Calling all 18 to 30-year-old patients at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center to participate in a study entitled “Strengths and Challenges for Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)." The purpose of the study is to learn how childhood experiences, and current challenges and strengths affect diabetes management in young adults with T1D. Participants will be asked to fill out a 30-minute survey, and they will receive a $20 Amazon gift card for their time.
The Principal Investigators for this research project are the Berrie Center's Dr. Lauren Golden, an adult endocrinologist and Dr. Rachelle Gandica, a pediatric endocrinologist. The study is the creation of 4th year Columbia medical student Kathryn Nagel—herself a young adult with T1D—who is also the project’s senior research coordinator. “I’ve always been interested in diabetes,” she said, “I was diagnosed when I was one.”
The project grew out of Kathryn’s own experience. “For me, the biggest struggle with getting good control wasn’t understanding exactly how the pancreas works or how different molecules interact, or understanding carb counting, and all the other education that goes into diabetes care. Not that that is not important—it’s critical. But the day-to-day management of diabetes is grueling. It takes a lot from patients and families—and the various things that happen in life affect one’s diabetes. I have always been interested in pursuing that aspect of medicine.”
Kathryn grew up in Swarthmore, PA knowing she wanted to become a doctor. “I’ve always been curious about why the body does what it does,” she said, “Neither of my parents is a doctor, but I’ve been around medicine my whole life. Plus I’m a people person.”
Ultimately, said Kathryn, “we would like to be able to identify patients at particular risk for poor glycemic control and identify interventions that may improve outcomes in these individuals. We also want to learn from people who seem to be thriving and figure out what strategies they use that could help others."
In May, Kathryn will become Dr. Nagel (her residency is in a combined internal medicine and pediatrics program) when she graduates from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. “The Berrie Center has been so supportive of this work which has been so gratifying to me both as a patient and a student,” she said. “They really care about helping young people.”