Building an Effective Diabetes Care Team

No one can effectively manage diabetes alone, whether you have the disease or you're a physician caring for someone with it. "It’s been known for years that diabetes requires a multidisciplinary team approach because there are so many components to its management," says Martin Abrahamson, M.D., Medical Director and Senior Vice President at Joslin Diabetes Center.

At Joslin, your team includes:

This core team provides individualized care based on your needs, taking into account clinical guidelines developed at Joslin and other organizations. Your team meets regularly to review your progress.

As someone with diabetes, you are the most important member of the team. You help set goals—and members of your team provide the education and support necessary for you to achieve them.

If you’ve just been diagnosed, your physician may refer you to Joslin for education only (individual appointments, group classes, or both). Or you can make an appointment directly with a Joslin physician.

Your Partners in Care

At your first appointment, you'll meet with both a physician and a certified diabetes educator. Meeting with these two experts is necessary because the medical and educational management of diabetes go hand in hand, points out Dr. Abrahamson.

As the need arises, other specialists are brought onto the team: an ophthalmologist (eye care), nephrologist (kidney health), cardiologist (cardiovascular disease prevention), podiatrist (foot care), or mental health practitioner, for example.

A team effort keeps the score against diabetes in your favor.