Module 7: Partnering With Your Health Care Team

New Beginnings: A Discussion Guide for Living Well With Diabetes

For the complete discussion guide, download this page as a [PDF – 585 KB]

What You Need to Know
woman talking to a nurse

Many people find it hard to talk with their doctor or other health care team members. Appointments can feel rushed, or it can be hard to speak up or ask questions in the moment. Being prepared can help people with diabetes get the most out of visits with their health care team.

Visits with health care providers can include appointments with doctors, nurses, physician assistants, diabetes care and education specialists, pharmacists, dentists, podiatrists, dietitians, and any other specialists. Primary health care providers will often make referrals to diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) services so that patients with diabetes can have access to a diabetes care and education specialist.

Discussion Time: 45 to 60 minutes


  • Talking to your health care team
  • Family support during health care visits
  • When to visit your health care team

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Name at least three things they plan to do to make sure they get the most out of their upcoming visits with their doctor or other health care team members.
  • Name at least one question they plan to ask at their next health care visit.
  • Say how often it is recommended that they visit their regular health care provider, eye doctor, dentist, or other specialists to manage their diabetes.

Suggested stories for this module:


Key Messages

  1. Preparing for health visits by writing down questions and bringing a list of all prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements can help people with diabetes get the most out of each visit.
  2. It is important that people with diabetes be their own best advocate for how they feel and what they think. Speaking up and asking questions, especially if something seems confusing or unclear, is important.
  3. Family and friends are a great support system for managing health care and going to health care visits.

Connecting Threads

Connecting Threads are topics that can be incorporated into New Beginnings sessions depending on the goals and needs of your participants.

Recommended Connecting Threads:

Going Virtual Tips

  • Discuss if and how group members are engaging with their health care providers through telehealth.
  • Instead of pairing off participants into the activities, use the breakout room feature of your video teleconferencing platform (if available). Or go around the “room” and have each participant share with the whole group. See the Connecting Thread: Facilitating New Beginnings Online [PDF – 221 KB] for ideas on how to adapt activities.
  • The video stories for this module can be played by sharing your screen (and computer audio) through your video teleconferencing platform. Another option is to share the links to the videos with your group members by email before the session starts.
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Page last reviewed: May 18, 2022