Irl B. Hirsch, MD, MACP

Irl B. Hirsch, MD

Professor and Diabetes Treatment and Teaching Chair

University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle


Irl B. Hirsch, MD, is professor and Diabetes Treatment and Teaching Chair at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.


Dr. Hirsch received his medical degree from the University of Missouri School of Medicine in 1984. He completed residency training in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami and Miami Beach, Florida. Dr. Hirsch also was fellowship-trained in endocrinology and metabolism at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.


Dr. Hirsch has dedicated his career to patient care, clinical research and teaching. His focus in these areas is the treatment and management of diabetes. He has an interest in new technologies for the treatment of diabetes, particularly those involved in the use of insulin therapy. This interest centers on the mechanisms of how insulin co-modulates inflammation with glucose and how this results in improved outcomes for patients.


He has been involved in numerous major clinical research trials, including the DCCT, ACCORD, STAR-1, JDRF Sensor Trial, SEARCH, ORIGIN, ADAG and many more involved with insulin therapy.


Additionally, he has an interest in the use of computers in diabetes data management, and how pattern recognition can be used to improve diabetes control and how glycemic variability noted on glucose meter downloads may be an independent risk for microvascular complications. These ideas have led to the funding and completion of the trial FLAT-SUGAR (FLuctuATion reduction with inSUlin Glp-1 Added togetheR).


Dr. Hirsch has authored more than 180 research papers, including a review of insulin in the New England Journal of Medicine. He also has written more than 60 editorials, three commentaries for The Journal of the American Medical Association, numerous book chapters and four books for patients and physicians. He is also a much in demand national and international speaker.


He is the past editor-in-chief of DOC News and Clinical Diabetes and former chair of the Professional Practice Committee for the American Diabetes Association and served as a member of the Endocrine Section of the American Board of Internal Medicine. Currently, he is section editor for Up-To-Date.


Dr. Hirsch has been honored at every level of his career, including being recognized with the Outstanding Young Physician Award by the University of Missouri Alumni Association in 2001, and in 2003 being honored as the American Diabetes Association’s Physician- Clinician of the Year. In 2005, he received the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists’ Distinguished Endocrinologist Award, and in 2013, he received the American Diabetes Association’s Josiah K. Lilly Sr. Distinguished Service Award. In April 2015 he was elected to a Mastership by the American College of Physicians.