Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) Program

Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT)

What is the Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) Program?

Diabetes Self-Management Training is an evidence-based standard of care program that incorporates the needs and goals of people with diabetes into a personalized plan that has proven to improve health outcomes.

DSMT Patient Journey

Step 1

Referral made by clinician.

dsmt referral

Step 2

Schedule DSMT initial session (1-1 virtual or in person or group session) with Diabetes Educator.

dsmt scheduling

Step 3

Attend Visit: 60-minute virtual or in-person 1-1 consultation or group session. Participants can switch to a different format (1-1, group, video, etc.) after the first visit.

dsmt first visit

Step 4

Up to 10 hrs of education (individual or group) in the first year following the referral. Patients are eligible for up to 2 hrs of follow up education each year, indefinitely.

dsmt education
Gene Arnold

A Real Patient Story With Leon

By Eugene Arnold, M.S., RD/LD/CDE

This episode features Leon, who tells about his experiences as someone who has had diabetes for many years, and about his own diabetes self-management. Leon speaks with Eugene Arnold, a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and the quality coordinator for the Johns Hopkins Diabetes Center’s Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) Program.

For more information, please refer to The Johns Hopkins Patient Guide to Diabetes.


Criteria Overview

Program Element Description
Eligibility Has type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes mellitus
* Prediabetes is not covered
Service Providers Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist
Care Delivery Method In-person and telemedicine individual appointments, small group sessions (4-8 people)
Curriculum Topics Disease process, nutrition, physical activity, glucose monitoring, acute and chronic complication management, behavior change counseling
Oversight American Diabetes Association (ADA)

*Note: People with prediabetes are not eligible and should be referred to our Diabetes Prevention Program

What are the benefits of DSMT?

DSMT can:

  • Improve hemoglobin A1c levels 
  • Improve control of blood pressure and cholesterol levels 
  • Improve medication adherence 
  • Decrease severe diabetes-related complications
  • Increase healthier lifestyle behaviors, such as better nutrition, increased physical activity, and use of primary care and preventive services 
  • Enhance self-efficacy 
  • Decrease health care costs, including fewer hospital admissions and readmissions

Critical times to enroll in DSMT include:

  • At diagnosis
  • At least once per year
  • When complicating factors arise (physical, financial, emotional)
  • When transitions in care occur (new insurance, living situation)

What does DSMT offer?

Program topics covered include:

  • Practical and relevant nutrition guidance
  • Exercise and Type 1 diabetes
  • Weight loss with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes
  • Medications to help manage Type 2 diabetes
  • How to monitor, interpret and manage your glucose levels
  • Continuous glucose monitoring services
  • Insulin pump education and optimization
  • Healthy coping skills
  • Preventing and managing diabetes related complications

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Program Locations

DSMT educators and locations


DSMT Training