Since 1995 - Non Profit Healthcare Advice

It’s Okay to Ask – A Checklist for Your Doctor Visit

middle-aged lady talking with female doctor

You may have side effects caused by your diabetes but feel afraid to talk about them with your doctor. You may be concerned about:

  • physical problems
  • feelings of guilt
  • being out of control
  • depression

Do not pass off such concerns as being “just your diabetes.” Be honest about what is on your mind. It is OKAY TO ASK your doctor questions and to share what is worrying you. It is okay to be your own champion in achieving success with diabetes.


A Checklist for Your Doctor Visit (.pdf version)

The following chart lists the medical tests and exams that should be a part of your regular office visits. It includes:

  • why each test is given
  • what the test should be
  • how often the test is typically needed.

Use this checklist as a tool to better communicate with your doctor and to make sure you are receiving ADA*-recommended care for your diabetes.



Medical Test/Examination

Why the Test is Given What the Test Results Should Be** Your Test Results How Often the Test is Typically Needed


Shows how well your diabetes treatment plan has been working over the past 2-3 months


Below 7   Every 3-6 months

Blood Pressure

Shows if you need medicine to control blood pressure and lower the risks that high blood pressure has on your heart, eyes, kidneys, and nerves


Less than 130/80mmHg   Every doctor visit


Shows if you need medicine to lower your LDL – also called “bad” – cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke


LDL is less than 100 mg/dL   Once a year

Kidney Function

Urine Test

Shows if you need medicine to prevent kidney damage or kidney failure, which could lead to dialysis


Less than 30 mg in 24 hours   Once a year

Referral for a Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exam

Shows if diabetes has damaged your eyes


Normal eye exam with no sign of diabetic retinopathy

  Once a year

Foot Exam

Identifies high risk foot conditions and whether you have loss of feeling in your feet, which may lead to injury or infection


Normal protective sensation or feeling   Every doctor visit

Smoking Status and Stop Smoking Advice

Smoking increases the rate at which problems from diabetes will occur.


.   Review at every doctor visit

*American Diabetes Association

** ADA-Recommended Goal


As new treatments and research become available, best practice guidelines may change.  It is important for you to know the current best practices and medical standards to most effectively treat your diabetes.  Ask your doctor about them – to be sure that you get the right care at the right time.



Developed by the Cincinnati Aligning Forces for Quality initiative of the Health Improvement Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati, and adapted for use on NetWellness with permission.


For more information:

Go to the Quality Health Care and You – Diabetes health topic.