Our Comprehensive Approach to Diabetes Care

doctor with patientThe Vanderbilt Diabetes Center is a national leader in patient care and research. We are one of only three diabetes centers in the U.S. with three American Diabetes Association accreditations for adult, children’s and gestational diabetes. In terms of how many patients we see, we are among the top five academic diabetes centers in the country.

Each patient has unique needs for diabetes care, so Vanderbilt offers a team of specialists that includes:

Heart disease is a common complication of diabetes. That's why it's important to have cardiologists on the team. They will assess how healthy a patient's heart is. They can also treat problems such as artery blockage.

Child Life Specialists
Child life specialists use a variety of activities to help children, teens, and their families understand and cope with diabetes.

Our registered dietitians offer one-on-one counseling. Your registered dietitian will work with you, teaching you proper nutrition to help you achieve your diabetes and health goals. You will work together as a team to come up with a personal plan.

Endocrinologists are doctors specializong in glands and the hormones they secrete. They are your main resource for diabetes treatment, because the disease involves the pancreas' ability to produce insulin. Endocrinologists coordinate the other specialists.

High-Risk Obstetricians
Some women develop diabetes during pregnancy. This is called gestational diabetes. Obstetricians who specialize in high-risk pregnancies ensure that these patients, and diabetic women who become pregnant, receive the specialized care they need.

It is important that diabetic patients understand cholesterol and how to manage it. This education is critical, because heart disease is the most serious complication of diabetes.

Nurse Practitioners
These are advanced practice nurses who help manage diabetes. They perform examinations and health assessments. They can also prescribe medications. Our nurse practitioners are certified diabetes educators. They work with the diabetes team to develop education and self-management plans for patients and their families.

Diabetes can cause problems with your eyes. Ophthalmologists treat eye-related conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and retinopathy.


Steve Burkes, Pharm.D., BCPS, a pharmacist with expertise in diabetes, is on staff in our diabetes clinic. He's here to answer your questions about your diabetes medicines. For specialty medicines, our pharmacist will authorize the prescription and your medicine will be delivered the same or next day to your home.
7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday
(615) 322-1907

Some diabetic patients experience foot problems. Podiatrists can address a wide array of foot-related complications that diabetics may face.

Social Workers
Adjusting to a diabetes diagnosis and coping with managing the disease can be stressful. Social workers help patients and their families adjust to life with diabetes. They also lead support groups and diabetes education.