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MD/MBA student raises awareness of type 1 diabetes through personal experience

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 2, UMass Chan Medical School MD/MBA student Emilee Herringshaw is committed to raising awareness about the disease. She’s published an e-book, writes a blog about diabetes management and conducts research on issues impacting patients with diabetes.

Herringshaw grew up in Longmeadow and earned her degree in biochemistry at Boston College. Working as a medical assistant at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates sparked her interest in becoming a doctor.

“Dermatology is what convinced me to attend medical school and diabetes is what got me interested in medicine,” said Herringshaw. “I don’t have any family members in medicine, but they all deserve an honorary membership for taking care of me.”

Herringshaw is a vocal diabetes awareness advocate on Instagram and Twitter. She recalls darting out of anatomy lab to prick her finger and check her blood sugar her first year of medical school. She posts her latest research and shares how she manages her glucose monitor on her blog, Two Cookies at Midnight.

“My parents always thought if I wrote a book, it’d be called Two Cookies at Midnight,” said Herringshaw. “They would take care of me at any hour. I’d be eating cookies at 2 a.m. as a 5-year-old. I love the whole idea of the duality of a cookie’s purpose. In one sense, you’re saying, ‘You’re diabetic. What are you thinking eating those cookies?’ At the same time, cookies can be helpful—even lifesaving.”

Herringshaw is preparing to enter her fourth year of medical school while earning her MBA, hoping to bridge the gap between the clinical and administrative side of medicine. She was awarded a clinical research grant from the American Contact Dermatitis Society to evaluate contact dermatitis or rashes for patients who wear a continuous glucose monitor. She came up with the idea after she saw posts in a diabetes Facebook group featuring rashes and people searching for solutions.

“They didn’t know where to go and were relying on each other, which is a testament to the strength of the diabetes community and how much informational exchange is online,” said Herringshaw.

Listen to our Voices of UMass Chan podcast to hear the full interview with Herringshaw.

The Student Spotlight series features UMass Chan Medical School students in the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing and T.H. Chan School of Medicine. For more information about UMass Chan Medical School and how to apply, visit the Prospective Students page.