Ayotunde Dokun, MD, PhD
Patients receive an extra level of expertise in diabetes care when Dr. Ayotunde Dokun, M.D. Ph.D., is their physician. He combines science with care in his dual role as Chief of Endocrine Service for Regional One Health and Associate Professor in Endocrinology at University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
Dr. Dokun’s roles as researcher and physician give him a rare combination in medicine of someone who studies the science behind the care he provides patients. His clinical care specialty focuses on general endocrinology, diabetes and obesity. Dr. Dokun’s related research includes peripheral arterial disease, vascular complications and vascular disease.
He said he believes his scientific role helps him have an extra caring touch on the clinical side when talking to patients.
“It does make a difference for patients,” Dr. Dokun said. “Patients tend to tell me that’s the first time they’ve ever heard something explained in such a detailed way to them. Being a scientist does impact my clinical care.”
Dr. Dokun’s research team recently published a paper about a study that looks at the restriction of blood supply during the process of new blood vessel formation in diabetic patients dealing with high blood sugar. That blood supply restriction often results in high amounts of limb pain and possibly the ultimate loss of a toe or foot. The study shows a new therapy that could improve blood flow in diabetics dealing with peripheral arterial disease.
His research interest is better understanding the molecular side of how diabetes causes vascular complications. He feels that work also informs his care of patients at Regional One Health in a city where diabetes and obesity are major problems.
Dr. Dokun came to Memphis in July 2016, in part because he saw the potential impact endocrinology can have on the community’s diabetes problem.