Jeanette Terry addresses the day-to-day struggles of living with diabetes to help improve overall adherence and management.  

Switching doctors can be a pain. Especially if you like your current doctor and are forced to switch—perhaps due to insurance changes, changing medical needs, or moving. But look on the bright side: whatever your reason for seeking a new doctor, it can be an opportunity for you to figure out what’s lacking in your current medical care team and find it.

Looking for Dr. Right

There are many doctors who are willing to help you with your diabetes management, but they aren’t all going to give you the individually tailored care that you need. Each person with diabetes manages it a little bit differently, and so must the doctors who treat them. Each person needs a treatment plan that fits their unique needs and lifestyle. Here are four things to keep in mind as you seek the best care.

  1. Look for a medical care team, not just a doctor. Living with diabetes is complicated, so if a doctor you’re vetting says that you don’t need to see other specialists too, then you should continue your hunt. Make sure that you have access to a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and a dietitian as well as any other medical professionals you feel would be able to help you achieve the best diabetes control. A handful of experts is better than one, especially when it comes to your health.

  2. Look for someone you are compatible with. Your doctor doesn’t have to be your medical soulmate, but communication will be a lot easier if you and your physician understand each other. Notice how well a prospective doctor listens to what you say and how easy he or she is to talk with. Make sure that the doctor you choose takes an interest in learning about your background and your current circumstances so that adjustments in your treatment plan can be made for any relevant lifestyle factors.

  3. Make sure that he or she is willing to address all of your concerns. If you raise an issue about your health and a prospective doctor brushes it off, then they may not be right for you. If something worries you, it should worry your doctor, and you should be able to resolve any concerns in your diabetes management by working together.

  4. Find a doctor who will let you lead the team in your own diabetes management. All of the medical professionals you consult should simply be there as resources to empower you in your own health. If they try to take over, then you will probably find you won’t have as much success. Of course you should always consider your doctor’s counsel as well as any other specialist you see, and you should put their advice to good use. But ultimately, you are the one who should make the decisions and take responsibility for the outcome. If the outcome isn’t as good as you’d like, you can decide to make changes and try again.

With the right healthcare team supporting you, you can find your way to feeling your best.** That’s worth the extra effort it takes to make wise and careful choices in your healthcare providers.
Have you had a good (or bad) experience switching doctors? Tell us about it and help others learn from your experience by commenting below.