Family Physician Uses Group Visits to Combat Diabetes—Devin Sawyer, M.D., Providence St. Peter Family Medicine, Olympia, WA

Devin Sawyer, M.D., director of the residency program at Providence St. Peter Family Medicine in Olympia, Wash., has been using "mini-group visits" (usually three patients per group) to help patients with diabetes support each other through treatment. These sessions including discussions of lifestyle changes, behavior changes and self-management to help control the disease.

These group visits do not replace the patients' regular office visits, and patients are still seen periodically between mini-group visits, which are scheduled every three or four months.

Patients in the groups benefit from the support of their peers dealing with the same condition and they regularly hold each other accountable for treatment, checking in with each other outside the office visits.