Hi J.... not sure how it works where you are but here, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada....we need a general practitioner or some medical doctor to refer us to a specialist - we don't generally access them on our own. I have what they refer to themselves as, a Diabetes Team. My team consists of my Endo, Diabetic Educator/Nurse, and Dietician (all at the Diabetes Clinic I attend) and my GP is included in the bigger circle.
To answer your questons:
1. My Endo is not my primary doc but, I may call him if I was sick to help me through my insulin regimen. My GP would be the one to determine my illness/sickness if necessary. She would order the tests or make the necessary referrals to determine my problem.
2. Endo does not do yearly physicals.
3. No. GP would order tests if necessary. Endo would only order tests specific to a diabetes problem if necessary, though.
My GP is copied on all tests ordered by my specialists and my Endo is copied on all diabetes-related tests ordered by my GP (lipid profile, HBA1C, blood pressure, thyroid).
I think if you can get an Endo you'd be getting the best Diabetes care possible. It's their specialty. But because it's their specialty, they usually don't have time to manage the other non-Diabetes related stuff. Just my 2 cents
- Phishbowl (Type 1 since Jan'05 - Levemir, NovoRapid)
"What's Not Measured Is Not Managed"
"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows"-Epictetus