Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Diabetes: Roles on Your Care Team
care doctor is responsible for the
day-to-day medical management of your
diabetes. (This doctor is usually an
internist or a
family medicine doctor.) He or she also may coordinate your diabetes care. Or a nurse practitioner, nurse educator, or
physician assistant may coordinate your
Your health professional will help you find the right oral
medicine and possibly
insulin to regulate your blood sugar (glucose) level.
He or she also will help you adjust medicines as your diabetes changes. For
this reason, be sure to tell your health professional if
your symptoms change.
Most primary care doctors are excellent at
managing diabetes. But if your symptoms get worse or if you have
complications, you may need to see a specialist. This is a doctor who has extra training in a particular field. You should see some specialists, such as an
ophthalmologist and podiatrist, regularly. These specialists provide care to
prevent eye and foot problems from diabetes.
seen only when a problem occurs. For example, if you have a complication that affects your heart, you may need to see a cardiologist. For kidney problems, you may need to see a nephrologist. An orthopedic surgeon can help with bone, muscle, or joint problems. For some people who have diabetes,
it is important to see these specialists at least once a year so they can
monitor the complication.
How often seen
This doctor treats complex cases of diabetes with
difficult-to-control blood glucose levels.
Sometimes regular visits, or as treatment problems arise, such as you
cannot stay within a
target range and hemoglobin A1c levels are
higher than desired
Ophthalmologist or optometrist
These doctors monitor your eyes for diabetes complications
and treats any vision problems.
This doctor treats brain and nerve disorders, such as
They help you monitor your feet and treat any
problems, such as foot ulcers.
As needed for foot problems. Have your primary
care doctor check your feet once a year.
Other health professionals who may be involved in your diabetes care
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerDavid C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
Current as of:
November 14, 2014
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.