Endo recommendations in Northern Virginia

Hi all,

After a long time not on TuDiabetes (for no particular reason) I’ve been getting back into it and it’s nice to have the virtual support again :slight_smile:

I just relocated to Reston, VA, and I’m hoping some people on here might have recommendations for a good endo in the area. Currently I’m working in Arlington, VA, and I’m pretty willing to travel to DC as well if necessary to find a good doctor. Really, I don’t need a ton of hands-on care, but I’ve found it really helpful to have a supportive endo in the past. I’m a little spoiled in that my last two endos (in Seattle and Chicago) were fantastic, and I’m hoping to hit the jackpot again but I know that’s not easy to do.

So far the doctor I’ve been most interested in speaking with based on a combination of reviews of his actual care and the quality of his front office staff is Dr. Ali Safa, but I’ve not spoken with anyone who has first-hand experience with him.

Anyway, any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! I just recently started on the t:slim X2 and I’m using Dexcom G6, so an endo who’s willing to work with modern technologies is pretty much a must.

If you are willing to travel just a bit further around the beltway I have been very happy with Endocrine And Diabetes Associates in Bethesda MD.

It is by far the largest diabetes-specializing practice I have ever been to. For most of the past 40 years as T1 I had dealt with much smaller offices. Going to a “mega-practice” where they have specialists just for dealing with pre-authorizations and pumps and CGM’s was a big step forward for me.

I have also heard good things about the endos at GW Hospital but never been there myself.

This is huge for peace of mind and not have to fight and deal with a bunch of finger pointing when things don’t happen on time. There are many pieces to the modern management of diabetes puzzle and being in a mega-practice especially with administrative specialists is worth its weight in gold. The only advantage to dealing with a small doctor office is that they are more flexible when you want to aggressively manage your diabetes and try things that are not considered standard practice and therefore not approved by the mega-facilities.

Thanks for the recommendation! I’m not super familiar with the area yet but I’m not necessarily opposed to traveling a bit to MD if the office and doctors are great.

And I totally agree on the “mega-practice” thing. I’ve been at a number of different styles of endocrinology office over the years and have had varying levels of success in dealing with the administrative side of things. Specifically, I’m having some headaches right now dealing with my prior endo (who is still handling prescriptions and things until I get settled here), and it’s been really difficult for example to get the pump start order for the t:slim. So I decided to just self-start, but now I need to wait for their office to do the prescription for Control-IQ… and so on and so on.

It’s definitely appealing to not have to deal with all that.

I live in the area and can provide a recommendation, but it sounds like our needs might be a bit different.

I see Dr. Ace Lipson (cool name, eh?) in Washington, DC. He’s been practicing a long time. I primarily chose him because I wanted to start Afrezza, and he had another patient using it. He was open-minded enough to prescribe it for me, but he spent time explaining what he considered the risks to be and ordered the necessary spirometry tests. He’s always ordered any medical tests I’ve requested. I’ve enjoyed my interactions with him more than most of the doctors I’ve seen in my time with Type 1 - around 25 years.

Overall, I’ve had a good experience with his office staff. I really like his receptionist. The nurse on staff handles the prescriptions, and she’s just okay. As long as I’m very clear about what I need, everything gets done/sent as I request. The Afrezza prescriptions are a bit complicated, so I’m not surprised that we’ve had to work through those whenever the prescription needs to be changed.

However, I do not use a pump! I do use a cgm, and my doctor’s office has never been a complicating factor in getting my supplies. Dexcom has been a pain at times, but any issues I’ve had have been entirely on their end.

AFAIK they are not one-brand-only. When I started asking about pumps and CGM’s they gave handouts for several different brands and then talking about how their technology/pre-clearance staff support all of them and how they could hook me up straight with any of the manufacturer’s local reps. Included in what they support was your t:slim.

This is a little different than some other practices I asked around at, where “every patient here has to use Medtronic that’s all we do” was a common response.

Oh man, I can’t even imagine being tied to one technology or another based on which doctor I was seeing. That would absolutely be a nonstarter for me. Thanks for the info.

Ha, I do quite like that name. He sounds good as well - although any difficulty with handling prescriptions is of course a shame. It’s tough to find that balance between an excellent doctor and competent administrative staff. I suppose that’s the “holy grail” we are all looking for, and why there’s so much discussion on what makes a good endo.

I’ll add Dr. Lipson to my short list of providers to check out, thanks!

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