For decades, decision-making in diabetes management was placed almost solely in the hands of endocrinologists. Over time, a physician shortage, combined with a growing burden of diabetes on a population level, has led to a revolution in the diabetes care team.
No organization is more representative of this evolution than the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (ADCES). Founded in 1973 as the American Association of Diabetes Educators, the multidisciplinary organization has sought to improve diabetes management since its inception through an emphasis on holistic management and the continuum of care. As a result, the organization’s membership includes pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician associates, dietitians, psychologists, and more.
Among these members is Jill Weissberg-Benchell, PhD, CDCES, a pediatric psychologist in the Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health and professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Weissberg-Benchell’s journey into the diabetes community is unique and occurred later in her career relative to some of her counterparts. Since developing an interest in diabetes management, Weissberg-Benchell has led or took part in research endeavors exploring self-management behaviors and use of diabetes technology.
During their time at the ADCES Diabetes Technology Conference 2022 in Chicago, Diana Isaacs, PharmD, and Natalie Bellini, DNP, hosts of Diabetes Dialogue: Technology, Therapeutics, & Real-World Perspectives, sat down with Weissberg-Benchell to record a special edition episode. In the episode, Weissberg-Benchell takes hosts through her journey to becoming a diabetes care and education specialist, the role of psychologists in the management of pediatric diabetes, and her thoughts on the evolving role of care and education specialists in management of diabetes.