LogoLogo

Andrew Jay Drexler died Sunday, November 10, 2019, in Santa Monica, California. Thousands of patients and colleagues mourn the passing of such a great doctor and friend.

He was among the most prominent practitioners of intensive insulin management, tight glycemic control during pregnancy, and insulin pump therapy. He was responsible for facilitating the transfer of more than thirty pancreas transplant patients with type 1 diabetes and end-stage renal disease in the New York area to centers in other parts of the country because  transplantation was not available in New York. In the mid-1990s, Andrew Drexler became involved with utilizing these new therapies for type 2 diabetes and teaching them to other physicians. He also was instrumental in the establishment of the Mt. Sinai Diabetes Center, among of the best comprehensive diabetes centers in the country.  Over the years, he helped hundreds of women with type 1 diabetes deliver healthy babies.  On the wall of his office in New York City, he had photos of all the moms along with the children he had helped deliver safely into the world.  I was one of those moms who was fortunate enough to have him as a doctor.

When I met Dr Drexler, or Andy as he liked us to call him, I was distressed.  My HbA1c was somewhere around 10-11%.  He took this in stride, and while I sobbed in his office, he told me,  “With some work, were going to help you. I think it will take about 3 months.” He and Carolyn Robertson, who worked with Andy for decades, taught me things about type 1 diabetes no one had taken the time to share–including insulin management, nutrition, and counselling.  After three months, many calls and a few more visits, my HBA1c was 7.2%.  Years later, when I became pregnant in London, UK, I moved back to New York to be specifically under Andy’s care.  The pregnancy was difficult and I was placed in the hospital for 12 weeks before my daughter was born.  If it had not been for Andy’s daily rounds and assistance (and pressure) on the team of perinatologists, I don’t believe the outcome would have been successful.  I credit Andy with saving my life and my daughter’s.  He knew that, and he never argued the point!  Andy had a great sense of humour, which made it easy to always be honest with him about the ups and downs of Type 1. He was deeply moved by the strength and resilience of his patients.  We talked about it often.

Dr Drexler treated every person with respect and there are thousands of people with diabetes today who are grateful for his commitment, kindness and care.

Andy’s practice and the care of his patients were his life.  He answered calls any time of day or night and always gave the very best advice.  One day when I was visiting him in Santa Monica, he was late for our appointment and apologized saying. “I’m so sorry, I’m helping a young homeless woman with type 1 who is pregnant, and this time we had to have a long talk.”  He dedicated his life to people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and never gave up on anyone.  Dr Drexler treated every person with respect and there are thousands of people with diabetes today who are grateful for his commitment, kindness and care.

Dr Andrew Jay Drexler was not only the doctor who saved my life, but he was also my friend and a part of our family.  He leaves a void in the standards of medical practice today.  He was one of those great doctors who worked tirelessly behind the scenes asking for nothing in return. There was no one like him and we will miss him deeply.

Dr. Andrew Drexler received his MD from the New York University School of Medicine in 1972, completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Barnes Hospital (1975–1976) and fellowship in Endocrinology at Washington University School of Medicine (1976–1978) in St. Louis, Missouri, and spent two years at the National Institutes of Health in the Public Health Service at the Laboratory of Immunology, NIAID (1973–1975). He joined the faculty of New York University School of Medicine as Clinical Associate Professor in 2003. He was Director of the Diabetes Clinic in Bellevue Hospital and Director of the Mount Sinai Diabetes Center in New York (1998–2002). In 2006,  he became Director of  the Gonda (Goldschmied) Diabetes Center, a multi-disciplinary state-of-the-art facility offering high quality care for patients with diabetes and other endocrine disorders.  In February 2016, he resumed private practice. 

As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions can be made to the New York Diabetes Program (NYDP) in care of Carolyn Robertson, 2355 North Pyrite, Mesa, AZ 85207 USA.

 

Elizabeth Snouffer is Editor of DiabetesVoice.org.


Do you like what you see?
Subscribe to our e-alerts.
Do you have something to say?
Your thoughts and opinions matter to us.
Be the first to comment
You must sign in to post a comment.