Discrimination by endocrinologists?

Hi Everybody,

I was diagnosed with Diabetes five years ago (at 38). I was very lucky and found a wonderful endocrinologist in Los Angeles. He was well informed, proactive, responsive and supportive. Started me on insulin very quickly after oral medication/diet didn't do a thing, did the necessary blood work to diagnose type 1.5, and really helped me to get my glucose under control.

Six months ago, my family and I moved to Amherst,MA and I set about trying to find a new Endo. This has been a really frustrating process.
I had gotten a recommendation for one local endocrinologist, but when I called her office, I was informed (rather rudely) that she was not accepting diabetes patients any longer. I was really surprised by this. The office gave me a recommendation for another local endocrinologist. I called his office, and was told that yes, they were accepting new patients, but I needed to get a referral from my G.P. Being new in the area, I had no G.P, and it took me a few months to get in to see one, but I did.

With my referral in hand, I called the endocrinologist again - only to be told that although they are accepting new patients, they are not accepting diabetic patients!! When I asked why, I was told that the doctor's practice was "overrun with diabetics".
I am really baffled and frustrated! I feel discriminated against by the endocrinologists. How can an endocrinologist practice discriminate against diabetic patients?

Has anyone else had similar experiences with being turned away by endocrinologists because they have diabetes?

I have good insurance, pay my bills promptly, and am a good patient, I follow a low carb diet, exercise, check my blood sugar 10 or more times a day, work hard to keep my A1C as close to normal as possible.
In the five years of seeing my endocrinologist in L.A., he has always treated me with respect and care. Now, I feel like the vermin of the endocrine world. I am really frustrated and discouraged! Any suggestions?

Hi Anna: I am really sorry that you are having such a bad time finding a new endo! One huge problem is that there is a SERIOUS shortage of endos. And so many don't differentiate between Type 1 (IMO, should always be seen by an endo) versus Type 2 (many of whom see their GPs for care--frankly probably many should see an endo but that's a different subject). Have you tried a little further away from you? Say Springfield or the Boston suburbs?

I'm sorry to hear you're having such difficulty too. It's such a shame that you have to deal with this! it's enough just to have manage our disease! Please stay positive and know there's doctors out there willing to help! i'm in the greater los angeles area so i don't know of any to recommend; just wanted to let you know i feel your frustration!

Anna, here is a link to an article about the growing number of adult Type 1s and the lack of endos to treat them. It's a real problem.

When I lived in Boston, I went to this practice - http://www.bmc.org/endocrinology/team.htm. My doctor was Dr. James L. Rosenzweig. He's a bit on the older side but they are the ones that put me on a pump and the physicians are familiar with new technologies. I hope they can help you out. I've moved 5 times since my diagnosis 10 years ago and I definitely understand the frustrations with finding a new endocrinologist ...especially one you can trust ! Good luck!

Dear Anna,

Sorry that you are having such a difficult time!

May I suggest that you post a new item with a heading something like: "Looking for a good endo in western Mass."

That might catch the eye of a member who is busy and is just skimming through the topics posted.

Hope you find a good one!

Best wishes,


Wow. I would be frustrated too. I recently moved and by the time I got her and got my referral started it has taken me since July to get into an endo here. I have my first appointment next week. I feel thankful I have a pump and am doing o.k.

I would recommend going to a Type 1 support group or a pump club, hopefully associated to a hospital. The members or leaders may have recommendations for you. You can find certified diabetes educators at the diabetes center at hospitals who might give you a name or two.

Your story almost mirrors mine: diagnosed at age 35, short time on pills then moved to multiple daily injections for the past 15 years. Soon I will being going on the pump. Where our stories part ways is the discrimination you encountered. Not sure if that would ever happen in our publicly funded health care system in Canada, where there is no apparent advantage for doctors to cherry pick their patients. But we do suffer from a chronic shortage of endocrinologists. That’s a big problem.

I went to college in Amherst :)...I go to Joslin which is in Boston near Brigham and women's, dana farmer and the green line. I just noticed that this was written 6 months ago. Did you ever get it straightened out? I see you moved back to CA.

My endo misdiagnosed me as a type 2, I’m a type 1. When I confronted her about it she said I didn’t fit the profile since I was over weight. So I guess we determine diabetes by what you look like, but I’m afraid to change doctors because I don’t want a worse one.

We move around a lot (we are a military family) and I can attest to the frustration of trying to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!!!!!! Its mind boggling how hard it is to find a good Endo. Heck, I had a hard enough time just trying to get ahold of my local Medtronic rep. (I was looking for a recommendation from my pump rep.) Anyways, I'm sorry. It is hard! Hang on there. Give yourself a year or so to get in the groove. Hopefully by then you'll have found one or at least have a good lead. Be gracious to yourself as moving is a huge stress on your body- I always have lots of highs when we move.

Hi Stephanie: If you are a bit older when you are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, there is a good chance you will no longer be "at fighting weight." The Expert Committee on the Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus provides the following information: "Although patients are rarely obese when they present with this type of diabetes, the presence of obesity is not incompatible with the diagnosis." A number of TuD members were misdiagnosed because they were overweight. What your doctor said is ridiculous, but if you can work with her and get good care, that is what counts.

I’ve been working with her for over a year, but I’m considering getting a second opinion. Thanks for the info!