20 Questions to Ask a New Endocrinologist

How to make sure you and a new doctor are on the same page about how to treat your Type 1 diabetes.



This edited excerpt is from The Savvy Diabetic – A Survival Guide (reprinted by permission):

You can, and should, ask to meet an endocrinologist or doctor before you choose to become a patient in their practice. Most often, doctors will give you 15 minutes to meet and ask questions. Think of it as a speed-date.


Here are some questions you might want to ask a doctor during this initial visit:

1. What is your experience with Type 1 diabetes?

2. What do you expect my A1C score to be?

3. How long are your visits?

4. How often do you request an A1C test?

5. Do you do the A1C test in your office?

6. How many times a day do you expect me to test my blood sugar?

7. What is your protocol on treating a bout of hypoglycemia?

8. What is your protocol on treating blood sugar levels that are 300 mg/dL or higher?

9. When do you have your patients test for ketones?

10. When would you recommend glucagon?

11. Do you have a certified diabetes educator who is experienced in working with people with Type 1 diabetes?


12. Do you have a dietician who is experienced in working with people with Type 1 diabetes?

13. Who takes insulin adjustment calls, and what are their hours?

14. Who do I call in the middle of the night?

15. What do I do if I get sick?

16. Are you familiar with all the insulin pumps on the market?

17. Do you know how to adjust pumps?

18. Do you download pumps and meters at every visit?

19. Do you have many patients on continuous glucose monitors?

20. Who in your office works with prior authorizations in case I have an issue with supplies?

Your options for doctors may be limited by geography. If you are in a rural area, there may only be one endocrinologist in the area, or there may be none. If that’s the case, you will have to make the best of the situation and develop a good relationship with that physician. However, if you do have a choice, this set of questions will help you find the best medical provider possible for your needs.

If you would like to buy The Savvy Diabetic – A Survival Guide, you can do so at thesavvydiabetic.com/buythebook.

This excerpt has been edited for length and clarity.

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Joanne Laufer Milo is the author of The Savvy Diabetic: A Survival Guide and Healthcare Organizer ~ All about You for The Savvy Patient. She’s been involved with JDRF since its inception, and manages Girls’ Night Out, a support group with over 80 Type 1 members. Her career has ranged from corporate marketing to teaching fitness and yoga. She currently resides in southern California where she shares her life with her loving husband, Richard, and their two joyful pups, Hey Buddy and Bon Bon. You can find her writing at www.TheSavvyDiabetic.com.