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Using My Endocrinologist to Find My Healthcare Team

Has anyone else experienced the frustration of finding a new doctor outside of your endocrinologist? There are so many things that my endo can touch on medically, but we all know the importance of having a good Primary Care doctor, an ophthalmologist, a podiatrist, (if you are female) a gynecologist, and even having an urgent care that you like.

For years I would haphazardly look for a new doctor outside of my endocrinologist by Google searching or using my insurance companies search tool and often the appointments went something like this:  I meet the new doctor at urgent care because I am dying of a sore throat and an obvious sinus infection. They run through my history and stop on diabetes asking me how my blood sugars have been. I answer honestly indicating they are elevated due to the clear infection raging through my body. Instead of the doctor taking a look and writing a prescription so I can be on the mend, they want to critique my blood glucose control.

It’s so tough to go to a specialist for something outside the realm of diabetes just to be lectured on the importance of good glucose management.

We as people living with diabetes have quite the robust team of medical professionals in our arsenal, but are there tricks to finding those that support your medical efforts outside of diabetes instead of those who want to critique your diabetes management? That’s when I went back to partnering with my tried and true endocrinologist.

When it was time for me to start thinking about starting a family, I was a bit overwhelmed. I knew that diabetes was going to be a huge factor in all of this, and I was worried about how this was going play out in my care team. I nonchalantly mentioned to my endo that I was looking for a new gynecologist and she mentioned “why don’t you try Dr. X, he and I have partnered on many patients during pregnancy.” I made an appointment and I was thrilled when Dr. X was wonderful and had a very similar outlook on diabetes as my endo. He agreed that she would be the expert on diabetes and he would be the expert on all things baby. Together they helped me have 3 healthy baby boys!

Post-pregnancy my endo mentioned it was time to take a quick look at my heart for a routine check.  She told me I could pick anyone or she could recommend someone. I decided to try her advice again and saw a great doctor who, instead of telling me all the problems diabetes can cause to the cardiovascular system, praised me for coming in the for the checkup and on my very healthy looking heart.  Another win, courtesy of my endo!

Now when it comes time to add another doctor to my team, my endocrinologist is my first resource. Knowing that I am being referred to by her has curbed a lot of the diabetes lectures and I have found that often the doctors she has referred me to have a similar bedside manner to hers.

Next time you are in the market for a new doctor, even for something as unrelated to diabetes, like a dermatologist, try your endocrinologist and you may save yourself the “let’s talk about your blood glucose control” talk from the skin specialist.

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