What's In a Good Endocrinologist Visit?
Would you please explain what a good endocrinologist appointment should include? Janet Moody, Marshfield, Massachusetts
Paris Roach, MD, responds
What happens at an office visit with your endocrinologist or other diabetes care provider should be guided by general standards of care and by your specific needs.
What to Know
The American Diabetes Association’s 2016 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes focus on preventing and treating diabetes and its related complications. Maintaining good blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels and avoiding smoking are all important aspects of prevention.
Screening for complications includes performing a targeted medical history and physical exam and making sure recommended tests—eye and foot exams and laboratory tests, among others—are performed on schedule. Your doctor should address all these areas during a visit.
Find Out More
The amount of time your health care provider spends on each area will depend on whether you have a particular complaint or complication and how stable the problem is. Someone who has been experiencing frequent hypoglycemia may require counseling during most of the visit, while someone experiencing breathing problems will require a thorough physical examination.
To get the most from your endocrinologist visits, bring a checklist of your health problems and medications, a list of your questions and concerns, and—most important—your glucose meter. Keep copies of all of your test results and a quick explanation about why the tests were performed. Make sure you’re given enough time to voice your questions and concerns.
A visit to your endocrinologist should be based on the principles of comprehensive diabetes care with a focus on your personal needs.
Keep track of your tests and screenings with a handy chart, downloadable at diabetesforecast.org/healthtargets.