes Association ran the This is Diabetes campaign, and in 2017 they launched #deardiabetes.


  • Medicare’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) punishes or rewards physicians based on whether patients meet certain quality metrics. Although this applies to many conditions, diabetes is one of them. This gives physicians more incentive to help their patients reach their goals.
  • A survey of 1,000 primary car physicians showed there were significant knowledge gaps in identifying risk factors, diagnosing, and treating diabetes. This may indicate doctors are not keeping themselves up-to-date on diabetes education.
  • A study published in 2018 determined several attitudes that general practitioners have toward patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. These included resignation, as they believe their efforts are in vain; blame the patient for non-compliance; and see themselves as the expert and the patient as ignorant.
  • One endocrinologist wrote an article about why he doesn't like treating diabetes. One of the main points he discusses is that since so much of type 2 diabetes is controlled by lifestyle choices, he gets tired of having the same conversations with patients since they are not making the necessary lifestyle changes.


  • Our initial search found that the data on how much is spent of education during Diabetes Awareness Month will likely be difficult to find. This data does not seem to be disclosed.
  • However, data on physicians, in particular their attitudes and beliefs regarding diabetes and treating diabetes is available and several useful insights were found.
  • Our proposed steps are based on what we found available in our initial search.

Proposed next steps:

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We propose continuing the research by (1-2) Providing 4-6 case studies on educational campaigns that were run by major diabetes organizations (e.g. American Diabetes Association, JDRA, Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, Joslin Diabetes Center) during the last five years. For each campaign we propose providing details on when the campaign was run, the organization that ran it, a description of what the campaign entailed, why the campaign was run (goals), and any publicly available information on both the cost of the campaign and the results of the campaign. It is possible quantitative data on cost and results will not be available but we will provide what we can. (3) Providing 5-7 pain points/frustrations physicians have regarding either diabetes or treating diabetes. For each pain point/frustration found, we propose describing it in full, explaining why it is a pain point, and any suggestions that have been made in how to lessen the frustration. (4) Providing details on the general communication preferences of doctors who treat diabetes (which could include PCPs, cardiologists, nurse practitioners, and endocrinologists), an explanation of how these doctors utilize social media, and details on the preferred resources for both general medical knowledge, as well as knowledge specific to diabetes. (5) Providing 5-7 studies and/or surveys that have been conducted regarding the values, attitudes, and beliefs of doctors who treat diabetes. These would specifically look at the attitudes regarding diabetes, treating diabetes, or diabetic patients. Where possible this would be split between Type 1 and Type 2 where differences were noted. This would all focus on the United States.
Alternatively, we can provide a broad overview of the current state of diabetes education in the United States, to include 4-6 organizations at the forefront, brief details on what they are doing, and any published plans for the upcoming Diabetes Awareness Month.