What makes a great Endo?

RyanWBrown
By RyanWBrown Latest Reply 2011-07-29 09:43:03 -0500
Started 2011-03-24 08:10:53 -0500

When I was diagnosed with Type 1 by my general doctor a couple of years ago, I got thrown to an Endo in the same building and have been with him ever since. But every time I go in, I absolutely Dread it. Not because he is mean or uptight, but because he doesn't do anything helpful, or at least I don't know he is. All I get at the expensive Endo appointments is a chart of my glucose readings which I can pull off of my own computer, a lecture about how he doesn't want me to lose my limbs and eyesight which I get at home from my wife, and always always always he tells me to check my sugar more often. That's it? What is a good Endo supposed to do? Why am I supposed to waste my money on this?
I am desperately looking for answers here because they seem incredibly useless to me and I care too much about controlling my Type 1 Diabetes to not know.
Thank you!


14 replies

Darlene51
Darlene51 2011-07-29 09:43:03 -0500 Report

I have a great Endo, she spends a lot of time with me. Only bad thing is insurance is so high on my copayment I don't know if I can keep going to her. I may have to get a MD.

RyanWBrown
RyanWBrown 2011-04-14 18:13:22 -0500 Report

Hey Everyone!
Great replies and thank you for some amazing feedback.
Just wanted to let everyone know that I transferred all of my medical records over to a new hospital and met with my new Endo (who I got to pick) at the Vanderbilt Eskind Center for Diabetes.
Michael J. Fowler blew me away with his knowledge, patience with my questions, thorough explanations of his answers and care. Exactly what I was looking for! I did my research on him before I decided who to go with and it really paid off. I can see some great years ahead of me now with him on my team.
God is Good.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2011-04-15 05:52:35 -0500 Report

That is fantastic! I am so glad you are in a place now where you can get the help and input that you need. Good for you on the research as well. Many of us don't do that and we should.

roshy
roshy 2011-04-14 11:59:29 -0500 Report

I think a good endo should be able to give you the motivation to do your best with your diabetes. I think he should be able to answer any questions regarding your concerns or qurerys. I think he should be empathic and understanding and set logical goals for you to achieve. I think he should be supportive and have the cop on to listen to you whether you are doing well or struggling.
And you need him to be professional and pro active. The health system here is so bad that every time i go back to the hospital im seeing a jr reg or a different consultant, they dont know you as a person but only as another number. It frustrating getting passed around like a parcel but hey!! if you start making demands it all pays off!!

I think you should speak out!! if you know what your looking for in an endo demand it!! its your money and your health!! start calling the shots Ryan!!

Best of luck!

Erin P
Erin P 2011-04-09 14:15:43 -0500 Report

I know excatly what u are going through. Mine endo is the same way. This is my second endo dr. My other one had me so jacked up then my new one doesn't really listen to me. She keeps the insulin pump and I don't have insurance. She doesn't know what it is like for us to live it day in and day out. I think drs who deal with diabetes should be living it.

RyanWBrown
RyanWBrown 2011-04-09 16:13:06 -0500 Report

1000% agreed Erin. I respect Diabetes Specialists in Endocrinology for making this world easier for Diabetes care, but at the same time I wish I could find an Endo who truly really knows how it feels first hand. I they could experience a low, a high, pricking yourself in order to survive. And just knowing you'll have to deal with it for possibly the rest of your life. I have asked if there are any in Nashville with no luck!

WendyFR
WendyFR 2011-03-30 00:51:43 -0500 Report

My Endocrinologist is great. She is really concern and I don't get the lectures. She talks to me like an adult. She and my nutritionist work in the same office, so they get together share information and then talk to me to see what information I need to try and help maintain my BS. I think if you can find an endo who you can communicate well with and that will listen to you and you're able to feel comfortable talking to.

northerngal
northerngal 2011-03-27 09:01:09 -0500 Report

I have a great Endocrinologist and she is tough as H—-. But can answer any question I have immediately. You shouldn't be getting lectures, but its important to check bs, especially before meals so you know where you start and can adjust the insulin based on the bs and what you'll be eating. I've done carb counting for years and it works great. Just try to stay with healthy types because over long periods of time, you are more susceptible to heart disease and the circulation problems. I bicycled 3000+ miles each summer and still had a heart attack. But my fitness is the only reason I'm still alive. I've had it 40 years and am beginning to see some of the problems but not serious yet. (heart disease runs in the family so I had the additional risk without knowing). I'd say, find a different endo, one you can communicate with and tells you what they expect. It's a pain at first, but documenting readings, doses and what you ate will give you a good picture of how certain foods affect the bs. Also try to stay active to alleviate problems down the road. Its all in good control. Good luck and stick with it. Now is the time to be stubborn.

