Insulin-Treated Diabetics Get OK to Serve as Foreign Service PersonnelFriday, February 10, 2012
The American Diabetes Association recently announced that the U.S. State Department has revised its policy for individuals who are living with insulin-treated diabetes who wish to serve as Foreign Service personnel. The updated guidelines will allow for individualized assessment and were the result of a collaboration with the Association. Previously, individuals with diabetes who used insulin were unable to become Foreign Service personnel.
"This is a victory for the nearly 26 million people who are living with diabetes in this country," said Robert R. Henry, MD, Immediate Past President, Medicine & Science, American Diabetes Association. Henry provided counsel to the U.S. State Department on the treatment and evaluation of diabetes. "By collaborating with the American Diabetes Association, the U.S. State Department serves as an example of an employer who recognizes the advances in diabetes management and changed their policies accordingly."
Association staff and volunteers, including Henry and the late Christopher Saudek, MD, also a Past President, Medicine & Science of the Association, met with the State Department`s Office of Medical Services to discuss the jobs performed by Foreign Service personnel and the medical clearance policies involved in the selection process. The Association provided information about current diabetes management practices and counsel on how the State Department could conduct medical evaluations based on an individual`s specific medical history. In addition, the Association was able to highlight examples of people who are living with diabetes and excel in similarly demanding jobs.
"As a physician, it was a rewarding experience to work together with the State Department`s Medical Director to create fair policies that allow the government to employ individuals with diabetes who would be able to proudly serve their country as outstanding Foreign Service personnel," Henry noted. "It is our hope this process becomes