Many pediatric diabetes patients are cared for by community-based pediatricians. Training for pediatricians in optimal diabetes care should be based on both the recommendations of pediatric endocrinologists regarding optimal care and the practices of general pediatricians. Pediatric endocrinologists, general pediatricians, and pediatric residency coordinators were surveyed to assess the consonance of current recommendations, practices, and training in pediatric diabetes care. Not surprisingly, pediatric endocrinologists recommended more subspecialty care than pediatricians reported practicing. A major difference between endocrinologists and pediatricians emerged in the area of psychosocial support. A total of 85% of endocrinologists answered that there should be a mental health diabetes team member, but only 37% of pediatricians reported often or sometimes working with one to develop care plans. Pediatricians who provide complete diabetes care for most of their patients measure frequent glycosylated hemoglobin levels, obtain yearly lipid measurements marginally less often, and use urinary glucose measurements more often than recommended by pediatric endocrinologists. According to the descriptions of most pediatric residency training programs, multidisciplinary teams include a pediatrician, an endocrinologist, and a dietician. However, 25% do not include a social worker or nurse and 70% do not include a psychologist. Although most training programs operate on the assumption that their trainees will ultimately share responsibility with a subspecialist for diabetes care, in 26% of programs residents saw no diabetics in their continuity clinics. Most residents do not participate in providing diabetes education. In summary, pediatricians provide a large amount of diabetes care nationwide. Their reported practices are, in general, consistent with those of pediatric endocrinologists but significant deficits appear to exist with reference to appropriate use of psychosocial support. The need exists for training programs in pediatrics to recognize the large amount of diabetic care actually provided by pediatricians when designing training for their residents. Programs should include longitudinal experience with diabetes patients, involve residents in patient education, and provide a model for multidisciplinary care that includes psychosocial support.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1989|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health