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How Do I Become a Diabetologist?

By Terrie Brockmann
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Diabetologists are typically medical doctors, like pediatricians and endocrinologists, that specialize in treating diabetic patients. To become a diabetologist, you should have a medical degree and a strong background working with diabetes. Some physicians complete residencies or fellowships in endocrinology, specific to this disease or related conditions. When seeking a career as a diabetologist, you should review job requirements in the field. To gain training and experience, some employers allow applicants to accept an internship position.

If you want to become a diabetologist, you should focus on diabetes-related care. Almost all employers hire only diabetologists who have a degree in medicine. If you choose not to attend medical school, you could consider choosing another degree that is related the care of those with diabetes. Work in fields that aid those with conditions like retinopathy, nephropathy, and peripheral neuropathy, would be appropriate.

In some places, diabetology is not recognized as a medical specialty. Therefore, the requirements needed to become a diabetologist may vary. Some experts advise that the rise in diabetes worldwide will force the standardization of job requirements in this field. You should consider the current requirements in the region where you wish to work, and plan your career path accordingly.

Generally, you must be accredited, certified, or licensed in the area where you want to become a diabetologist. For example, to practice in Massachusetts, you must be certified and licensed, and have a medical doctorate degree from an accredited school. In many countries outside of the United States, diabetologists must have completed their Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), or an equivalent degree, before specializing in diabetology.

Diabetology is a specialized field of study. Therefore, if you want to become a diabetologist, you should demonstrate that you have clinical expertise in diabetes prevention, control, or research. Employers often seek out diabetologists who are skilled in treating comorbidity, which is the simultaneous manifestation of two or more illnesses or conditions in a patient. Many diabetics have multiple medical issues, such as diabetes and coronary artery disease or diabetes and arteriosclerotic vascular disease. Doctors who are skilled in diagnosing and treating patients with comorbidity generally have an advantage in the field.

A few non-medical skills may give you an advantage in your quest to become a diabetologist. These professionals often must also be effective public educators and speakers. Diabetologists frequently make presentations to groups of people with diabetes, caregivers, and other medical practitioners, such as family medical doctors, pediatricians, and geriatrics specialists. Effective speaking is often a learned skill that improves with practice. so, it may be beneficial to take some speech and communication courses as well as some written communication classes.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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