Finding a Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (DCES)


What is a Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (DCES) and why should I see one?

If you have diabetes, you know how challenging it can be to manage it on a daily basis. You know healthy eating, physical activity, monitoring your blood sugar and taking medication are necessary to reduce your risk for complications. But diabetes self-management can be overwhelming and confusing at times. The good news is that partnering with a diabetes care and education specialist (DCES) can make managing your diabetes easier. Read more below about finding a DCES.

As a member of your healthcare team, a DCES works with you to develop a personalized plan to stay healthy and gives you the tools and ongoing support to make that plan a regular part of your life. Diabetes educators help people with diabetes set individual goals to make long-lasting behavior changes that can lead to a full, thriving life with diabetes.

Learn more about diabetes education on the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (ADCES) website. The organization has videos on the role a DCES plays in your self-management routine and the four key times you should see a one (hint: you deserve to see an educator!).

Diabetes may not have a cure, but you can manage it and live well. Ask your doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant (PA) about working with a diabetes educator to learn how to better manage your disease, so it doesn’t manage you.

Finding a DCES

Certified diabetes care and education specialist programs and accredited diabetes education programs operate at various clinics and practices; you might even be able to see an educator at your local YMCA.

Two organizations—ADCES and the American Diabetes Association—accredit diabetes education programs. Search for an accredited diabetes education program in your area using this tool.

Diabetes education is a recognized part of your diabetes care and is covered by Medicare and most health insurance plans when it is offered through an accredited diabetes education program, which has met vigorous criteria set by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

This content is sponsored by ADCES, a Founding Partner of Beyond Type 2.

WRITTEN BY Beyond Type 2 Editorial Team, POSTED 12/18/18, UPDATED 12/12/22

This piece was authored collaboratively by the Beyond Type 2 Editorial Team.