My Latest (and Perhaps Greatest) Rant

July 1st, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you probably know I don’t hold back when it comes to sharing my opinion on nearly anything.

(We all have them, what’s the big deal with sharing them? If you wanted all Technicolor rainbows and butterflies you’d probably be picnicking in a meadow anyway, instead of reading this.)

But here’s the thing.

I think it should be considered medical malpractice for a general or internal medicine doctor to diagnose and/or medicate someone with diabetes.

It simply happens too often. I’ve heard too many stories (that I consider horror stories) of a GP or IM diagnosing a patient with type 2 diabetes and prescribing whatever popular drug and both doctor and patient carrying on without further changes or appointments.


Diabetes requires accurate diagnosis. It requires a knowledgeable prescriber and correct dosage and medication.

Heck, for a lot of people, it requires a hospital stay.

And everyone needs fantastic education, guidance, and support.

So what are they teaching these doctors in medical school and reinforcing in the medical community?? That diabetes is a “try this drug and come back in three months” kind of disease?!

The whole thing simply frightens me.

It frightens me because I hear about people who were incorrectly diagnosed as type 2 who, upon seeing an endocrinologist after months or years with deteriorating health, are correctly diagnosed with LADA, MODY, or in some cases, type 1 diabetes.

If you live with diabetes of any kind, you know what it takes to manage the disease. You know how intricate the work can be, and how helpful (and not as helpful) doctors can be when it comes to the ways in which you need their help.

So when I see these stories it amazes me that there are so many general practitioners who think they can diagnose and treat a patient’s diabetes without help from an endocrinologist.

It concerns me what they do with other diagnoses. I can’t see them thinking they can diagnose and treat cancer—or at least I HOPE they don’t.

Let me assure anyone who has been treated exclusively by their general doctor for diabetes: you need an expert’s help with this disease. You can’t get it online; you can’t find what you need in the Diabetes Online Community. You can’t find it on WebMD or from a friend.

You need to do this TODAY. Start by making a phone call. This is your health and no one cares about it in the same way as you care.

But you need to take charge. You need to make sure you understand enough about the disease to evaluate whether your diagnosis feels correct. If it doesn’t, make another phone call, get another lab test, see another expert.


No matter what your general doctor might say.

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