June 22, 2015

The Diabetes Education Follies – Part 1

When I wrote this blog, I did use the word 'may' instead of 'will' and the more I am seeing and hearing, I am very happy that I was cautious. My wife does not believe me, but I overheard two women talking while waiting for my wife to get a few groceries. They did not notice I was sitting in the car and how they missed me, I do not know. Or they could have just figured he is elderly and won't understand what we are talking about.

First they was talking about the joint statement (a PDF file) issued by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), and The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). One mentioned that as long as she does not receive any direction from the headquarters, she will be happy. The other said she was happy not taking referrals and felt that she always received the worst patients when she was taking them. She continued that now she did not have to worry about what she said, as she probably would be in disagreement with the doctor in his promotion of low to medium carb, medium fat to high fat.

The other woman said that most do not understand how important whole grains are and said some are saying they can get the micronutrients from other foods. The other agreed and said that without referrals she does not need to teach anything about diabetes and does not like the fat people with type 2 diabetes. Other people were coming to the cars and the two ended their conversation and got into their cars and left. I guess I am fortunate not to know either person, but I would have liked to have given them a lecture.

This seems to be the attitude of many that have the title of CDEs or RDs. None of them especially like type 2 diabetes patients and for me the feeling is mutual. I have known too many CDEs that are too limited in their background and don't want to be in a room with anyone having depression. In discussing this with my nurse cousin, Beverly, she said that she has had too many CDEs not be able to counsel patients with diabetes and other conditions because they lacked the education or experience.

We had a great discussion on Saturday, 13 June after our last meeting was canceled. She said she could understand why very few of us felt like having a meeting. So she and Tom stopped by to talk with me. When I mentioned the ACDE she asked what organization that was and I told her that it is the new Academy of Certified Diabetes Educators that became official the beginning of the new year. Tom pulled it up on his laptop and he said this does create problems for fulfilling the joint statement.

I said this also makes transparency more difficult as the numbers just are hard to arrive at. No organization is willing to disclose the membership numbers, retired members, members working in corporations and not doing mainstream diabetes education, or even members working part time.

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