Irl B. Hirsch M.D.

Irl B. Hirsch M.D.

Specialties and Expertise

Diabetes, Endocrinology, Primary Care - Internal Medicine


Diabetes Care




Primary Location

Endocrine and Diabetes Care Center at UWMC Roosevelt

4245 Roosevelt Way NE, 3rd Floor
Seattle, WA 98105
Phone: 206.598.4882|Map It 


Dr. Hirsch is a professor of medicine and holds the Diabetes Treatment and Teaching Chair at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He completed medical school at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO, trained in internal medicine at the University of Miami in Miami FL and Mt. Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach, FL, and completed a research fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis.

From both a research and teaching point of view, Dr. Hirsch’s career has focused on studying the best strategies for the use of insulin therapy in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, innovations in technology for diabetes management. More recently, he has become involved with artificial pancreas technology. The management of hyperglycemia in the hospital has been an interest of Dr. Hirsch for over 25 years. With regard to patient care, the majority of patients in his practice have type 1 diabetes or unusual forms of diabetes.

He is the former chair of the Professional Practice Committee for the American Diabetes Association, and a member of the Endocrine Section of the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Hirsch has authored over 170 papers (including a review of insulin in the New England Journal of Medicine), over 60 editorials, commentaries in The Journal of the American Medical Association, The Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Diabetes Care and Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics, numerous book chapters, and six books both for patients and physicians. In addition, he is the section editor for UptoDate. In 2013, he received the American Diabetes Association’s Josiah K. Lilly Sr. Distinguished Service Award and in April 2015 he was elected to a Mastership by the American College of Physicians.

Research Interests

Advances in technology for type 1 diabetes, including pumps, sensors and the use of computers to improve outcomes; glucose variability and its impact on the complications of diabetes; the impact of glucose control on bone marrow transplant patients; the study of hypoglycemia in older patients with type 1 diabetes; the various biomarkers of glucose; and the various limitations of hemoglobin A1C. Major clinical research trials include FLAT-SUGAR, an investigator-initiated trial focusing on glycemic variability; DCCT; ACCORD; STAR-1; the JDRF Sensor Trial; SEARCH; ORIGIN; ADAG; in addition to a variety of important observations with the T1D Exchange.


Univ. of Missouri - ColumbiaMedical education1984


Board Certifications

American Board of Internal MedicineEndocrinology1989
American Board of Internal MedicineInternal Medicine1987
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