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How to Improve the Patient-Doctor Relationship

Feb 06, 2019

Receiving a diabetes diagnosis can be frightening, especially if you are diagnosed at a young age. For this occasion, D-NET has invited 3 members from the Young Leaders in Diabetes (YLD) Programme to moderate this discussion on 'How to Improve the Patient-Doctor Relationship'. We have asked them to share with us messages and tips that they would like to give to health care professionals, with emphasis on communicating information.


"If I just got a diagnosis, I feel lost. It would help if you could explain what is happening in words that I can understand. I need you to explain diabetes to me so that I can understand that life can be normal."

"When we have just met, please make an effort to get to know me and earn my trust. I want to be able to tell you everything and to know that you will not judge me for it. I know that you are there to help and to give the best information that you can offer. Please develop a sense of empathy and trust, so that I feel safe to ask for everything I need."

"Please learn about Diabetes Education. I am supposed to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet; please provide me with evidenced-based information."

"Give me time to talk and please listen to me."

"Please treat me like an adult when you are explaining the various aspects of diabetes."

"Please consider arranging a psychology consult, especially as I am dealing with diabetes for the first time."

"I would like to develop a friendly relationship with my HCP such as the endocrinologist, who I feel save to call anytime, in case of emergencies."

"Above all, if I share something with you, please do not judge me for it. I’m doing the best I can."
  "Please don’t give me all the information in the first consultation. The new information and medical terms given all at once are overwhelming and scary. Go slowly, with explanations that I can understand."

"Please don’t rebuke me, but encourage me instead."

"Trying to scare me into taking care of myself does not work. I may need to be calmed down before I can understand what you are saying."

"I am a person with diabetes, not a 'diabetic'. Please use terms to describe me that are acceptable – It matters."



What we would like to hear from you:

  1. What is your protocol for communicating with (young) people who are newly diagnosed with diabetes?
  2. How do you explain the diagnosis to your young patients vs adults?
  3. How do you ensure that your patient is not overwhelmed with information?
  4. How do you establish a trusting relationship with your patient?
  5. How have you solved challenges in communication with your patients?


Information about the discussion moderators

Lucas Xavier is a Brazilian nursing student. He is the regional representative-elect of South and Central America region in the YLD programme works for PHI as a Brazilian Chapter Health Programs Assistant. His YLD project is the League of Nursing in Care for Diabetes, which promotes Diabetes education for students and nursing professionals.

Uros Bogdanovic is a 4th year law student at the Faculty of Law at University of Belgrade. He is 22 years old and has been living with Type 1 Diabetes for 9 years. He also has celiac disease. Diabetes advocacy has become a great part of his life in the past three years. He is an active member of the Diabetes Association of Serbia, leading their national leadership camp and is currently a Board member of the Association. He is also a part of the YOURAH initiative by IDF Europe, and a member of the YLD Programme where I hold the European region representative-elect position.

Dr. Apoorva Gomber is pursuing her post graduation in Pathology and has been living with T1DM for 11 years. She conducts regular educational camps for young people living with T1DM to ensure easy access to diabetes education and the fight for affordable insulin. She wishes to actively support organisations by collecting data, sharing personal experiences and by campaigning to make life less troublesome for people with T1DM all over the world. She is part of Global Ambassador Council of ‘Beyond type 1’ and has conducted Live Beyond diabetes awareness camps & walkathon’s on 14th November to mark World Diabetes Day. Furthermore, she is actively involved in patient advocacy with organization like T1International , League of DiAthletes & was elected as the SEAR (South East Asian Region) Representative elect for the YLD Programme.