Diabetes Health Care Professionals & Roles | Cornerstones4Care®

Your Diabetes Care Team

You are not alone when it comes to managing your diabetes. You may have a primary health care provider, or the main doctor you visit. You may also have a nurse, diabetes educator, dietitian, and others on your team. They can help you with diabetes-related issues and give you the support you need. The team structure may be even more helpful if your primary health care provider can collect information from other team members and use it to guide your treatment.

Professionals are not the only people who can join the team. Your family and friends can be a great source of support. And then, there’s you. You and all of your team members have the same goal: to help you manage your diabetes.

You'll work with your team to create a care plan that guides you through:

  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity
  • How to take the medicine you may need
  • How to track your blood sugar

Your diabetes care team may include these health care professionals

Health Care Team Members
Primary care physician
(PCP)
Works with you to create a care plan depending on the progression of your diabetes. Also helps you make necessary treatment changes and refers you to other memebers of your diabetes care team when you need it
Diabetes and hormone doctor
(endocrinologist)
Doctor who specializes in the treatment of diabetes
Diabetes educator Nurse, dietitian, or other health care professional who specializes in teaching people about diabetes
Dietitian A specialist in nutrition; can help you make a meal plan
Heart doctor (cardiologist) A doctor who can help you prevent or treat heart disease and specializes in the treatment of high blood pressure and high cholesterol
Foot doctor (podiatrist) A doctor who checks your feet for wounds and infections. If untreated, they may become serious. With diabetes, you can be more likely to have poor blood flow and nerve damage in the legs and feet
Eye doctor
(ophthalmologist/optometrist)
Checks your eyes about once a year for diabetes-related eye problems
Kidney doctor
(nephrologist)
A doctor who treats kidney disease and kidney damage
Dentist A doctor who treats your teeth, gums, and mouth for problems. Important because diabetes may leave you prone to more serious gum infections
Pharmacist A doctor who is licensed to prepare, dispense, and teach you about your medicines

 

Your team will work together with you to manage your diabetes care. But on a daily basis, you are the one in charge.

As the captain of your team, you need to know:

  • As much as you can about diabetes
  • How to get the most from your visits with your diabetes care team

For tips on how to take action, be sure to download the booklet, Better Office Visits

NEXT: You can also get support from family and friends.

Have you signed up for the Diabetes Health Coach?