The Type 2 Talk: Changing the Type 2 Diabetes Conversation

By Jeffrey I. Mechanick, MD, FACP, FACE, FACN, ECNU, and Bryan Campbell


You are sitting in the waiting room waiting to speak with your doctor about your diabetes. Questions race through your head.

“Would my doctor be upset if I say I had to eat out every night last week?”

“Is it really important to check my blood sugar frequently?”

“What do these medications I am on actually do?”

The medical assistant calls out your name. It’s time. You step through the door. Step on the scale.

“How did I gain two pounds? I have been trying my best and taking my medication.”

Then it’s into the examination room. As minutes fly by you start to read the information on the walls, check your phone for messages, flip through a few magazines, and then the doctor appears.

In the flurry of activity the doctor asks you how you’ve been feeling. Have you been taking your medication? Any unusual pains? During this time, you completely forget your own questions. And before you know it, your time is up. You are leaving with a new prescription and more questions than you started with. Maybe you’ll ask them next time.

If any of these scenarios sounds familiar, you are not alone. More than 21 million Americans have type 2 diabetes. Every day patients struggle to understand the disease and their management plan. Virtually every month there is a new product or medication on the market. It’s nearly impossible to keep up.

Doctors have limited time to spend with each of those 21 million patients. It’s important for them to understand just how your treatment is going so they can ensure you are receiving the best care possible. In fact, there are many times that doctors wish they had asked other questions to provide the best care for their patients.

Patients and doctors want the same outcome. But unfortunately, they aren’t always communicating well with each other. That’s why the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists [en-doh-cri-NA-lo-jists] and the American College of Endocrinology have partnered with AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb to create The Type 2 Talk: Changing the Type 2 Diabetes Conversation.

The Type 2 Talk is a unique program and web site (www.thetype2talk.com) that we hope will help you change the conversation you have with your doctor about your diabetes. The web site is filled with tools to help you make the most of your time with your doctor.

The site takes common conversations that you might have with your doctor and shows you some ways to ask the questions that will help get you the answers you need. Some examples of these topics include motivation, slips in self-management, and treatment goals. In addition to providing a framework for these conversations, the web site also provides tips for both doctors and patients to ensure successful conversations.

The web site, www.thetype2talk.com, also includes worksheets that you can use to manage goals before, during, and after your visit with the doctor.

To learn more about ways to improve your type 2 talk, visit www.thetype2talk.com today.

Dr. Jeffrey I. Mechanick is Clinical Professor of Medicine and Director of Metabolic Support in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease, Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is Secretary and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and Chairs the AACE Publication Committee. Dr. Mechanick co-edited Nutritional Strategies for the Diabetic and Prediabetic Patient, The Complete Guide to Lifelong Nutrition, and Thyroid Cancer: From Emergent Biotechnology to Clinical Practice Guidelines to be published in 2011. Dr. Mechanick is in private practice in endocrinology and metabolic support in New York City