Diabetes Introduction

Educational Goal

The student will be able to demonstrate competencies in knowledge, skills, and attitudes of an effective clinician in evaluating and caring for patients with Pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes in the primary care setting.

Medical Knowledge

The student will:

  1. Review the nationally accepted guidelines for preventing, diagnosing, and managing diabetes (American Diabetes Association Standards of Care Guidelines).
  2. Review elements of lifestyle modification in diabetes prevention and treatment.
  3. Describe key principles associated with choosing and initiating commonly used oral hypoglycemic agents.

Patient Care

The student will:

  1. Review critical elements of the diabetic patient history, physical examination, and laboratory testing to identify lifestyle, other cardiovascular risk factors, and assess concomitant disorders that affect prognosis and guide treatment.
  2. Formulate management plans for the longitudinal care of patients with diabetes at their primary care clinical sites and with subspecialist providers, including diabetic retinopathy.
  3. Develop prevention plans, including health education and behavioral change strategies, for diabetic patients, following accepted national clinical practice guidelines (American Diabetes Association Standards of Care Guidelines).
  4. Formulate management plans for patients at high risk for diabetes, or for those with Pre-Diabetes.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

The student will:

  1. Identify relevant psychosocial and cultural issues that impact on diabetes care.
  2. Reflect on the importance of providing culturally sensitive and responsive education, counseling, and care to patients and their families.
  3. Demonstrate awareness of improved patient care outcomes through effective communication with all members of the primary care team such as nutritionists, pharmacists, social workers, nurses, and community advocates.

Practice Based Learning

The student will:

  1. Use information technology to access medical information and support self-education and clinical decision making.
  2. Use information technology to access patient and family education resources on diabetes.
  3. Demonstrate how improvement principles are useful to patients, health care providers, and medical students*.
  4. Identify the variation inherent in health care systems*.
  5. Be able to map the process of care from a patient’s point of view for a diabetic clinical encounter*.
  6. Identify outcome and process measures appropriate for diabetes care*.
  7. Be able to recommend changes in a clinical process for a group of patients*.
  8. Apply the introductory concepts of improvement science (ex. continuous quality improvement) to patient-focused outcomes*.


The student will:

  1. Demonstrate professionalism by completing this web module during the assigned period.

Systems Based Practice

The student will:

  1. Review which cases can be managed by the primary care physician and which should be referred for co-management with a specialist.
  2. Develop awareness of practicing cost-effective health care and resource allocation that does not compromise quality of care.
  3. Describe the system and process of care for diabetic patients at their primary care clinical sites*.
  4. Demonstrate awareness of improved patient care outcomes in chronic disease management through effective collaborative work with other health care professionals, interdisciplinary teams, partnerships through community resources, and government agencies*.

*Adapted from Ogrinc, G., et al., “A Framework for Teaching Medical Students and Residents about Practice-based Learning and Improvement, Synthesized from a Literature Review.” Academic Medicine, Volume 78 (7). July 2003 pp 748-756.

Facts About Diabetes