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From Santa Clara, California, USA:

My 8 year old son is newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetes. What are the benefits of a pediatric endocrinologist as opposed to an adult endocrinologist?


There is a world of difference between an adult endocrinologist/diabetologist and a paediatrician with a special interest in childhood diabetes. I don't want to sound arrogant but the majority of adult physicians are unused to dealing with the whole family and childhood diabetes is certainly a condition that affects all family members. Additionally, diabetes changes dramatically with age and a knowledge of growth, puberty and their effects upon psychology, physiology and blood glucose is essential to good care. A common mistake is to believe that diabetes is diabetes no matter what the age group. If your 80 year old mother had diabetes, would you take her to a paediatrician? I rest my case.


[Editor's comment: I must very vigorously and wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Robertson's commentary. There are several categories of physicians who might claim competence to deal with childhood diabetes: if you have access to a pediatric endocrinologist who specializes in diabetes and who works together with a pediatric diabetes team including diabetes nurse educators, diabetes dietitians, exercise physiologists, and others, you've got the best. WWQ]

Original posting 4 Dec 97


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