When someone is first diagnosed with diabetes, it's traditionally at an appointment with a primary care doctor. Your primary care doctor is the healthcare provider who is usually the first contact for your medical needs.
A primary care doctor is only one part of a diabetes care team. Research tells us that managing diabetes requires a team approach, or working with a group of experts specially trained to help you succeed and feel good.
But it can be challenging to see all the different types of people available to help, not to mention expensive. That's the premise behind 9amHealth. We want to make it easy and affordable for you to get the best care possible.
Let's take a closer look at the team, why each member is essential, and how 9amHealth gives you affordable access to an entire diabetes care team on your schedule.
Which doctors specialize in diabetes?
Your primary care doctor is the one who will likely diagnose you with diabetes. They are like your team captain, meeting with you regularly to check in, monitor your labs, and manage or adjust your medications.
Endocrinologists are also doctors who specialize in diabetes. They are experts in hormone-related diseases like diabetes. Not everyone with diabetes needs an endocrinologist, but sometimes if a treatment plan isn't effective, they can take a deeper look at your labs and make medication adjustments as needed.
Unfortunately, getting appointments with primary care doctors or endocrinologists can be challenging, especially as a new patient, with long waits or inconvenient appointment times.
What are other diabetes specialists on your care team?
Other important people on your care team include:
- Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES): A CDCES (previously called CDE) is someone who specializes in diabetes management, prediabetes, and diabetes prevention. They can help manage your treatment plan, including food, medication, and other lifestyle changes. Many different types of health professionals can be a CDCES, including nurses, dietitians, and pharmacists.
- Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN): Your RDN is the go-to for anything food-related. Since what you eat is directly connected to your blood sugar, working closely with a dietitian can make you feel more confident about what to eat. They can help you look at your current eating habits and create a realistic plan that works for you.
- Pharmacist: Your pharmacist receives the prescriptions from your doctors, but they do so much more. Because they are experts in medications, they can help ensure that your treatments are the best fit for your individual needs.
- Mental health specialist: Sometimes this part of the team is skipped over, but it's just as important. How you feel emotionally impacts all areas of wellness. When juggling a chronic health condition like diabetes, it can help to have someone to share your feelings with, who can give you extra care.
While it may sound a bit overwhelming initially, your care team is there to make your life easier. Each person brings unique expertise to help you create a well-rounded plan for your health.
Finding a doctor who specializes in diabetes isn't always easy
It can be expensive and time-consuming to see all the different types of specialists for most people. Appointments can be at different locations and tough to schedule; copays or out-of-pocket expenses can add up.
Demand for doctors specializing in diabetes is growing, but there is an overall shortage of doctors in all specialties, and it's projected to get even worse.
It can feel nearly impossible to get the care you need when you need it.
Luckily with 9amHealth, you can get started right away without waiting. We have a team who can help you better understand your diabetes and create a treatment plan to meet your needs. Best of all, it's affordable because we don't believe your health should come with a hefty price tag.
You are the most important member of your care team
You know your diabetes and your life better than anyone. While the above specialists are experts in their field, you are in control of what recommendations you implement.
We want you to speak up and advocate for yourself if something isn't working for you, say a particular exercise routine, diet advice, or even medication. Ultimately, the best care you can receive is with guidance that you can put into reality, and our team is here to help make that possible.
9amHealth makes it easy to find a diabetes doctor near you
Working with a team is critical for successfully managing diabetes, and 9amHealth gives you all-around access to most of these practitioners. You can work with a dietitian to plan your diet, talk to a specialist, and even meet with a CDCES to dive deep into your overall health goals. You can do it via phone or video, or chat, it's your choice.
Learn more about how 9amHealth makes diabetes care easier and more accessible here.