Has anyone done the Joslin DO-IT program?

Hi everyone,

I was googling around looking for some sort of program or retreat for adults to go get a fresh start diabetes wise. I hoped there was some sort of place where you could go and they would reevaluate all of your basal settings, carb sensitivities, and just completely rework your plan. I have been working my butt off for the past few years, switched to a great new doc, but I'm still struggling to get down from a 9 A1c and I'm just ready for a big change. I'm not from Boston, but came across this Do-It program from Joslin and was wondering if anyone has tried it out or has any suggestions. Thanks!

Ellie - I don’t know anything about the Joslin program but I did a major reset of my diabetes treatment regimen this year. In late April I received a diabetes related complication diagnosis. This motivated me to to make whatever changes necessary to give me better control of my day to day blood glucose.

I did several things including changing my diet to lowered carb and hiring Integrated Diabetes Services or IDS for 90 days to examine and revamp my insulin therapy. IDS is run by Gary Scheiner, diabetes author and T1 diabetic himself. I use an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor.

Gary had me monitor and log my basal and bolus insulin, carb content of everything I ate, exercise duration and intensity, and any incidental occurrences like changing insulin pump sites. The log I used was one that he supplied that segmented each day into 24 one hour slices. I did this for 90 days.

It was a bit of an effort and burden but the results were remarkable. With Gary’s help I discovered a basal rate that essentially kept my BGs flat if I didn’t eat. He also helped me to find my insulin sensitivity and insulin to carb ratio. During this time I lost 13% of my body weight (a goal that I didn’t initially target), cut my insulin needs in half, reduce my blood pressure and drop my blood pressure meds, and reduce my A1c from 6.8% to 6.2%. I also dramatically cut my hypos (<70) from several episodes per day down to a few per week.

Gary is a certified diabetes educator. I would highly recommend hiring him if you want to get serious about doing a major reset. The quality of my life is so much better now. I have no relationship with IDS or Gary Scheiner other than being a satisfied customer.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Rethinking one’s entire diabetes regimen is a healthy thing to do from time to time!

Hi Ellie - I did the DO-IT program when I was newly diagnosed about 5 years ago and found it very helpful. You get a very good medical workup, a lot of general education including useful tips, one on one meetings with a senior endo and CDEs and a chance to meet others with diabetes.


Hi Maurie,

do you think it is beneficial for someone who has had diabetes for say, nearly 18 years? Or is it the type of program that would benefit anyone?

There were people in my group who had had diabetes since they were kids and they seemed to get a lot out of it as well. For example, there was an hour scheduled for old timers with a psychologist to learn how to pick up subtle cues of hypos before getting into trouble.

There is a lot of personal attention especially if you ask for help. If you're looking for a comprehensive reset. I think the program is a good one.


Thanks for your help. Much appreciated.

I did the DoIt program about 5 or 6 years ago. It was great for me, helped me fine tune things, see different medical professionals that you might not otherwise see, like an exercise physiologist. I lost 25 pounds over 6 months after the program. My husband came along, which was great for him. Hearing all the things that I have been telling him for years from other people, i think helped him understand where I was coming from and not just being a drama queen. There were newly dx'd people there, old timers like myself, a real range of different experiences. It was really kind of neat to be with a large group of people that all shared the same common issue. I would take the class again, but the out of pocket expenses for me which insurance doesn't cover are too high. I would recommend going if you can.

I love the idea of seeking a fresh start.
Another option: the TCOYD (Taking Care of Your Diabetes) seminars held throughout the country.

Although I've not done the DO-IT, I've long been a fan of Joslin and their approach to care. And while you may think that because the main site is in Boston, there are other Joslin centers throughout the country. And many people travel and stay in Boston in order to take part in the four day program. Who knows, maybe your insurance will cover a substantial part of the program.

Can someone who has done the DOIT program post the cost and if insurance covered it. Thank you.

It's been 5+ years but I think the cost was $3,500 with $3,000 covered by insurance. A spouse or other relative/partner can come along for just the cost of meals.