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Re: [IP] Do DMers need primary care doctors?

I moved around a lot in my earlier life, and had to change doctors  (and
sometime, insurance plans) frequently.  I think endos are becomming more
specialized, and being used more like other specialists (like orthopedic
surgeons) than used to be the case.  Some consider that everything affects
and is affected by diabetes, and so still act as the primary care physicians
for their patients, while others feel that people specializing in more
generalized medicine are better able to treat 'regular' stuff (flu, strep,
pneumonia, etc.) and don't.  Since they know their areas of competency and
what they feel comfortable treating better than people outside their skin
can, I tend to go take their word for it.

I currently go to an internist who is particularly interested in diabetes,
and this works well for me.  It took a while of asking around and going to
different doctors when we moved here to find her.  She makes extensive use
of a Diabetes Education Center at a hospital in the area as well, for things
like starting people on a pump.  She makes normal referrals to other doctors
for things like orthopedic surgery -- she knows when to refer and when not

So I guess my answer to the question is, yes, DMers need a primary care
doctor.  If s/he is an endo who is willing to do this, so much the better,
but you definately need someone for the 'regular' stuff.  If they are
interested in and keep up on diabetes, they are a better choice than someone
who is interested in and keeps up on cancer, if you can find them.  If you
have to pick from a list (most HMOs make you do this), ask the doctors how
they feel about making referrels for things like diabetes care -- you want
to pick the one who will do this, obviously :)

Just my 2 cents.  Yes, I'm going right now to register my internist on the
doctor's page :)

Kathy Trondsen

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