Recruiting Your Diabetes Management Team

June 12, 2008 by  
Filed under DIABETES

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Who Are Those People Anyhow??


Failing to plan is planning to fail.

One of the most important elements of your diabetes management plan includes assembling your treatment team. Diabetes is your battle, and you get to recruit your army. Being in control of your health is essential to success. There is so much about life in general and diabetes that you cannot control. Hand selecting your diabetes management team is something you can control.

Every diabetic requires an individualized treatment plan according to their particular needs, their particular disease and their particular lifestyle. One size does not fit all.

Questions to ask when interviewing your team:

  • Ask about their medical background and expertise
  • Discuss their expectations AND YOURS
  • What is the policy regarding emergency or unscheduled appointments?
  • Ask about insurance ahead of time
  • Discuss office billing practices
  • How do they handle off hours contacts and on-call duties?
  • How much time can you expect for an appointment?

Dr. Greene . Com is an excellent resource for detailed questions for interviewing a physician.

One of the most important things to remember when interviewing health care providers is going with your gut. Does the provider give you eye contact? Are your questions answered? Do you feel validated? If you feel intimidated and do not have your questions answered either because you are ignored or are too intimidated to ask them–rethink your care provider situation. On the flip side, if you feel warm and fuzzy about your care giver but still do not get your questions answered you should again rethink the situation.
A good fit is essential. If you are not satisfied, shop around. Ask your insurance carrier for a list of providers or talk to your local hospital and ask for a recommended list. Talk to diabetes support groups and get a word-of-mouth referral.

The Diabetes Management Team:

Not every type of care provider is going to be necessary for every team. Decide which are important to give you the strongest team possible as you fight your diabetes battle.

  • Primary Care Physician-provides primary medical care
  • Endocrinologist-physician who deals with disorders of the endocrine system
  • Diabetologist-an endocrinologist specializing in diabetes
  • Dietitian or Nutritionist-certified specialist in diet and nutrition
  • Certified Diabetes Educator-a specialist in diabetes education
  • Pharmacist-do not underestimate the part your pharmacist plays in your health care.
  • Dentist-dental health is an important part of your care
  • Nephrologist-physician who specializes in kidney care
  • Neurologist-a nerve specialist
  • Podiatrist-a physician specializing in foot care
  • Mental Health Professional-Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Licensed Counselor for psychological support
  • Trainer-for a healthy exercise program and/or one-on-one training
  • Social worker-financial and health care direction
  • Patient Advocate-friend, family, or paid professional-your advocate when you cannot advocate for yourself
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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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