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From Louisiana, USA:

When my daughter turns 13 years old, can she see her regular doctor instead of a specialist?


The decision to see your general practitioner versus a specialist hinges on many things. For your child with Type 1 diabetes, perhaps the most important is your regular doctor's comfort level and expertise in managing the nuances of diabetes while following recommended guidelines for management, screening for complications, dosing insulin, downloading meters, dealing with school and psychosocial issues, and having ready access to a diabetes team of educators, nutritionists, social workers, psychologists, etc. Certainly not all children with Type 1 diabetes require that team. But most "regular" doctors do not have the time, skill, expertise, or desire to manage diabetes in children primarily. They certainly do want to manage the general health and keep vaccinations current, address acute illnesses, etc.

Perhaps you really have a different question. But I'd start by asking your primary care "regular" doctor, if they want/can/are able to keep current with diabetes management for your teen. If they can, and/or can have back up by the specialist, that would be great.

Personally, I do not know why, for the most part, you would want a non- specialist taking care of a complex process that they do not do everyday.

For some families, it is a hardship to travel "to the specialist". In those situations, sometimes the primary care doctor can help by doing some things for the specialist - such as faxing the glucose diary or get the A1c result. Sometimes the specialist has an out-reach satellite clinic and can travel closer to you.


Original posting 17 Dec 2003
Posted to Daily Care


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:52
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