Diabetes Voice

Diabetes Voice is the quarterly magazine of IDF. It covers the latest developments in diabetes care, education, prevention, research, health policy and economics, as well as themes related to living with diabetes. Diabetes Voice goes to the heart of issues that are crucial to all those who can further the promotion of diabetes care, prevention, and a cure worldwide.

Editor-in-Chief: Dr Douglas Villarroel (Bolivia)
Editor: Elizabeth Snouffer (USA)

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Issue: September 2016
Section: Diabetes views

The future of type 1 diabetes care

I have spent the last 38 years primarily treating individuals with type 1 diabetes. In that time, I have been involved with over 400 pregnancies of individuals with type 1 diabetes with virtually no complications, and in the last twenty years, I have no cases of blindness, renal failure or amputations. Looking back, I am extremely pleased with the career choice I made. While not the most lucrative career, it has been extremely satisfying.

Unfortunately, I do not believe nearly enough individuals will pick a career focusing on type 1 diabetes in the next ten years leading to a major shortage and a concomitant decrease in care for the individual with type 1 diabetes. A study by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) suggests there will be a shortage of 5,100 to 12,300 physicians in medical specialties by 2025. This covers all medical specialties. Already today there is a 15% deficit in endocrinologists but unfortunately there is no good data on the shortage of physicians treating type 1 diabetes among endocrinologists. Among the last ten endocrine fellows I have trained only two have expressed any interest in primarily seeing individuals with type 1 diabetes and even their future plans are not certain. In other parts of the world, the situation is even worse.

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