Diabetologists are specialized endocrinologists who have devoted their clinical practice to the study, diagnosis and treatment of all forms of diabetes.

Watch an Overview of Diabetology

About Diabetology

Diabetologists are usually physicians with residency training in endocrinology that have completed specialized training in the subspecialty of diabetes - although physicians trained in other areas may also specialize in the treatment of diabetetes. These specialists are capable of providing comprehensive care for patients suffering from all types of diabetes.

The three major types of diabetes treated by diabetologists include: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes, as well as other less common diabetic conditions. The tests employed to diagnose diabetes by these specialized endocrinologists include urine analyses, fasting blood glucose level tests, hemoglobin A1c tests, oral glucose tolerance tests, and non-fasting blood glucose level tests, among others.

The treatments provided by a diabetes specialist may include: suggesting and educating the patient on a healthier diet (which foods to eat and in what proportions, when to eat, etc.), suggesting the proper exercise regimen (what types of exercise, when to exercise, when to rest, etc.), the prescription of medications (such as insulin injections), blood pressure and cholesterol control treatments, instruction on self-testing of blood glucose levels and other related diabetes management techniques, although other treatments may be provided.

Diabetology Education & Training

Endocrinologists trained in diabetology, sometimes referred to as diabetologists, pursue the same education and training as a general endocrinologist, as the two specialties are closely related: diabetology is a subspecialty of endocrinology. After completing an undergraduate degree, the completion of an MD or DO medical degree is required. Following graduation from medical school, the physician must complete a three to five year residency program (usually in internal medicine), which usually includes at least one year as an intern.

Following completion of the internship and residency program, the physician must complete a two to three year fellowship in a specialized field of endocrinology – in this case, the study of diabetes and the metabolic system. It is during the highly specialized fellowship training that the physician will receive specific training and instruction on how to prevent, diagnose, treat and manage diabetes in patients. Practicing and licensure requirements vary by state for the field of diabetology; many diabetologists seek certification from the American Association of Diabetes Educators and/or board certification in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism from the American Board of Internal Medicine.