BandonBob
BandonBob 2011-03-25 12:06:00 -0500 Report

I know what you mean. There is no endo here in my small town along the Oregon Coast and the nearest is more than two hours drive. It is my good fortune though that the RN at my podiatrists office is a diabetic educator and one of the most informed people about diabetes that I have met in my 22 years with diabetes. She is a T1 herself and so far always has answers to my questions.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2011-03-24 19:23:51 -0500 Report

One thing you might consider is if your Endo specializes in Diabetes. "Endocronology" is general and there are many things they can study. So possibly that is the trouble. I cannot see one in my town because I am not insured, and they will not take cash patients. (go figure) But my primary care doc sits with me and we talk about what I am doing in exercise, diet and if I am compliant in my pills. We also have recently discussed some goals that he has for me. I never knew, and we were on the same page. I also always go with a list of questions and don't leave until they are answered or at least considered by him. He has come to expect this from me, so we always have good dialogue.

I guess I say all that to say this. If your endo is not giving you what you need, maybe there is even a primary out there who is more willing to learn with you and teach you all the new things he learns. You want to have a team. A team works together.

RyanWBrown
RyanWBrown 2011-03-25 07:40:43 -0500 Report

Thanks Gabby, that makes some sense for once. I want to do the best I can to control my T1 but need someone else with me to guide me along the road who actually has time for me and can help relate. I am going to try out a new Endo and see what I can find. I didnt mention that I actually do come with questions each time I see my Endo, but when I ask each one, I get a robotic speech he has practiced a million times for all T1 and T2 people to hear to avoid any personal questions and bypass any feeling. Hopefully I just found the worst Endo and new to find a better one instead of giving up on them altogether.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2011-03-28 06:48:53 -0500 Report

LOL, maybe that is it. There are good ones and bad ones out there. Sometimes it just takes a bit of a shake up with them to get them to drop the speeches. Sheesh...I hate it when they do that. Finding one that treats you like a person and not always looking down at you is one that will work for you. Just remember, they work FOR you...you are the boss. Don't let them intimidate you otherwise.

Type1Lou
Type1Lou 2011-03-24 08:34:40 -0500 Report

I went to see an Endo last December after my GP kept upping my Lantus and I kept on having severe morning lows. After one of these hospitalized me 2000 miles away from home, I asked for the endo referral. (Why didn't my GP offer this since I'd been having problems for the past year????) The endo has literally saved my life and my husband's sanity. I am currently working with her to establish the correct insulin to carb ratio for me. I'm on one shot of Lantus (amount reduced by my endo and changed from evening to morning injection) and pre-meal Novolog. I test 4 to 6 times a day. I also needed to tighten up on my diet, now rigorously COUNTING the carbs in all I eat so I can take the proper insulin dose. I anticipate a better A1c reading now too. (After years in the 6's, it had crept up into the 7's) I've also begun exercising more.
What YOU do is critical to your control. A good endo will guide you and give you the tools you need to better establish that control. Whether you follow those guidelines is entirely up to you. That said, sometimes you seem to be doing everything right and still have problems. A good endo will work with you to pinpoint those. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution. I've had Type 1 for 35 years now and am beginning to experience some of the complications because of my previously cavalier approach to Diabetes. So far though, none are debilitating and I still have my eyesight.

Wishing you the answers you seek for better control!

Anonymous
Anonymous 2011-03-26 21:45:30 -0500 Report

I WAS DIAG. AS A TEENAGER,I THOUGHT MY ENDO WAS DOWNRIGHT MEAN.HE WOULD TELL ME THINGS THAT WOULD HAPPEN TO ME IF I DIDN'T TAKE BETTER CARE OF MYSELF,HE MADE ME FEEL LIKE I WAS A BAD GIRL,AS A RESULT I HAD LOW SELF ESTEEM ,AND WOULD LIE TO HIM AND MY MOM WHAT MY URINE TESTS WERE.NO HOME BLOOD TESTING BACK THEN.I VOWED I WOULD NEVER GO TO A DOCTOR THAT I COULD NOT WORK WITH ME AFTER I WAS APART FROM MY PARENTS.I LOVE MY DOCTOR NOW,YEARS LATER ,SHE LISTENS TO ME,ANSWERS ALL MY QUESTIONS,GIVES ME ADVICE BUT I NEVER FEEL LIKE I'M BAD IF MY SUGARS ARE HIGH,AND I DON'T FEEL LIKE SHE IS GRADING ME ON MY NUMBERS,WE WORK TOGETHER FIGURING OUT WHAT I NEED TO TRY NEXT.I ENCOURAGE YOU TO FIND A DOCTOR THAT YOU LIKE,AND YOU FEEL CAN WORK WITH.BEST OF LUCK!MELCHALK