How to Build Your Diabetes Healthcare Team


Cindy Kuzma

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People with diabetes who receive care from a whole team of health professionals tend to have better control of their condition. They also feel more satisfied with their care and often pay less for medical bills. 

As someone who has diabetes, you are in charge of building your team. You want caregivers who have in-depth knowledge of their fields. You also want to make sure you feel comfortable with them, and that they work well with each other. Together, you and your team will focus on your diabetes treatment and overall health. 

Start With Your Primary Care Doctor

Your medical team starts with a good primary care doctor. You’ll see this doctor for regular checkups and when you get sick.

Several types of doctors can provide primary care to people with diabetes. Endocrinologists have special training to treat diseases like diabetes. Family practice doctors or internists can also help manage your care. 

When choosing a doctor, take time to explore the doctors’ credentials and expertise. Look for a doctor who is board certified in endocrinology, family medicine/family practice, or internal medicine. Endocrinology is a subspecialty of internal medicine.

Ask prospective doctors the following questions:

  • How much experience do you have treating patients with diabetes? Do you have special training or certifications in this area?

  • Do you work with other diabetes healthcare professionals?

  • Do you keep up on the latest diabetes treatment recommendations?

To receive the most insurance benefits and pay the least out-of-pocket for your care, you may need to look for a doctor who participates in your insurance plan. A convenient office location and office hours that fit your schedule are also a priority. 
When you start seeing a new doctor, it may take some time to get to know each other. Eventually, you should feel comfortable sharing information with your doctor and grow to trust his or her ability to meet your needs.