When primary care physicians (PCPs) team up with endocrinologists, patients have twice the ammunition to effectively manage diabetes for the long haul.
Arvind Cavale, MD, FACE, is a solo endocrinologist in Feasterville-Trevose, Pennsylvania—one of only five such practices in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He is also a principal investigator for the Duke Clinical Research Institute & Worldwide Clinical Trials via Endocrine Clinical Research, LLC, which he founded in 2010. In addition, Cavale is the co-founder of The Endocrine & Metabolic Institute of Greater Philadelphia, LLC.
He recently spoke with Medical Economics about his specific ideas about how to help PCPs put patients on the right track and keep them there.
Q: What is one common myth about diabetes and primary care?
Arvind Cavale, MD: Diabetes has a huge negative impact, both biological and economic, on the patient, caregivers, families, communities, employers and even clinicians, because it is relentless and unforgiving, and requires multi-pronged lifelong actions.
There's a common misperception that anyone can manage diabetes, but it is truly a full-time job that requires specific attention to detail. When someone is dealing with head colds and flu, headaches, abdominal pain and more, it's difficult to pay proper attention to managing diabetes. Putting a patient on medication doesn't equal effective management.
I'd like PCPs to send me their newly-diagnosed diabetes patients as soon as they are diagnosed, so we can make the most effective changes. Once they're on a medication, it establishes a very different mindset—"Hey, I'll just take a pill"—one that's harder to change.