How to "interview" a potential new Endo?

Hi All-
I’m going to be trying to find a new Endo soon, and I had such a horrible experience with my last one, that I want to make sure I’m comfortable and compatible with my new Endo. Being a Type 1 adult, who has had diabetes since childhood, I especially want to find an endo that’s familiar with Type 1 adults, pumps therapy, dealing with complications, and more than just the basics of diabetes care.

How do you all go about finding a good endo? My local JDRF isn’t really tapped into the Adult Type 1 scene here in Columbus, OH, and I don’t really know any other adult Type 1’s here to get a recommendation. For most of my adult life 've been so limited with crappy insurance coverage that I haven’t been able to really choose my endo, but now I have good insurance and CHOICES! Amazing!

I’ve heard that some people sort of interview a new doctor to see if they are a good fit? Have any of you done this? How does that work? Do you set up an initial appointment and ask all your questions then, or do you talk to a nurse or practice manager at their practice before making an appointment? What kinds of questions do you think I need to be asking?

Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!

I don’t think interviewing is possible, at least without an appointment first! It can be extremely difficult. What I have done is checked my insurance resource book, and specifically looked for endo’s that specialized in “Diabetes and Metabolism”. I used to think that an endo was a diabetes specialized, but I was wrong… An endo deals with glands and hormones, and doesn’t necessarily relate to diabetes as a whole (doctor him/herself)…

Also it would not hurt to ask if the endo is also a CDE. In addition, find out if that doctor has an available nurse (that works with him), to answer questions in the event he/she is not available.

^^ good ideas.

I personally research my doctors. Once I have narrowed it down to maybe 5 potential doctors (limiting by specialty and distance) then I google and search the crap out of their names to see what info I can pull up- education information, how long they’ve practiced, complaints against them, licenses they have, name of first born, etc. That way I know a lot more about their overall practice and how they treat their patients and I can make a better judgement from there on who I should make an appointment with

Yogi and Sarah have good suggestions - find out what’s in the office before you go. Is there a Certifed Diabetes Educator on staff? A Nutritionist? Does the doctor hold himself out as a diabetes specialist.

In the end, you have to meet him/her and see if it ‘feels’ right. Not knowing you I can’t recommend specific questions, just have some and see how the doctor answers. Bring some data with you, too. Does the doctor pay attention to you? Does she ask questions or just lecture you and tell you what to do? Does the doctor want to run the whole show or is he/she willing to be part of the team? (I good sign that she is will be whether she has team members in her office now - a CDE or nutritionist for example.)

In the end, you’ve got to go with your gut feeling. Just because you’ve been there once, doesn’t mean you’re stuck with them forever (unless your insurance plan is weird about it). The doctor works for you. The doctor works for you.

Good luck,

Did I mention that the doctor works for you?

Haha! I will repeat that mantra over and over while I begin my search! “the doctor works for ME, the doctor works for Me!” Thanks for the suggestions!

Excellent ideas! Do you have any specific websites you use to look up doctors or do you just start with a google search and go from there? Thanks for the information!

Thanks for the ideas! That is a great idea about checking to see if they have a “team” or at least a nurse that can answer questions if the doctor is not around. I’ll definitely add that to my developing list of questions!

I agree with the first suggestion -

I’d add that you may want to find a hospital in your area with a specific “diabetes support group”. You could attend a group session and ask for recommendations from the other people in attendance, just an idea.

Here are 2 groups from the website - not an endorsement, just info I found on the web -

Place: The Central Ohio Diabetes Association
Program Name: The Diabetes Education Program at CODA
Address: 1580 King Avenue
City, State, Zip: Columbus, OH, 43212
Telephone: 614-486-7124

Place: McConnell Heart Health Center
Program Name: Diabetes Education Services
Address: 3773 Olentangy River Road
City, State, Zip: Columbus, OH, 43214-3646
Telephone: 614-566-3830

You may also consider finding a Certified Diabetes Educator in your area, and asking for their recommendation. Best of luck.

Wow, thanks! I’ll definitely have to check out both of those resources!

For the most part, there is such a deficit of endos, any interaction with an endo is likely to be stacked against you running the show. In the first appointment, you are not there to “select” the endo, they are there to consider taking you on as a patient.

In the end, the best information is a referral from a current patient. In selecting my current endo, I researched endos in my area, looking for one who was highly qualified, worked with my insurance, had good feedback and who did not have any black marks. Don’t ever see a doctor who has been denied their license, served time in jail or been censured, that is just too risky. There is an amazing amount of info on the internet.

Despite my efforts with my current endo, he has turned out to not have the best social skills. In the end, I’ll get past that if is competent and can work with me. If I want social skills, I can get that somewhere else.

I google things like “their name AND specialty”, “just their name”, “name and location”, “name and hospital they work out of”, “name, specialty, patient reviews”, State medical board site, country wide medical boards, discussion boards, etc. a lot of the searches will pull this information up and you just need to weed through it